Göteborg 2023 – Göteborg Industry
Rapporto industria: Serie
Johanna Koljonen guarda al futuro a TV Drama Vision
di Marta Bałaga
Il volto del Nostradamus Report afferma: "Se i giovani si interessano a contenuti che trovate 'stupidi' o 'strani', continuate a far loro domande"
Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.
Looking back at the beginnings of the Nostradamus Report, an initiative analysing changes in the industry and making predictions for the future, Johanna Koljonen assured her audience at the Göteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision that “everything was going to change, and it has” – also when it comes to TV.
“The transformation of old television into some kind of streaming format is very close to complete. In 2012, one of the headlines was: ‘How does Nordic drama travel?’ The answer was: ‘Sometimes, Danish shows get a US remake.’ That’s cool, but it’s nothing compared to now,” she stated.
Subtitling has become normalised, and dubbing is increasingly common (“even in markets that didn’t do it historically”), allowing local shows to find an audience abroad. “There were many things that we believed to be true that then turned out not to be true. That’s what I recommend thinking about today. What are we taking for granted, and what is viewed as impossible that might, in fact, be possible?”
The lesson? Don’t dismiss what’s going on. “Some things that might seem stupid, because they are not working well, might still be examples of fundamentally sound principles. If the new technology is shit, don’t dismiss it just based on that. You might be the one who puts it together right.”
Also, very soon, the division between streamers and broadcasters will no longer apply. “They are all streamers, as someone said to me,” she added. “The category differences are going to be about other things – public broadcasters versus commercial, free to watch versus not free to watch. We are going to have to learn some new conceptual categories, and ten years from now, they will feel normal.”
According to Koljonen, the industry will be more aware of audience behaviours attached to specific content and situations. Also, programme placement and programme discovery will be on people’s minds, as will operating systems for our TVs.
“I know – it’s not very exciting. But it’s important,” she said, also wondering about changes in advertising. “Advertising volumes can be smaller if they are targeted better. You will be less annoyed by them because they will be more relevant. If my TV knew that I don’t have a car, or a driving licence, my life would be so much better. And what if all ads are relevant to you? That’s a whole different thing.”
There is a “threat” to mediocre, middle-of-the-road content, she stated. “We still need content that’s safe and generic, but it cannot be weak or predictable. The creators need to work from their heart and from their realities, so that it connects on some deeper level. We tend to say good stories always find audiences, but we know that’s not true any more. But they do have a growing variety of paths to funding and distribution.”
Koljonen also encouraged her listeners to ponder how generative AI could have an impact on the industry: “Don’t panic – producers won’t be out of work, or directors or DoPs. Not for a while, or ever – that’s what my gut tells me. But we do need to think about the impact of this tool.” Although virtual production is becoming more common, the unpredictable factors are the price and the quality of the digital assets. But, as she noted, that is bound to change soon as well, rendering it affordable.
While recruiting young people into the industry – with its “old-world hierarchies” and toxic work environment – might be a struggle, trying to understand new audiences is fundamental. “If we are changing too slowly, or changing only because young people are forcing us to, it means that our worldview isn’t a good match. So how the hell do we write for them? How do we make content for the audience that’s doubtful about our formats and platforms?
“Spend real time with young people – your own children don’t count. If they are expressing interests or opinions that you find incomprehensible, or are engaging in content that you find ‘dumb’ and ‘weird’, keep asking them questions until you understand what’s going on.”
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