July 22, 2015


Spotlight, the UK casting service, wanted to digitise its annual publication, Contacts, for the first time. They turned to Building Blocks for help with the project. The publication is now available on iTunes and has been released for Android. Building Blocks discuss the work

Known as the definitive handbook for the entertainment industry, Contacts has long been seen as a career essential for those working within the sector.

Published annually by Spotlight, Contacts has lined the bookshelves of performers, agents and casting professionals for nearly seventy years. And now, for the first time, Contacts 2015 is available as a digital publication.

The publication lists over 5000 companies, services and individuals across all branches of television, stage, film and radio. It also features useful advice, industry insights and advertising opportunities—all of which are now fully searchable and interactive.

Building Blocks were selected from a range of agencies to deliver the project for Spotlight. We used Kaldor’s mobile publishing platform Pugpig to transform the printed version of Contacts into a digital publication.

We worked closely with Spotlight to ensure that the digital handbook was closely aligned to the print version in terms of look and feel, and that it incorporated a range of interactive functionalities.

• All listings are interactive, with users able to telephone, email or visit the website of any listings straight from their mobile device.

• A geo-locate facility makes finding an agent’s office or a theatre easier for users—invaluable if you’re lost in the rain and running late.

• Insight and advice articles are included as collapsible pop-ups.

• The interactivity of the adverts should provide an uplift in engagement for the advertisers.

• The digitisation of the handbook has created future opportunities for rich media to be included, which will open up new advertising opportunities within the publication.

• The digital version also encompasses a search tool, which searches the data store (as opposed to the html), to find accurate results.

Kate Poynton, Product Owner and Editor at Spotlight, says, “It’s been a huge learning curve for us to embark on our first digital production and we’re delighted with the final result. Building Blocks provided step-by-step and day-by-day guidance, and all their team participated fully and enthusiastically along the way.”

Available now on iTunes and released for android, the digitised version of Contacts 2015 is already generating great feedback from its users, who can now access it at any time, from any place.