The RealScreen Summit held in Washington, D.C. in February was a whopping success with a record 953 attendees from 16 countries, a 23% increase over last year’s event. And post-event stats show that 95% of you would recommend the conference to others. As you can infer from Mary Maddever’s editorial, doc-maker Albert Maysles’ keynote roused us all, resulting in the first standing ovation in the event’s history. I must say that the number of groupies enveloping him at the end of his speech may have rivaled those of John, Paul, George and Ringo in The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit DVD he’s been recently promoting.
Congrats and thank you to those who participated in our first annual Speed Pitching and our ever- popular Pitch It! competition. Our Pitch It! winner was Scott Tiffany of Time Frame Films for his project America Cracked: Life and Times of a Psycho Surgeon, which had men and women alike squirming in their chairs (invite him to pitch you, you’ll see why). For his pitching prowess, Tiffany walked away with a brand new DVX1000 camera presented by Panasonic.
If you’re like me, you often sit at your desk wondering where the money is. There are no seedlings for cash-bearing trees to be found anywhere on the Internet, I checked thoroughly, but we at RealScreen have done our best to poll the industry for the genre-specific license fee info featured in our sixth annual Factual Price Guide (page 53). In a market as volatile as non-fiction TV, it’s difficult to gauge averages on deals that vary vastly on a case-by-case basis, but we believe it’s important to have some yardstick – not only as a tool for future sales planning, but to help judge where your deals fall in the range of those submitted by your competitors. Feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, we are pleased to be the official co-organizer of the conference program for MIPDOC. Now in its seventh year, MIPDOC has become a regular part of the circuit, and the team at Reed Midem have been working to grow the event into an even stronger business platform for non-fiction TV execs. In the interest of bolstering this effort, we are happy to collaborate. Building on the success of our RealScreen Summit content, we worked with MIPDOC to create several conference sessions that give you an opportunity to ask questions and share knowledge with your non-fiction mentors, clients and colleagues. A bit of extra networking time doesn’t hurt either!
MIPDOC/RealScreen sessions include a Q&A on the state of the non-fiction industry with international programmers (Discovery, ARTE, ABC, CBC, NDR, YLE); case studies on innovative productions, strategies and companies that are redefining success in non-fiction programming; and a workshop led by Ann Julienne, France 5′s head of acquisitions and copros, that breaks down the elements of international co-financing agreements. The RealScreen team and I look forward to seeing you there. Or on the patio at the Noga. Or on the Croisette. Or at the Palais…
On the road in the coming weeks you’ll find our team out in force – editor Mary Maddever, senior writer Kristen Vinakmens, associate publisher Paula McLaren, account manager Kelvin Venne and myself will be in Cannes for MIPDOC/MIPTV; associate editor Kimberley Brown will be at the Israel Forum for International Documentary Co-productions; senior staff writer Matt Sylvain will be refreshing his tech-speak at NAB; and of course we’ll all be out and about in our hometown of Toronto during the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Give us a shout to set up a meeting at any of these events.
Donna MacNeil, Publisher