People/Biz

Realscreen’s year-end survey: Tim Duffy, Ugly Brother

As the year draws to a close, realscreen has quizzed figures from across the factual spectrum for their 2014 highlights, lowlights, reflections and future aspirations. Tim Duffy (pictured), co-founder of Ugly Brother Studios, offers his two cents.
December 18, 2014

As the year draws to a close, realscreen has quizzed figures from across the factual spectrum for their 2014 highlights, lowlights, reflections and future aspirations. Tim Duffy (pictured), co-founder of Ugly Brother Studios, offers his two cents.

My favorite factual or unscripted series/program of the past year was:

Dogs of War on A&E is ballsy, original, emotional and well-produced.

I never thought they’d make a program about:

Dating naked.

The program/series/doc people will still be talking about five years from now is:

ABC Family’s My Transparent Life. The show sounds fascinating, innovative and important.

In 18 months, no one will be talking about:

“Docu-series” that focus on dudes with ZZ Top-style beards.

 The idea I wish I’d thought of from this past year was:

Surviving Naked Storage Hunter Wars.

The idea I’m most glad that I had this year was:

Just one? My favorites are the shows we have in development with Spike, ABC Family, E! and NBC.

The most positive development in the non-fiction content industry in 2014 was:

Big media is slowly but surely beginning to embrace the reality of how viewers consume their media: anywhere, anytime.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction content industry in 2014 was:

The pace of decision-making with networks. As a former buyer, I find this market to be shockingly slow. This is clearly due to increased scrutiny on creative executives which is due to decreased ratings.

But the problem isn’t with the network execs – it’s with measurement of audiences. Until networks solidify a monetization strategy for ‘TV Everywhere,’ producers and buyers will be saddled with a sluggish market.

If 2014 taught me one thing, it was:

It’s a toss-up between two things: 1) Hunker down and adjust to a slower-moving marketplace, or 2) Eat less carbs.

If forced to choose, the safe bet would be “eat less carbs,” because this marketplace – and how viewers consume our stories – is changing faster than any of us can possibly imagine. What an amazing time to be making TV!

The buzzword I don’t want to hear in 2015:

It’s more of a phrase: ‘OK, let me talk to the team.’ Creativity by committee kills creativity. In my experience, great ideas need champions, not group-think.

My New Year’s resolution for 2015 is:

Continue to work hard and find great stories to tell. I still can’t believe that we get paid to entertain people – every show we make is a blessing.

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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