Director of Reed Midem’s TV Division
VideoAge International: How many sellers with stands are you expecting at this year’s market? How many buyers? Do you expect attendance to be greater than last year?
Laurine Garaude: This upcoming MIPCOM is looking very good. We have over 60 new exhibitors to date and are delighted to welcome companies such as YouTube, Skechers Entertainment, 41 Entertainment, Red Bull Media House and Tele Munchen just to name a few. In addition, a sign which indicates renewed optimism is that quite a number of companies have increased the size of their stands. Regarding attendance, we expect an increase in the numbers with over 12,000 participants from some 100 countries. We are also expecting some 1,700 exhibiting companies and over 4,000 buyers.
VAI: What special events and new activities will be going on this year?
LG: As always, at MIPCOM there will be many events, and we are particularly pleased to introduce a number of new initiatives:
Firstly we are delighted to honor Jon Feltheimer, co-chairman and CEO of Lionsgate, as MIPCOM 2010’s Personality of the Year. He is being recognized for his leadership at Lionsgate and for driving creative productions and developing award-winning TV programs, including Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, which have become global phenomena. He will also deliver a much-awaited keynote address on Tuesday, October 5, during which he will be sharing his vision of the future of the industry.
We are also launching the first MIPCOM World Premiere TV Screenings. This inaugural event will open with Lionsgate’s Mad Men, with cast members in attendance and the international debut of Running Wilde, Lionsgate’s new romantic comedy. The MIPCOM World Premiere TV Screenings will be held in the Grand Auditorium at 6p.m. on Monday, October 4, and will be open to all participants, with, of course, reserved seating for invited buyers. The goal of these screenings is to offer a premium showcase for leading television and film companies to screen outstanding programs to buyers, industry players and international media.
Another first is the Asian Content Exchange on October 6, which will be a combination of screenings and matchmaking events presenting Chinese, Korean and Japanese documentaries, drama, animation and formats. The programs have been selected by international tracking company “The Wit” and the event is designed to facilitate commercial opportunities with these key markets.
In 2010, we are also delighted to introduce the Branded Entertainment VIP Summit. This event is similar in principle to the Digital VIP Summit introduced at last MIP-TV: it is a closed-door private session designed to bring together some 50 key executives from major advertising agencies, brands, producers, broadcasters, as well as social media and digital platforms to exchange on key issues around leveraging the growing potential of branded entertainment.
VAI: What’s new at MIPJunior this year?
LG: The animation market is a vibrant one with a lot of new programming that will be introduced. Together with MIPCOM, MIPJunior brings together a host of new global players with a number of newcomers including Skechers Entertainment, Technicolor and 41 Entertainment. We are very happy to welcome back Saban with Power Rangers. MIPJunior will also be presenting the world premiere of The Little Prince, produced by Aton Soumache from Method Animation. This will take place directly before the Closing MIPJunior Cocktail at the Martinez Hotel on Sunday 3 October.
We are expecting over 1,000 programs and over 500 buyers. We have a very rich program of events lined-up, including this year’s keynote which will be given by Michael Poryes, Co-director and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated series Hannah Montana.
MIPJunior is also introducing a new licensing initiative. A series of case studies and sessions will feature leaders from the licensing and merchandising business. The Licensing Lounge will be home to key licensing agents who will be discussing what they look for in kids’ programming. A new matchmaking breakfast will allow producers to pitch their programs to agents. We will also be holding our Kids’ Jury competition for the second year. 15 pre-selected programs will be presented to an international jury of children in 3 different age groups, who will select the winners. The winners will be announced during a Cocktail event on Saturday 2 October.
VAI: This year’s country spotlight is Australia. What events are geared towards that?
LG: Our spotlight on Australia will be on Tuesday 5 October and will present conferences, case studies and matchmaking events as part of the Producers’ Forum. Its goal is to provide a better understanding of the production industry in Australia and the creative talent, which is pushing the very innovative Australian entertainment industry forward. With over 100 companies in attendance from Australia, this will be an occasion for our participants to meet the many Australian professionals and develop new business opportunities. We are delighted to welcome Gregor Jordan, Director/Screenwriter of Ned Kelly as the opening keynote of this spotlight, which will illustrate the Australian market as a hub of digital and transmedia innovation and creativity.
VAI: What is the overall theme for MIPCOM?
LG: Given the accelerated rate of change in the past months and the development of new business and publishing models, the theme for MIPCOM 2010 is “Redefining the Entertainment Experience.” The goal of this Conference and Events’ program is to present the future-defining people, trends and content that will shape this business in the years to come. The program is divided into two major parts:
The Producers’ Forum, which is dedicated to help producers develop their new projects, fund productions and identify new international opportunities. These include hands-on sessions including “Production Incentives in France,” “New Co-production Models for Formats” and “Meet the Film Commissions & Media Funds.”
The second part is Connected Entertainment, which is also the focus of the program. MSN executives, Scott Moore and Geoff Sutton will kick off the two days (Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7) of trend-setting talks with a keynote on the latest developments in cross-platform and social entertainment. YouTube will hold a special workshop on Thursday entitled “Working with YouTube: Tales from the Digital Frontier.”
A new series of sessions will focus on the New Publishing Revolution and the Impact of Apps including a special screening featuring particularly innovative apps.
VAI: In your view, do companies attend MIPCOM for purposes other than buying and selling?
LG: More and more so and we expect that trend to grow. Of course, the buying and selling of finished programs is a core activity at MIPCOM, but clearly more and more companies are also attending for early-stage discussions and transactions. With the multiplication of platforms, the rise in international co-productions and the growth of formats, accompanied by the need to develop new digital partnerships and the increasing importance of branded entertainment, we are seeing an increase in these discussions and transactions at our shows. The Producers’ Forum, a series of conferences and matchmaking events, is particularly designed to help facilitate these discussions, with a focus on film commissions and funding, transmedia content and co-productions. One of the highlights of the Producers’ Forum is a Master Class session presented by co-producers Rola Bauer from Tandem Communications and David Zucker from Scott Free Television on the innovative development model and financing behind The Pillars of the Earth.
We are also seeing a rise in the presence of advertising agencies and brands. As I mentioned earlier, we are holding our first Branded Entertainment VIP Summit to help foster the exchange and dialogue between advertising agencies, brands, producers, broadcasters, as well as social media and digital platforms.