A few years ago, while I was still the editor of this fine publication, I received a call from a recruiter looking to hire an editor for a Canadian trade magazine – I think it was called Canadian Plumber. While I was diplomatically begging my leave, attempting to convince the gentleman that I probably wasn’t cut out for the job, he cut me off. ‘Are you editing a trade magazine now?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ I answered. ‘Well, don’t write it off,’ he said. ‘You’d be surprised. All trade magazines are pretty much alike.’
That gentleman was most definitely wrong.
This industry is fascinating, and the players are characters. Even the suits are characters, in their own way. The more I’ve learned about this industry, the more respect I have for the creativity and resiliency of the people in it. It’s the oddest, most remarkable mix of art and commerce. When launching RealScreen, we were often told it was folly to treat this industry as a business, but those people were wrong as well. Documentary and factual programming is indeed a business – though a quirky one – and I’ve got five volumes of magazines to prove it.
Having been with RealScreen through conception, birth and infancy, it’s difficult to cut ties. I’m sure I’ll look back on these years as some of the most challenging and fulfilling of my career. More memorable still are the individuals who have surrounded me here. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest, funniest, most ambitious people you’ll ever meet. All of the RealScreen products, including the RealScreen Summit, are examples of the fantastic things that can happen when talent and integrity meet hard work. It’s a privilege to have been associated with the team here.
It’s also been an honor to serve the producers, distributors, commissioning editors, buyers and all those who have thrown their support behind our efforts. At the beginning, our goal was to build a rapport with you. We figured if we proved ourselves to be credible and indispensable, and delivered our information with style and fun, you would support us. Support us you did, wholeheartedly, and the endorsement of so many fine people over the years has been key to our success. I’m sure this happy affiliation will continue for many years to come.
Oh my. It’s been a trip, and one mother-of-a learning experience. (I’ll always think of RealScreen as my own personal MBA.) Having been a part of this will always make me proud. My thanks to you all.
Mary Ellen Armstrong
P.S. Please keep in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org