Cross Video Days ends on a high note
by Ernesto Leotta
- Our journey into the world of digital wrapped up with more conferences, a case study and an exciting awards ceremony
The second half of Cross Video Days 2015 had a lot in store for its attendees, starting early on 12 June at Les Docks de Paris. A huge crowd was already sitting in the conference room at 9:30 am, eager to hear the latest about “Monetisation and Business Models” in the digital era.
Interactive author Benjamin Hoguet introduced the subject and welcomed the experts on stage, who included the likes of Charles Ganem, co-founder of Digiteka, Dim Sum CEO Thomas Plessis, Agat Films/Ex Nihilo producer Arnaud Colinart and Flore Deroose, head of content at Zoomin.tv. Several issues were tackled during the debate, one of these being, "How can a producer control the distribution of his work?"
"Digiteka is controlled by producers," began Ganem. "It's up to the producer to decide how the content is going to be distributed. Our technology will make sure his videos will get the best exposure." Deroose illustrated the distribution process at Zoomin.tv shortly afterwards: "My company's the largest producer of online news videos in Europe – up to 400 webstories on various topics and in different formats on a daily basis!" explained Flore, who added, "Our headquarters are in Amsterdam, but we distribute our videos all around the world. I wouldn't say we translate them, though – we localise. Our aim is to deliver a local product addressed to the local market and people."
Before giving the green light for a stimulating Q&A session with the audience, Hoguet addressed the mobile age, asking the experts about their adaptation strategies. "Our technology was easily adapted to smartphones," said Ganem. "Our business model has video revenues shared between the rights holders, publishers and advertisers, so the more content is shared, the higher the revenues are for everybody. And guess what? Video monetisation on mobile is at its best today: revenues are four times higher on mobile than on the web."
Ganem went on to deliver a keynote speech about his experience at Digiteka and the company's core business and accomplishments, and then handed the floor to writer-turned-director David Dufresne, who presented a long-awaited case study about his latest work, Fort McMoney.
This webdoc and strategy video game takes players to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in order to build a virtual city and responsibly develop the world's largest oil-sands reserve. "The easiest task is to wander around and explore the city on your own, earning points – pretty much like in the GTA franchise. But getting involved is what the game is all about," stated Dufresne. "Questioning is the key and the origin of my work, which took up two-and-a-half years of my life. I wanted to question our addiction to oil by having users engage in conversations, missions and investigations about Alberta's reserves. But more importantly, I wanted to have people build and carefully administrate their city: my aim was to question democracy."
After the lunch break, the two winners of this year's Cross Video Days were announced in front of a cheering crowd. Morphosis by Pierre Cattan (Small Bang) took home the Best Francophone Project Award, in partnership with TV5 Monde, while Sequenced by Swiss company Apelab won the Cross Video Days Grand Prix, in partnership with Digiteka and consisting of the streaming of 500,000 video views of the project's trailer on the Digiteka network.
Before the curtains fell on this sparkling 2015 edition, it was time for the last (but not least) conference, entitled “Funding Digital Content”, and featuring the CNC's Pauline Augrain, Michel Vust, project leader at Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Canada Media Fund director Catalina Briceno, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH's funding manager, Claudia Graband, and Wallimage's "man with the white glasses", CEO Philippe Reynaert.