Future Vision

WHETHER  you celebrate on January 1 or another date (Chinese New Year is just around the corner) - New Year’s is a reflection of new beginnings, new hopes, and new commitments to change.  

In 2013, media achieved some amazing milestones and shed some of the trappings of tradition that has held it back from fully embracing the digital age.  Among those milestones, the mythology of film’s presumed hierarchy over television gave way, talent and money crossed freely between film and TV, media companies posted record earnings as a result of changes brought on by the Golden Age of Television, and Netflix taught us in more ways than one that embracing the digital age can only spur more creativity and more revenues.

So how can we top 2013?  Here are a few suggestions for a new and better 2014 media world.

*WOMEN AND CREATIVITY – It’s wonderful to see that Jane Campion has been named the jury president of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival but hard to believe that we still... read more...

MAGIC and witchcraft are back in again. Nearly two decades after Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer put a spell on a whole generation of young women and girls, TV, film and books are alive with spellbinding tales of witchcraft and enchantment. 

What's it all about? It's not exactly rocket science when one considers that times haven't changed that much in the last  two decades since Charmed and Buffy spun coming of age tales for young women and tweenaged girls. Let's take a look.

An annual US study called the Celluloid Ceiling Report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that women directors in 2012 comprised only nine per cent of helmers working on the top 250 highest grossing US films, the same level it was 15 years ago.  Only four women have ever been nominated for an Oscar for best director by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Kathryn Bigelow was the only woman to ever win it in the academy’s 85-year history.  The... read more...

THE 209-year old family owned Bonnier Group knows how to see the big picture. Here, Ulrika Saxon, CEO of Bonnier Growth Media (BGM), the company that oversees Svensk Filmindustri (SF) and a raft of other TV and film shingles, talks up the future.

Q. SF celebrates its 95th birthday next year, making it one of the oldest film companies in the world. But these days, the talk of the industry is the crossover of film talent and money to TV. Cinema is no longer the first window. What’s your take on this?

A. I agree, although I might say, on many levels, there is nothing like the silver screen.  At BGM, we don’t see cinema facing the same level of disruption as the rest of the film value chain. There is no question in our minds that cinema will be an important window for many years to come. We do, by the way, hold a significant share in the Nordic Cinema Group, the largest cinema chain in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Q. There are...

PLENTY, if the 65th Prime Time Emmy Awards on September 22 is any touchstone for the future.

Many of the winners and nominees for the Emmys read like a Who’s Who of the movie world. Critics had plenty to say about the ceremony, both good and bad, but the awards themselves, seen by some 17.6 million viewers around the world, were but a glimmer of how much talent is now, and will in the future, be migrating to TV from the film industry. More than that, it is a sign of an industry toddling towards maturity with a new vision of itself and its creative boundaries.

Steven Soderbergh, Michael Douglas, Jeff Daniels, Claire Danes, Laura Linney, and David Fincher took to the stage to pick up their prizes for best performances in TV land. All had spent the better part of their careers in the film industry, with an occasional wander from time to time over to the halls of TV. Emmy nominees for 2013 also included Oscar winners Julian Fellowes, Kevin Spacey, Tom Stoppard... read more...

Film has been the lifeblood of the Svensk Filmindustri (SF) for 95 years. Now, film industry veteran and long time SF group topper Rasmus Ramstad says SF is upping its game on the TV side with the launch of new TV drama division Sonet Television.

Q. We’ve seen over the last few years that film is no longer automatically the first window that drives everything else.

A. Yes. Absolutely. Film is still critical both artistically and financially but TV has now become enormously important, part of the reason our mission in Cannes is to announce our new television division, Sonet Television.

Q. So aside from the launch, what’s your mission on the TV side here in Cannes? 

A.  We’re here to talk to co-producers and interest them in working with us on high quality drama which will be Sonet Television’s main brief, if you will.

Q. There’s plenty to interest them, if your history is any... read more...

Veteran filmmaker Tom Jennings has picked up a pack of awards in his career, the latest the George Foster Peabody Award for MLK:The Assassination Tapes. He tells Future Vision why archival footage will continue as a creative driver in decades ahead. 

Q. Cutting edge technology is changing our lives by the nanosecond. How can paying attention to the past help us carve out the future?

A. Exploring the past helps us see who we were and what we’ve become. Take MLK: The Assassination Tapes. As producers, we could see that the vernacular, the language if you will, of daily life in the South of the US had changed. At the same time, it became abundantly clear as we were filming how little some attitudes had changed. So from my point of view, paying attention to the past is a way of gauging our progress as individuals and as societies.

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Busan, home to the prestigious Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), has big plans to become the new film capital of Asia. In this Q&A, Busan Film Commission head of production support Phil Choy talks up the city's new media future.   

Q. You’ve been with the Busan Film Commission (BFC) for 11 years. How has the city become more user- friendly to the film industry?

A. BFC launched in 1999, three years after the film festival started. It was a time when finding locations to shoot in Busan was nearly impossible. The city had no film infrastructure but what it did have was a fantastic harbour, a city filled with old factories, and amazing potential.

Q. Well, in fact, the potential has played out very well, if last year is... read more...

Adventurer and creative visionary Morten Aass, CEO of the Nordic region’s largest independent group of creative production companies, tells Future Vision the media industry must learn both to communicate with younger generations and hire more young talent.

Q. It’s now been almost 18 months since nice Group was launched as a rebrand of the Northern Alliance Group. How’s that going?

 A. Any experiment throws out challenges but collectively nice Entertainment is now producing over 100 series a year, with 65-70% based on our own ideas. It’s not a bad track record so far.

 Q. The business model favours the...

Content creators need to embrace new and sophisticated technology at lightning speeds. That’s the word from top Korean media veteran Sara Han-Williams. She tells Future Vision the industry still focuses far too much on traditional TV when it comes to content creation and delivery.

Q. Digital has caused a seismic change in the media world. How has it affected your business?

A. All of my companies, Neon Pumpkin, Neon Creation and Pixtrend, have jumped on the digital train and it has, indeed, given our business new life. Our original content is all developed as 3D CGI series. But we also still do a considerable amount of service work for 2D digital, and conversion from 2D to 3D. This steady flow of revenues from our service work provides us with the means to develop and produce our original creations.

Q. You’ve just clinched several important deals, one to co-produce the stereoscopic 3D live action film Razor for... read more...

A tech-edgy media industry ravenously hungry for IP is upping the stakes when it comes to format rights protection, industry veteran, founder and CEO of Absolutely Independent and the new chair of FRAPA. tells Future Vision. 

Q. You’ve been in the business of creativity for quite a while now. Passion is probably a given but what other ingredients are key to creating a successful format?

A. Well, actually, it may sound odd but keeping it simple can be very important. A lot of people come up with a strong concept, but then they start thinking they need to build a big show around it. That's where they run into trouble.

Q. So the idea gets lost in the fray?

A. Not always, but it can happen. Respecting your gut feeling, that little voice inside of you that tells you you are on the right track, is... read more...