FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Aussie Periscope Girl Story
Australia’s newest travel & lifestyle series produced completely on an iPhone.
An Australia actress and top social media live steamer has just launched her own travel and lifestyle series created completely on an iPhone.
Sonia Carroll, host of the brand new webseries ‘Aussie Periscope Girl’, has landed in the top position as Australia’s most liked ‘or hearted’ broadcaster worldwide on the new app Periscope amassing 28 million hits from audiences to date. Her live streaming travel channel launched 16 months ago and has now been followed up with the creation of a brand new original series in which Sonia both hosts and produces.
Sonia’s vision was to incorporate her technology experience and developed social media influence with her film career to produce the first ever, combined live stream webseries. The point of difference, it had to be created using just an iPhone!
The travel and lifestyle series is recorded during a live stream and takes casual down to earth approach with real questions being shared with a real audience in real time on location. “It’s a virtual holiday for viewers! I wanted to host a show that was different, fun, spontaneous and highly interactive. None of the live episodes are scripted. I do 100% improv and love fine tuning that skill. I literally start the broadcast and capture the entire episode on a phone. I have a premise of what I want to showcase and where to take the show, but allow my ability to read audience engagement and my free flowing creativity to channel the direction with many genuine surprise moments, because that it what life is about too”.
“I believe in creating your own opportunities. To make things happen. To create work for yourself and for others. Be a mover, be a creator. Be someone who also contributes to the film industry outside of the traditional route. Our world is changing so fast! We are consuming TV on so many different platforms now, and mobile technology is one with huge user consumption. The creative opportunities are endless. I’m an actress and a host, I create, it’s what I do. I’m also a technology training presenter and thrive in the tech environment. I love everything about what technology brings to our world in regards to creating. When Periscope was launched, I thought to myself, this is it! This is where I can grab a phone, shoot, edit, export and produce a travel series. Mobile film quality is exceptionally high now and it made sense to take a chance and create something completely new. To combine all my passions – to combine social media with my film and TV industry experience using the latest technology. This is the first series shot and created on an iPhone using live streaming periscope footage. Its exciting to create the first of its kind for anything in the world. I hope to inspire others to think about creating with an iPhone now”.
“No longer are creatives, actors, presenters, producers, limited to just passing the time waiting for someone to offer them an opportunity. With drive, passion and personal vision the time is now, to use that waiting time to actually create your own high-quality content with what is right in front of you. Make a difference. Excel!” Sonia said.
AUSTRALIA, Monday 26th, September 2016: marked the global launch of the Aussie Periscope Girl, a travel and lifestyle series that invites audiences from around the world to be an interactive part of each episode’s live taping. Series episodes air every Monday 12pm AEST on the official APG site after its private launch for subscribers aired on Wednesday 21st September.
Audience engagement combined with Sonia’s extensive host experience and on-camera personality drives each episode. “Streaming live, you need to be able to hold an audience’s attention for an extended period of time and gauge very fast when to change topics or increase screen time. It’s a fine art to keep an audience engaged in what you are showing and make them want to return to watch you time after time. I’ve been streaming for 16 months and now taken my live streaming and turned into a series” said Sonia.
Aussie Periscope Girl (APG) was created to expand the concept of tourism on TV for both the visitor and the destination. “Many influencers take amazing photos and a lot of social media tourism is a static capture. But life is moving, it’s full of sounds, movement, and emotions. My skill set and passion is presenting and being in front of the camera sharing amazing experiences with others. I wanted to offer travellers and destinations something else in addition to what they have previously been exposed to online”, Sonia said.
Audiences have the option to experience a destination in two ways. Those who are interactive and a part of the live streaming and those who watch the edited digital episodes. Audiences can connect instantly and be a part of the moments as they occur and ask questions in real time. This allows them to look back fondly on each digital episode experiencing it again because they were there live. It’s creating a community within the realm of live TV. The audience can be a part of the series from start to finish.
“I wanted to create a travel and lifestyle series that shows more of Australia and the world, than just the big famous icons. I wanted to show the hidden spots, the little guys who offer amazing and lesser-known tourist destinations, I wanted to incorporate lifestyle segments and know the stories of people who may not normally be in the media”.
The series gives a locals view of Australia. “When I started 16 months ago very few live viewers had ever heard of the Gold Coast, Mackay or the Whitsundays. Now they all know about those cities and viewers have started visiting or planning to visit our region as a direct result from the streams”. Sonia said.
The show is not just limited to travel either. In one live episode, a blue tongue lizard was rescued after a cat attack and viewers followed Sonia to the Currumbin Wildlife hospital, shedding light on the important work the hospital does to protect and heal our wildlife whilst reliant on charity donations. The audience named the lizard ‘bluey’ and asked about him for months afterwards.
In another episode Sonia was also invited by Oz Harvest to join them on their weekly excess food rescue service, experiencing the entire day from picking up food from the farmer’s markets to delivering it to the table of those in need. Audiences around the world got to see first-hand and receive a greater understanding about modern day high-quality food waste, the caring human spirit and what life really is like for those in need. It was real; not glossed over. These were real people being interviewed spontaneously sharing their true feelings about giving to Oz Harvest and being a part of the team helping. It’s that type of real life footage that makes Aussie Periscope Girl a different kind of travel and lifestyle series
Expanding the series internationally, Sonia follows the same format in finding those smaller destinations and inviting viewers to virtually visit somewhere they never knew existed, this time through the eyes of a new tourist. Online video and live streaming are creating a completely new area for the tourism market. A host needs to know how to engage and present in real time.
