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Realscreen’s year-end survey: Ed Crick, Tern TV

As the year draws to a close, realscreen has quizzed figures from across the factual spectrum for their 2013 highlights, lowlights, reflections and future aspirations. Tern Television's creative director, Ed Crick (pictured), shares his thoughts.
December 16, 2013

As the year draws to a close, realscreen has quizzed figures from across the factual spectrum for their 2013 highlights, lowlights, reflections and future aspirations. Tern Television’s creative director, Ed Crick (pictured), shares his thoughts.

My favorite factual program of 2013 was:

The Channel 4/Nat Geo copro made by Icon Films, Bigfoot Files, delivered a finely balanced mix of popular mainstream adventure with a pinch of hokum underpinned by a bucket load of science.

I never thought they’d make a program about:

Fish tanks.

The program people will be talking about in five years is:

Space Jump Live, due to the combination of online streaming, a global partner brand…  oh, and the small matter of a man jumping from space. Not the world’s most memorable program in terms of narrative or creatively, but as an outlier of what global content can be and needs to be, I think it’s highly significant.

In 18 months, no one will be talking about:

Twerking.

The best factual content I’ve seen online this year was:

The statistical analysis by Hans Rosling at the start of Don’t Panic: The Truth about Population, which I watched on BBC iPlayer. Original, entertaining and highly informative.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry this past year:

The willingness across all networks to test new storytelling methods to engage audiences.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry this past year:

Clearly scripted documentary being passed off as “genuine.” By all means do it, but be honest about that.

The idea I really wish I thought of was:

Naked and Afraid.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was:

Spoof! Way outside our normal output, this is a game show with simple, addictive play-along, and a clever “thing” for viewers to engage with. Securing the team who made Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? as partners convinced us this is a winner.

If 2013 taught me one thing it was:

That bringing a creative commodity – talent, access, format, tape – to pitch beats everything hands down.

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2014 is:

“Authenticity.” To paraphrase Inigo Montoya: “I don’t think you know what that means…”

My New Year’s resolution for 2014 is:

To take bigger risks and have a semi-calculated swing for the fences every now and then.

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