Formats

Realscreen West ’14 preview: Formats, mergers, celebreality and more

Real-time unscripted content, rights discussions, emerging trends in M&A, producing celebreality and the need to reinvigorate reality programming are among the topics and trends to be examined at the upcoming Realscreen West market and conference in Santa Monica.
June 3, 2014

Real-time unscripted content, rights discussions, emerging trends in M&A, producing celebreality and the need to reinvigorate reality programming are among the topics and trends to be examined at the upcoming Realscreen West market and conference in Santa Monica.

Taking place at the Loews Beach Hotel on June 4 and 5, Realscreen West will kick off with a frank discussion about the state of creativity in unscripted programming today. “Refreshing Reality”, moderated by NHNZ’s EVP of development and production Phil Fairclough, will examine whether there is a creative crisis in the reality content industry at present, and if there is, how can programmers and producers collaborate to reinvigorate the genre.

Panelists include Fenton Bailey, co-founder of World of Wonder; Alan Braun, agent at Creative Artists Agency; Nancy Daniels, general manager at TLC; Stephen Lambert, chairman of All3Media America; Jonathan Murray, chairman of Bunim/Murray Productions and Rob Sharenow, EVP and general manager at Lifetime.

Formats will be in focus through two sessions over the course of the event, with the Format Recognition and Protection Association presenting “How to Fight for Your Rights… And Win!”, a look at how producers can use various methods to retain various rights to their IP moderated by Absolutely Independent president and CEO Patty Geneste; and “Global Format Hot Spots”, which will bring together format producers and distributors from various regions around the world to highlight what’s working in formats in different markets, and where U.S. producers should be looking to both sell their own formats and adapt others for the American market. The Format People’s Michel Rodrigue moderates.

Innovation in unscripted will be highlighted in various sessions, including “Real-time Reality”, moderated by Shira Lazar and looking at the developing link between social media platforms and interactivity, and reality and game programming; and “Risky Reality”, moderated by Original Productions’ CEO and executive producer Philip Segal, and discussing edgy programming making its way to U.S. cable networks and the challenges in producing and airing such content.

Opportunities in producing for emerging digital platforms will be discussed in “Digital Dollars and Sense”, moderated by TAPP TV co-founder and CTO Michael Greer; while the emergence of the “mega indie” and new trends in mergers and acquisitions will be the focus of “Enter the Mega-Indie”, featuring Leftfield Entertainment CEO Brent Montgomery, About Corporate Finance CEO Thomas Dey, High Noon Entertainment business affairs EVP Brad Miller, ITV Studios U.S. Group EVP of business affairs Ivan Garel-Jones, and Matthew Thompson, partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

The state of affairs for women in the unscripted content industry will be examined via “Reality Check: Women in Unscripted”, moderated by Nicole Page, partner at Reavis Parent Lehrer and featuring T-Group Productions’ Jenny Daly, Shed Media US’ Pam Healey, Spike TV EVP Sharon Levy, HGTV/DIY Network GM Allison Page, TruTV programming SVP Marissa Ronca and ICM agent Lori York.

Also on tap: a look at producing celebreality via the “Multiple Realities” session, moderated by World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato and featuring CeeLo Green; a discussion of crafting the ultimate sizzle reel in “Tape Talk: Finding the A-ha! Moment”, moderated by Scott Free EVP Mary Lisio; discussions of reinvigorating and remodelling production and programming via “Remake/Remodel”, moderated by Atlas Media Corp’s Bruce David Klein, and “Raised on Reality: The Next Gen Talks Unscripted”, moderated by Ardaban’s Chachi Senior; and lessons to learn from both sides of the network/prodco dynamic in “The Grass is Always Greener”, moderated by Tim Duffy of Ugly Brothers Studios.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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