I just covered the 3-day LATV Festival for Indie Slate Magazine. It was held July 30-Aug. 1st at the Highlands (Hollywood and Highland), the Renaissance Hotel, and the House of Blues. The LATV Festival defies classification. It is truly a "how to do Hollywood" manual, encompassing a Digital Day, Content Industry Forum (formerly TV Producers’ Boot Camp) and Pitch Pit.
I was impressed with all of the real opportunities for working and aspiring professionals offered by NATPE.
What a great infusion of Entertainment Industry knowledge.
The panels were dripping with delicious, juicy info both for the newbie and for the jaded veteran. Let's face it, in the internet age, we are made to be newbies every day. The panels ran smoothly and left me wanting more (yet needing time process it all). Topics included such diverse offerings as: "Follow the Money", "Developing Original Content for the Web", and "Think Like a Marketer, Succeed as a Producer."
The "Pitch Pit" was crowded not just with eager pitchers, but also with catchers worth every bit of the wait. ABC, BET, CAA, CBS, BBC, FOX, MTV, NBC, RDF, FremantleMedia (American Idol, America's Got Talent, Celebrity Family Feud, etc.), Talpa, (brainchild of John de Mol - Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor), Lionsgate and more were looking for everything from Hosts to Show Pilots, and Spec Scripts to Television Series. They were not just summer interns either. It was a great coup having the "Tonight's Show" there accepting pitches for a segment where Leno's audience votes on the pitches and on the show.
Finally the "mentoring" event called "Schmoozefest" was also a great success, giving attendees new insights and connection to living, breathing executives and to each other.
For many newbie attendees, the sheer joy of being welcomed inside the studio curtain gave hope to their dreams fueling the fires of courage and creativity.
Predictably, it IS all about money. But there were glimmers of hope amongst the many opinions on the panels.
While the AOL TV/Moviefone.com representative encouraged content producers to deliver R-rated material (because if you don't they will get it somewhere else, she reasoned), others like Blip.tv and YouTube do not and will not accept nudity and certain other prurient material. They don't want to offend their audience. Imagine that!
It's convincing evidence that we must continue to embrace this, the most influential secular industry.