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A love for the irrational

The last official day of summer was September 23 according to my calendar, but somehow the warm-and-lazy months always seem to end abruptly at the beginning of that month. I'm sure that feeling harkens back to my school days, but it has followed me into my working life, too. The reason is mipcom.
October 1, 2003

The last official day of summer was September 23 according to my calendar, but somehow the warm and lazy months always seem to end abruptly at the beginning of that month. I’m sure that feeling harkens back to my school days, but it has followed me into my working life, too. The reason is MIPCOM.

Preparations for the annual October TV market in Cannes start the first day of September and continue right up until the day we step on a plane, and I don’t just mean here at RealScreen. Every company that plans to attend kicks into high gear around that time – like race horses out of the gate, it’s full gallop until we reach the watering hole.

The lead-up to this year’s MIPCOM was tinged with melancholy for me, as I won’t be found walking around the Palais or lunching on the Croisette or sipping kir royales at the Martinez. I’ve got a baby on board, so to speak, so I’m out of commission this time around. Instead, RealScreen will be ably represented by newly appointed associate editor Kimberley Brown (congrats, KB!) and executive editor Mary Maddever.

It surprised me a little that I am disappointed to be missing a MIP. The first time in attendance is exciting, but by the fifth or sixth time, it’s old hat. Along with other market veterans, I began to question whether two MIPs per year is even necessary, especially given the high volume of events that now fill the calendar. But, I’ve lately come to the conclusion that as long as Reed Midem deems it profitable to host MIPTV (and MIPDOC) in the spring and MIPCOM in the fall, people will continue to go. It all boils down to what one producer described to me as the irrational side to this industry.

‘If you were in the business of cars and you were buying 100,000 ball bearing for your engines,’ he said, ‘you wouldn’t care if you once had an affair with the guy who makes them, or were slighted by the woman who forms the engines.’ But, in the TV industry, whole companies have developed on the strength of their personal relationships. For many it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. For me, it’s a pleasant mixture of both.

So, though I’m with the mag for one more issue, I won’t see most of you until next autumn. Best of luck on the market floor and building new relationships.

Oh, and for fans of the kir royale like myself, I have it on good authority that the perfect elixir is one part kir to nine parts champagne, so don’t let any snobby French waiter give you anything less. Happy MIP.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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