Recently we received an email asking why, in these hard-knock times, RealScreen was not reporting more on the (poor) state of affairs among independents, even if individuals were reticent to go on the record about their companies being in trouble.
I also received a number of emails in response to the RealScreen Distributor’s Guide, which you received with your July/August issue. The gist of the introductory letter in the guide was that it hadn’t been a stellar year for distributors, and we hoped this effort could get them new business. One bittersweet response came from a small distributor based in the U.K., and it said, simply, ‘Thanks for understanding.’
This feedback gave me pause and inspiration to take a look back at our coverage. Unfortunately, terms like ‘chapter 11′, ‘reorganization’, ‘layoffs’ and ‘decline in advertising revenue’ are ones we now use frequently, and we know the trickle-down has not been kind. Not to sound too Clintonian, but we feel your pain. Literally, your business is our business. Our health depends on yours.
We’ve always prided ourselves on the interaction between our staff (both editorial and sales) and the industry we serve, but now we’re really throwing open the doors. Like all of you, we’re adapting to the slumping economics of the industry as well. Not only do we want to serve our core audience better, we’re also looking to broaden our niche. (A broad niche. It sounds like an oxymoron, I know.)
This fall, we need to talk to you, about our magazine, our newsletter, our events. Be it at our Alternative Financing for Documentaries conference in NYC, or at MIPCOM, or at Wildscreen, Sheffield, or IDFA. Be it with one of our editorial staff, your sales rep or myself, now’s the time to speak up if you ever thought there was a gap in what we do.
Speaking of the fall, we’ve got features on post-production and formats coming up and, back by popular demand, you’ll see the return of our yearbook in December. Last year, buyers and commissioners were calling for extra copies – especially if they were picked or panned in the reader survey. It’s essential reading.
Before long, we’ll be hosting you in Washington, D.C. Mark your calendar; the RealScreen Summit takes place February 5 to 7, 2003. There will, of course, be much to discuss, and we’ll be there not only to facilitate the dialog, but to report on it as well.
In the meantime, we’re perpetually grateful for your continued support, and we’ll keep working hard to be deserving of it. See you in the bunker!
Mary Ellen Armstrong