Archive for January, 2006

Closed business?

Friday, January 13th, 2006

Given the pervasiveness of broadcast and cable television entertainment- it is what passes for culture for the majority of the population of the industrialized and even developing world- and the incredible demand for distinct and unique programming to attract that audience, one might expect that the industry would have developed a very sophisticated funnel for attracting and filtering the raw material for this voracious beast called television.
Yes and no. It has developed a sophisticated apparatus, and it certainly does filter. It isn’t open though, especially when it comes to new ideas. While the majority of my experience has been in introducing new methods and technology, this exploration of the development side has confirmed and paralleled that previous experience.
The industry as currently configured is so risk averse, and so consumed and self referencing that it has a very difficult time accepting change.
This fits with the current wrestle with the big issues of the time- piracy, digital distribution, dealing with customers instead of consumers. In each area, the existing closed walls have made it very difficult, if not impossible, for there to be a vision of how the industry could work better.
In the case of this show, the funnel for finding new material appears inverted. In spite of many connections within the field, the openings for actually pitching our idea are few. The people gatekeeping are concerned with what has been a flood of projects, mostly about hurricanes, and are desparate to avoid political ramifications. The fact that our project offers a multitude of ways to explore the impacts of climate on the public in a familiar dramatic format, and that our principal sponsor is also interested in keeping political aspects out of the picture, there is a limited listening.
That said, the history, and method to the industry, is to keep knocking at the doors. Eventually, history says, someone will hear opportunity.