Meet the financiers of innovation and cross-media
by Ernesto Leotta
- CANNES NEXT: London-based company Power to the Pixel brought out world-famous creative industry backers at NEXT 2015
For the second year in a row at NEXT, Liz Rosenthal's Power to the Pixel set up an intense special session, aimed at presenting new solutions in terms of cross-media financing and audience engagement.
This time, Rosenthal gathered together five international heavyweights in commissioning innovation, inviting them to share their personal experiences and views about future business models for transmedia.
After quickly introducing her company's mission – among others, helping producers to adapt to changing audience behaviour – Rosenthal addressed the key role of the story: "Stories have become living entities; they are shared, discussed and re-mixed around us every day. No story exists in one media format or on one platform – it is thus fundamental to adopt a user-centric approach when developing a project, rather than a platform-centric one. In doing so, your project will be ready in less than one year, and the overall cost will be much lower than before. Fans and followers are the new currency."
She then passed the microphone to the other speakers, starting with Gilles Freissinier, head of the web department at ARTE, who stressed the importance of co-producing worldwide, always trying out new ways of telling stories. One of the ARTE-powered projects he's most proud of is Fort McMoney, a documentary game that virtually reimagines Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, engaging players from across the world in a collective experience.
SODEC's president and CEO, Monique Simard, was next up, and she tackled the disappointing economic situation of today’s cultural industry. "Telecommunication companies are the ones keeping all of the money," said Simard, "and that's where we should turn to. Those who don't believe in transmedia are neglecting the most democratic form of communication – the only one that lets anyone's voice and ideas be heard by audiences all over the world."
Nevertheless, some reassuring words came from Creative Europe's head of MEDIA unit, Lucia Recalde: "Our intention is to set up a budget of €120 million for loans and to foster young talents from the very beginning." Creative England CEO Caroline Norbury was also upbeat: "It's true that we're funded by the government, but we're not afraid to take risks. So far, we've recouped 60% of the loans we gave out, and we're satisfied with that."
The conference was then wrapped up by Wallimage's (and Cineuropa's) Domenico La Porta, who illustrated the company's achievements in terms of innovation financing, and then announced the launch of the Wallonia Fund, worth €100,000, expected to be introduced by next September.