So what are we going to call the decade we’ve just embarked upon? I’ve done a little research and have been unsuccessful thus far in unearthing a name that’s been universally embraced. Still, my research – which consisted of Googling, exploring Wikipedia and reading postings on LinkedIn – did get me thinking about what has transpired since the dreaded Y2K (remember that?) and what we have to look forward to in the next 10 years – that is if we make it past 2012!
Some people who know me consider me a bit of a technophobe, or at the very least a late adopter and I certainly do not claim to be any kind of expert on media technology. But I still Google everything, have an iPod, a wireless laptop, BlackBerry, PVR, big HD flat screen TV and built-in Bluetooth to enable hands-free conversation while driving. I can’t wrap my head around Twitter and I cancelled my Facebook account, but in the past 10 years I have most certainly changed the way I consume media and communicate with friends and for business.
It really is amazing how fast this has all come and what’s more amazing is that this is really just the beginning. In 2000 producers and broadcasters were really just thinking about how they should respond to HD technology. Now that it’s the expected format for delivery, they have to get their heads around 3D, coming very soon to a couch near you.
Which brings me to my initial inspiration for these ramblings. Of course producers in this factual space – whether they are blue-chip doc or reality TV producers – have had to be as nimble as any producer in any other genre when it comes to adapting to technology. But what they have also had to contend with is the world’s desire for instant gratification and a sudden interest in the most intimate goings on in the lives of both celebrities and everyday people. And that is why the future of factual is bright. No matter whether it’s a hard-hitting documentary about the unconscionable slaying of dolphins in the ocean off Japan, or a series about a baker who makes fancy cakes – it’s real. And thankfully for producers and broadcasters dealing in factual entertainment, that is what audiences want.
I’m taking advantage of this space to acknowledge the incredible support of the advisory board for the Realscreen Summit, which is at press time on track to shatter attendance records. Nancy Dubuc and Howard T. Owens went above and beyond in helping to shape the content and attract some of the biggest names in the industry as guest speakers. Every other member of the panel was instrumental in some way in putting together a conference schedule to be reckoned with. So to Nancy, Howard, Caroline, Frances, Chris, Tony, Carl, Jonathan, Stephen, Lance, Gena and John – a heartfelt and huge ‘thank you.’
’til next time, go well