At Media Summit New York this past week you could have walked in on dozens of sessions with titles from Merging Content with New Technologies and Hollywood, Television and the Digital Consumer to It’s not TV, it’s Social – Reinventing the Small Screen.
That’s right. No surprise if you’ve been tracking this, but the annual Media Summit New York, produced by Digital Hollywood, is deep into every last aspect of our ever morphing digital multi-verse. One session was devoted to the now de rigueur mentions of cord cutting, where cable operators tremble at the thought of becoming just another ‘dumb pipe’.
The major players are scrambling. You could find Verizon FIOS TV’s Jason Henderson and NBC/Universal’s Pam Schechter on a panel along with Emil Rensing of EPIX and Fanhattan’s Kelly Egan. The latter two–who represent an Internet streaming service and a “digital entertainment discovery service”–are just the sort to take the fight for eyeballs to traditional distribution.
Meanwhile, television stars showed up to prove they can reinvent themselves too. Adrian Grenier of HBO’s Entourage announced a new iPad app called “Reckless Adrian Grenier” that promised to offer “maybe the most intimate way yet” to bond with his fans.
On a more relevant note, the actor is also the president of independent production company Reckless Productions which is hoping to “express indie ideas”. According to Georg Szalai in the Hollywood Reporter, Grenier displayed that indie cred by stating “Big studios are just a system that exacts leverage with audiences. But that’s all different now.” The actor plans to use the iPad app to build “another layer of engagement” with a prior film of his that he is now taking on tour to college audiences.
Twitter and Facebook got credit from Marc DeBevoise, senior vp and general manager, entertainment, CBS Interactive. Social media posts are driving audiences and creating revenue for the CBS.com site, he said.
I can recommend this jampacked conference as a useful for anyone trying to get a handle on the intersecting of social media and creative motion media. If this sounds the least bit intriguing, check into the info page on a very similar event due in the fall, the Digital Hollywood New York conference.
Meanwhile, here are three short portraits of speakers at the conference with something to say to independent producers in New York.
At Digital Hollywood, Emil Rensing, the Chief Technical Officer at multi-play distributor EPIX, discusses the unique position his company commands. Rensing also notes how EPIX–a joint venture of Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM studios–works with indie producers.
At Digital Hollywood, Eric Mortensen, Senior Director of Network Programming at Blip, presents his view on entrepreneurship and independent producers. Blip, which produces original web series, supports and celebrates indie productions that attempt new and different approaches to entertainment.
At Digital Hollywood, Gary Delfiner, senior vice president, digital distribution at Screen Media Ventures, explains what it takes to place your production into the ever morphing universe of new media as well as the more traditional route of television stations, cable networks, and home video outlets.