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2012: How was it for you?

As 2012 was in its dying embers, realscreen polled several members of the non-fiction production community to get their takes on the best and worst of the year. (Pictured: TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo)
January 4, 2013

As 2012 was in its dying embers, realscreen polled several members of the non-fiction production community to get their takes on the best and worst of the year.

 

Bruce David Klein
President and executive producer, Atlas Media Corp.

My favorite factual program/series of 2012 was: Hotel Impossible (yes, I’m shameless).

I never thought they’d make a program about: The Amish Mafia.

The program/series people will still be talking about in five years is: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (pictured above) – she’s only seven… think of her first date, her prom night, her wedding…

In 18 months, no one will be talking about: Homeland.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: Non-fiction networks experimenting with drama and non-fiction/drama hybrids.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: The continued increase in cord-cutting.

The idea I really wish I thought of was: Snapchat.
The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was: A format for a truly original psychic show – hopefully coming soon!

If 2012 taught me one thing it was: To encourage the unexpected.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2013 is: Cord-cutting.

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is: Eat more pizza.

 

Danny Fenton
CEO, Zig Zag Productions

My favorite factual program/series of 2012 was: Educating Essex.

I never thought they’d make a program about: A virgin school that teaches students how to be ‘deflowered.’

The program/series people will still be talking about in five years is: Our forthcoming show Otherkin – a documentary about a community that sees itself as partially or entirely non-human and that has a spiritual/ psychological identification with animals.

In 18 months, no one will be talking about: The Audience. Great idea but all style over content.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: People started putting the fun into factual and comic reality was born.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: The over-reliance on the fixed rig for documentaries in the UK; and in the U.S., the parochial constructed documentary trend.

The idea I really wish I thought of was: Guys & Dolls – the documentary about men and their relationship with their “love dolls.”

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was: You’ve Reached Your Final Destination – our quiz show idea that combines the holy trinity of an innovative idea, interactive components and brand investment.

If 2012 taught me one thing it was: Have courage in your convictions.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2013 is: Fixed rig.

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is: If someone says, “Surely that can’t be done,” that’s a good starting point.

 

Stephanie Drachkovitch
EVP and co-founder, 44 Blue Productions

My favorite factual program/series of 2012 was:  The Pitch.

I never thought they’d make a program about:  That’s a tough one, but probably exterminators and diving celebrities.

The program/series people will still be talking about in five years is:  Fiction: Homeland. Non-fiction: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

In 18 months, no one will be talking about:  Probably most things!

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: Networks being more about partnerships with producers, and execs being open to seeing simpler casting tapes vs. super-polished sizzles.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was:  The lack of interest in formats, and more and more decisions made by big groups and committees so it just takes longer to move things into action.

The idea I really wish I thought of was: The Pitch.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was: Married to the Army: Alaska.

If 2012 taught me one thing it was: Put everything in perspective… we’re lucky to be doing what we do for a living!

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2013 is: Bucket.

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is:  I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions… so keep on keepin’ on!

 

John Young
MD, Temple Street Productions

My favorite factual series of 2012 was: Top Gear (Guinness Book of Records‘ most watched factual show of all time).

I never thought they’d make a program about: A seven-year-old child beauty pageant contestant from McIntyre, Georgia.

The program/series people will still be talking about in five years is: Say Yes to the Dress or the latest manifestation… weddings will be around for a while yet.

In 18 months no one will be talking about: Astral Media as a separate legal entity.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: The growth of American networks and cable channels seeing Canadian producers as a great option (both creatively as well as financially) as they try to source the best possible content ideas.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was:  Best Funeral Ever… seriously?

The idea I really wish I thought of was: The Housewives franchise.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was:  Investing in Facebook (at $18).

If 2012 taught me one thing it was:  Standalone premium digital content will (soon) be a profitable business for content creators.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2013 is: Ecosystem or multi-platform… aghhh!

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is: Continue to grow Temple Street by adding new team members; support our new LA office; make quality TV; and lose 10lbs.

 

Eric Schotz
President and CEO, LMNO Productions

My favorite factual program/series of 2012 was: Catfish on MTV.

I never thought they’d make a program about: The Amish Mafia, but I am pitching Amish Mob Wives.

The program/series people will still be talking about in five years is: If I knew that I would be in Vegas betting it all on Red 5 in Roulette.

In 18 months, no one will be talking about: The X Factor.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: Rednecks are people too.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year was: The proliferation of highly constructed reality without disclaimers.

The idea I really wish I thought of was: Amish vs. Redneck Hand Fishing Championships in Alaska.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was: The Golden Sisters (even if it was two years in the making).

If 2012 taught me one thing it was: There is a way to shoot true confessions in a waxing salon without blurring.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2013 is: “We need big characters and diversity is important.”

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is: Stop trying to fight crazy.

 

 

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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