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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
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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