Thursday, June 22, 2006

Promax/BDA 2006 - Wednesday Rundown (Part 2)

After a short break in Outlook 2006, John Miller came on and introduced a strange video. It featured Megan Mullally and she went on about her lifelong dream to host Promax/BDA. John Miller was in the video, looking sinister (with an eyepatch) as the evil guy who wouldn't let her host, until she saved his life by knocking him out of the path of a speeding electric car. The video ended and Megan Mullally came out on stage. She sang and danced about hosting Promax. It was weird.

After that, Larry King and Mike Wallace came out on stage for a Q&A and to be presented with awards. They were asked a lot of questions and Larry King made fun of Mike Wallace for being older than him. Mike Wallace had a hard time hearing questions and was not as good at off the cuff responses. One interesting question asked by an audience member was if there was something that the public might not know about them. Larry King said he had an affinity for cowboy boots. Mike Wallace talked about a long, but ultimately successful struggle against depression (including an attempted or contemplated suicide 20 years ago). They were given awards for their long careers as interviewers and journalists.

To wrap up the Outlook 2006 session, Malcom Gladwell came on stage and talked about decision making. He told the story of how the Getty museum acquired a supposed ancient Greek Kuros statue that turned out to be fake. Originally, all of the scientists, geologists, archeologists and lawyers they hired to methodically examine it concluded that it was real after a long period of study. Experts on ancient greek art, however, were able to tell it as fake instantly upon seeing it. He went over what makes and expert an expert and how they are able to make accurate judgments so quickly.

I didn't stay until Malcom Gladwell finished because Lawrence called and said he was in the exhibition hall. I went down there and found him by the Apple demo area. He signed up for every Apple demo that day (Shake, etc.). We talked for a while and then I went out alone to find lunch.

I wanted to eat lunch quickly and get back for the Broadband Design for Networks session. I walked toward 8th Ave (thinking it would be less crowded than Times Square) looking for a hole-in-the-wall deli or pizza place. I decided I had walked far enough and turned and walked into Frankie and Johnny's Steakhouse (I'm not sure what I was thinking either). I went in thinking of ordering the $8 caesar salad, but it seemed a little fancy, so I ordered the $15 chicken caesar salad. The service was anything but quick. The waiter and bus-boy kept arguing in several languages. The bus-boy finally brought a plate (about 15 min) with a chicken cutlet, melted cheese and bacon. Perplexed, I informed the bus-boy and then the waiter that I ordered a salad. They took it back and brought my food 20 minutes later. By now the lunch crowd was gone and I was almost alone in the restaurant. I ate my salad, which was okay (but not worth $15), paid, and left going over the blunder that had been my lunch. I should have gone to McDonalds.

Luckily, I got to Broadband Design for Networks just as it was starting. It was an interesting panel of industry professionals, including Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios. User created content was something they said was of crucial importance. There is a culture of fear among advertisers due to audience fragmentation and technological change. They also said people still watch regular old TV and TV advertising, which I had taken as granted. They said scripted drama was coming back. Word of mouth is a strong tool for reaching niches. People still want stories. Stories can be in station/channel IDs that are 5 seconds long. Since the platforms are not linear, these can be 5 seconds, 2 minutes, or however long they have to be depending on what they are and the platform. Kids don't know that a TV show is 30 minutes long, to them, it can be 2 minutes and still be a show. They said that advertisers don't know what they want. Fred Seibert has a podcast called VOD Cars, it is the most viewed automotive video podcast on the internet. They have and average of 300,000 viewers per episode. Most episodes consist of amateur footage sent in by viewers of their cars. Lamborghini gave them over $1 million worth of footage to use as they please, so Fred used this high quality footage to make a high quality episode. Lamborghini got to 300,000 eyeballs for free, and Fred looked good for having some high quality footage. In another episode, a viewer sent in footage of a Corvette blowing up in an unofficial race. GM liked it so much, they bought a block (Fred did not elaborate on "block"). Advertising is the way Fred makes money, his content is freely downloadable. On Fred's other podcasts, artists get exposure (and sales) and Fred gets content. They said that Nielson might soon (or is) measuring integrated impact of media outlets. Alan Schulman, chief creative officer of Brand New World, said that there will never be an algorithm or formula for, we need stories, not science. There is a tension between art and science. Online, you have to be exciting and you have to be the MOST exciting or you viewer will click over to the competition.


Metrics: Measures used to indicate progress or achievement.

Mobisode: a media industry term for a broadcast television episode specially made for viewing on a mobile telephone screen and usually of short duration.

I went to the State of Design session for a few minutes, but they were just showing promos and that bored me.

I went to Live What You Love, a session featuring entrepreneurs Bob and Melinda Blanchard. The said that with ingenuity and innovation, you can love your work. It is a matter of will. Never say no to a great idea. At the same time, you can't completely throw practicality out the door (although using your life savings to open a restaurant in a Caribbean island seems somewhat impractical to me, which is what they did). You need to determine the ingredients you need and the steps you need to take to use them. Their three steps were reflect (what excites you?), ask (even ask yourself out loud), and then act. Act on your big ideas. Manage and replace fear with facts. Do not let fear stop you. It is okay to fail if you pick yourself up again.

I then went down to the Animation Evolution session, by Blue Sky director Carlos Saldanha. He showed a lot of his work from Joe's Apartment, Ice Age, Robots, and Ice Age 2. It was mildly interesting, but I was tired and decided to go home.

Walking back to Penn, I observed the way people walk (I have been reading Richard Williams' Animation Survival Kit). Earlier in the day, some people had a definite snap in the side to side motion of their heads as they walked. Later in the day, there was a lot less snap. I guess people were tired.


Post a Comment

<< Home