Predictions for 2003…

If you're looking for clues on what to expect in the coming year, look to the stars.
December 1, 2002

Capricorn: December 22 to January 19

Start taking some risks. This will be ‘another tough year with people leaving the industry, continued low budgets and substandard programs with the occasional exceptional work shining through.’ So, what do you have to lose? Look for funding in unexpected places. ‘Private investors will begin to see docs as safer investments than many stocks.’

Aquarius: January 20 to February 17

Tired of ‘more funding cuts’? Good, because 2003 is the age of Aquarius. You have a theme song, so up the volume and trust your intuition. The factual industry will ‘see a big upturn in commissioning of entertaining, witty and relevant docs.’

Pisces: February 18 to March 19

Start swimming with the sharks. Step one: Invest in high-speed access. ‘Internet distribution will be critical in the conservative media environment of 2003.’ Step two: Hone your skills. ‘Millions of digital cameras and desktop editing systems are being sold. We’ve barely seen the effects of this technology.’

Aries: March 20 to April 19

Having relationship problems? Stop trying to force your own agenda. The sooner you realize ‘there are too many players, and many won’t fit the demand’, the better off you’ll be. Fresh contacts are in order. Travel to more doc events by taking advantage of off-season seat sales.

Taurus: April 20 to May 20

You are practical and creative, an essential combo in the doc biz. Look for ‘continued growth in documentary production, and a renaissance in feature-length docs.’ In other words, aim for that shiny gold statue. Once you arrive, remember the little folk. ‘Everyone seems to forget you need people in the seats to make this work.’

Gemini: May 21 to June 20

Duplicity is your game, and you play it well. ‘One of the principals in some extreme reality series will be fatally injured and the camera people will keep rolling rather than aiding the injured person.’ Sounds horrible, right? Wrong. The ‘quality of non-fiction programming will increase in the wake of so many ‘reality’ outlets.’

Cancer: June 21 to July 22

In 2003, ‘coproduction will get harder, [and] more broadcasters will want to produce domestically.’ Cancers appreciate the comforts of home, so this is good news! If you’re eating tzatziki, note that ‘Greece is currently going through a ‘reality formats’ craze. This will be the case for next season, and then things will get back to normal.’

Leo: July 23 to August 22

So far for Leo, the pickin’s have been lush. Yet, before the year is over, it might give you the brush. ‘Money will get tighter,’ but in the immortal words of Ol’ Blue Eyes, the best you can do is pray that luck be a Leo tonight.

Virgo: August 23 to September 22

Your discerning mind is your greatest asset, so you already know that ‘HD will become a hot item in non-fiction.’ If all goes as planned, ‘new technology will continue to make doc production cheaper and more accessible, and the market will improve.’

Libra: September 23 to October 22

You hate to compromise your ideals, but the kids are hungry and Mommy needs a new pair of heels. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Next year brings ‘more cheap non-fiction shows in the form of ‘docu-soaps’ and ‘reality’ TV that is made to look like one person directed all 25 of them.’ Don’t worry, you can still be optimistic ‘that quality, original, idiosyncratic one-off documentaries will prevail.’

Scorpio: October 23 to November 21

Try to secure a deal you’ve been working on before conditions shift. ‘Many of the cablers spent this year offering reruns. What few dollars went to producing new programming were for shows slated to air a year later. 2003 will be a hodgepodge of out-of-date programming, [and] subjects like the Middle East and the world economy won’t be served.’

Sagittarius: November 22 to December 21

There’s ‘little work’ in 2003, so wander far and wide for inspiration. ‘Too many people [are] pursuing the same, bankable story ideas…at the expense of less-known ideas,’ so keep your eyes open.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.