Sunday, October 26, 2008

The rise of social media entertainment

I've just spent two days at the SPAA Fringe Conference in Sydney and I have to admit I've come over all inspired. For two days at the Chauvel Cinema, a throng of rowdy film makers, TV types, producers and the rest gathered to share ideas, swap stories and rub shoulders with the funding bods and those that make decisions about the projects gracing both our big and small screens. (Watch out for Rendered Life - winner of the SDA pitch competition, it's a story set inside the internet about the adventures of two postal workers who actually deliver all our mail).

Towards the end of Friday, I began to get a bit twitchy. I started tapping my foot at the roundtables and fidgeting in the plenarys. Because if there was one thing that was notably absent from discussions it was....audiences. That's right, the very people we were ultimately gathered together to serve and who are in effect, the executives with real power in the entertainment business.

Thankfully, the awesome Gary Hayes turned up bright and early on Saturday morning and gave an enthralling talk on social media entertainment and the rise of virtual worlds. You can see his presentation here.  

The other surprising thing was even after admitting my branded intentions, no one hunted me down in the bathroom and held me hostage under the hair dryer. In fact it prompted some unexpected conversations including one with Mike Cowap from Screen Australia on his organisation's view of funding models which incorporate brand involvement.

Well done to the SPAA folks for a really stimulating couple of days.

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