“I was recently invited to Qamea Resort, a beautiful smaller hidden away boutique resort in Fiji to film an episode. Audiences from around the world shared the trip, with myself and my guest co-host Chris Williams (American TV star of The Great Indoors, Silicon Valley and Californication) in real time with images later posted to my Instagram channel. My audiences are largely from America followed by the UK and then Australia. Only one member of my audience had heard of Qamea Resort beforehand and everyone was in awe of its breath-taking beauty and what we actually have in this part of the world. So not only did it open up the world to Qamea, it opened up another part of the world to the audience”, “one of Twitter Australia’s head office staff members was along for the live streaming journey and was very grateful to be assured he had chosen the right place for his honeymoon as he saw in real time what the resort had to offer”. It’s taking tourism and personal travel to the next level.
Sonia also launched and hosts for Gold Coast Tourism on their official live streaming channel, taking audiences on exciting trips in the region. The RSPCA also invited Sonia earlier this year to stream live their Million Paws Walk and she was the first Australian invited as a series regular, hosting down under for the USA’s ParachuteTV1.
Every episode that Sonia broadcasts live, allows audiences to interact and ask questions directly about the destination or place. It’s an incredible new way to connect with an audience and give a first-hand view to somewhere whilst encouraging an audience to become engaged in ways that haven’t been able to as easily before. Audiences also connect with each other in real time and forge friendships all from a travel show.
Periscopes tagline, “See the world through someone else’s eyes” is exactly what Sonia has done for the last 16 months, accumulating a massive 28 million hits on her channel from her online community affectionately called #SoniasSkippys. I really wanted to create a bond between my community connecting them to Australia, an audience member came up with the name after I was at Lone Pine Koala sanctuary telling them about the nickname we call Kangaroos.
Many of our viewers have become friends offline. They have met up and travelled together. Attended meet-ups and formed their own friendships, as they also get to chat in real time with each other. This platform creates more value for a community than any other platform I have used before said Sonia.
Sonia is not new to Indie producing and previously produced three films of which she was nominated for ‘Best Producer’ at the Australia Screen Industry Network awards, for not one but two of her three films. She was also a ‘Best Actress’ nominee.
Sonia was also innovative in producing her first three movies in Qld by creating the first ever social media collaboration group she put together in 2011. “I wanted to make films and wanted to open it up to collaboration. I felt the best way to drive that was to create a hub online via Facebook and include our entire film industry in South East Queensland. In 2011 no-one had done it before that way. I created the entire development and pre-production online. It made movie making fast and flexible. I’m always keen to drive and use technology to make changes in the film industry. So I got together 300 people and over the course of the next few years, we made films together. My motto has always been ‘be first, be daring, be different’ said Sonia.
Sonia can also be seen on episodes of long standing USA TV shows ‘Deadly Women’ and ‘Dark Minds’.
Sonia also one of Australia’s top technology presenters / trainers and technical writers and was selected by Microsoft Australia out of 400 applicants to be one of their technology gurus’ presenting technology to many Australians in 2008 – 2011. She went on to continue working for other big tech companies and to date has hosted over 200 technology videos, scripted as many and trained and presented many forms of technology around the country. “I thrive in the world of travel, tourism and technology. Its so exciting, fast and being consumed everywhere. What’s not to love about it!”.
“Technology and film are often perceived as a male-dominated industries, however women can forge incredible careers here with very moving stories to tell. There is a huge movement now to really open up the doors to women in film and I love to support that and hope that if what I do inspires even one other person, then it’s been a success. With so many supportive men in these industries it really is a great time to take that step if you are someone who has been thinking about getting into Tech, Film or TV.
Career opportunities are endless and they are moving into so many areas now. You don’t have to think of a tech or film career as one sitting behind a computer or camera” Sonia said.
“I want to encourage women, that being in film and technology opens up a world of opportunities. These industries are becoming more and more entwined with the way our future is being forged, especially in the realm of streaming TV” she said.
And it’s not just for women either. If you have a story, a vision, something that you feel would make a difference I urge you to do it. Time is going to pass anyway, so why not use that time to tell your story. The world needs to be inspired and it’s those who have ideas that turn them into something real, are the ones that lead the way to inspiring others.
Sonia is currently working on researching and developing her second digital series which will take a look at living in one her favourite and worlds busiest cities, Los Angeles. “It’s the movie capital of the world, there is so much to be inspired by and learn from in the LA industry. To connect with the best in the world would enable one to make an incredible difference in story telling” said Sonia. Sonia is also developing a film here in Australia telling a story about Women and Drone technology.
I’ve worked really hard on my own over the past few years and feel it’s now time to join with an agent and manager to create an even stronger future as part of a inspiring creative team. So I am currently open to meetings for representation in both Australia and the USA.
I’m also very interested in hearing from tourism and travel operators, destinations, airlines, magazines, brands and sponsorships etc to join together and create more exciting travel content and episodes. I would have so many ideas now for producing even more exciting travel episodes and Series for destinations, islands, hotel chains and airlines. This new type of content creation costs no where near as much as what it would do on a commercial Tv network. Working with a live streaming travel blogger and host is a brand new way to showcase your world to the next generation of users.
Aussie Periscope Girl can be viewed online at www.AussiePeriscopeGirl.com with behind the scenes found on Sonia Carroll’s Instagram, Periscope, YouTube and Facebook @SoniaCarroll.
A new travel blog has also been set up to follow the series with additional travel adventure stories at www.TV.SoniaCarroll.Com
Anyone wanting be a part of each live stream can follow @SoniaCarroll on Periscope or contact Sonia at www.SoniaCarroll.com to chat about her visiting your destination.
Release written by Sonia Carroll
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A collection of photographs are available in high resolution for download and publication. Please visit www.AussiePeriscopeGirl.com/Category/MediaRelease