In 1997, realscreen published its first issue. Over the past two decades, we’ve charted the evolution of the non-fiction content industry, chronicled the rise of reality, and explored the emergence of new platforms aplenty. In honor of 20 years of realscreen, we’ve rounded up several top producers and network execs to discuss the evolution of your industry, from their perspectives, in our Real Deal Q&A series.
Founder & CEO, Armoza Formats
As an integral part of the success of what is now a global formats industry, what do you see as the most positive trend over the last several years?
The world becoming “flat,” and the ability of many players from all around the world to take part in the international creative play. When we look back 10-15 years ago, the business was pretty much dominated by the U.S., the UK and the Netherlands. We were very lucky to be there at that point and to even be a strong part in this movement towards showing the international market that creativity can come from anywhere. You need to be open.
What has been your favorite unscripted format over the past couple of decades?
Every format needs a strong, unique twist in terms of its storytelling. One of my favorite examples of that is The Voice. When you change the point of view, it’s enabling you to tell the true story. In a singing show, you want to be judged by listening. The dramatic element of the turning of the chair and shifting the power from the celebrity to the talent — that, for me, is a perfect example of a strong format element that can dramatically change the storytelling in what we would normally see in a singing competition.
What will be the biggest development for the formats industry by the time 2020 rolls around?
Although you can look at the financial element of the consolidation process… I think it will create quite a big gap in creativity within the international industry, which, at the end of the day, will attract new players, or current players that are nimble enough to adapt themselves to this new reality and be quick enough to come up with new, strong creative solutions. This process of consolidation is opening opportunities for new and existing players to find a different way to bridge the lack of creativity that is caused by it.
What words of wisdom would the 2017 Avi Armoza offer the 2007 Avi Armoza about navigating the industry?
That’s a tough question. The key element for me to learn was “it is possible.” We were entering the field with superpower companies — global conglomerates. But you have to remember that this is the business of “not knowing.” Neither the big conglomerates nor the broadcasters know what the next big success is. What I tell myself and my team is you’re as good as your next format, not your last one. In this industry, you can’t blink for a second.