Don’t overthink it? Entertainment / My Business

I don’t think so.

One of the projects we’re developing at the studio is a talk show. We’re still early in the stages but it’s good concept and I think it has a shot; if we do it right. The only problem is that we really don’t know where it’s going to play yet. We don’t know if we should launch it as a podcast or radio show, on TV or the Web. And that should give you some idea of the challenges content creators and distributors face these days. But you already know that; because you probably have three different screens open in front of you right now and Pandora or Spotify playing in the background. That’s what people do these days. And it was the point I was trying to make during our last show conference call before one of the guys on the call jumped the conversation and suggested that I not over-think it. To which I replied, “Is that even possible these days?”

It should be said in his defense, that he is “talent”. Producers feel that same way about talent that men and women feel about each other: can’t live with ‘em can’t live without ‘em. There’s no doubt that the person you put in front of the camera will make or break a show. Talent is everything…after concept, writing, production and distribution. I mean seriously, anyone could have played Michael Corleone; the fact that it was Pacino didn’t really make a difference. OK, I’m being facetious – but only a little. Talent is a big deal and I know for sure that if your show doesn’t have real talent, it’ll never make it over the long haul. Those cute Internet cat videos are really only good for a one-off.

These days, the complex algorithm involved in identifying, locating and engaging an audience that can appreciate your talent has never been more complicated. How vast is the Internet video landscape? A recent NY Times article about the value of digital data reported, “”The astounding rate of [data] growth would make any parent proud. There were 30 billion gigabytes of video, e-mails, Web transactions and business-to-business analytics in 2005. The total is expected to reach more than 20 times that figure in 2013, with off-the-charts increases to follow in the years ahead”, according to a Cisco spokesperson.

“How much data is that? Cisco estimates that in 2012, some two trillion minutes of video alone traversed the Internet every month. That translates to over a million years per week of everything from video selfies and nannycams to Netflix downloads and “Battlestar Galactica” episodes.”

Yep. A million years of video coursed through the Internet just last week. Given the fact that the goal of nearly every one of those videos was to grab someone’s attention and sell them something, I feel a little sketchy about not over-thinking everything. When I have to fight with and entire century worth of video every week in order to build and audience, I’m not sure the “Field of Dreams” production and distribution theory is the one that works too well anymore.

That is, unless you’re talent. Then, the best you can hope for is that the people putting the show together know what the fck they’re doing. If they don’t, it’s pretty safe to assume that no one will see your performance no matter how great it is. So, as I was going through my checklist: Industry type, Product category, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics and Metrics (I subject everything we do to this review) I wasn’t surprised to hear the actor jump in, express his dismay and caution against too much thinking. To which I replied, “I understand what you’re saying and I’ll do my best but for now Dan, can you just ACT like you get it?”


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