Three and a bit days in Cannes for MIPCOM have just come to an end. The Indian summer gave way to dramatic cloudbursts, making the Croisette look like somebody had gone overboard on the CGI budget.
Drama subplots were everywhere. Warner International’s semi-open stand on the beach got flooded out; All3Media laid on Tuk-Tuks to their lunch for Lion TV’s 17th birthday, only for their drivers to get arrested. Companies that were big were becoming even bigger. Shine International had fine Sunday evening weather for their opening drinks by the pool – likely one of their last markets as a standalone outfit before the Endemol-Core merger. Your correspondent can report that Shine’s Espresso Martinis were excellent. May such creativity not get lost in the merger.
The frequent downpours in elegant if overpriced Cannes seemed to echo the rapid changes in the industry. A global industry crammed together in a small space, sent scurrying for cover by unpredictable events. Digital distribution was once again the talk of the market. Ted Sarandos of Netflix gave a keynote – comin’ atcha, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. HBO announced a streaming service. The stands and posters though were all still about the content – in that sense, little changes at MIPCOM from year to year.
The days were full with half-hour meetings – ‘speed-dating’, as my boss at SBS Peter Andrews called it – and my notebook quickly filled with titles, delivery dates, and conversations to follow up. Being with my new colleagues Peter, Ben Nguyen, Tony Iffland & Andrew Golding as we were pitched by distributors and producers was a great way to learn about SBS, and my version of the SBS editorial pitch is now flowing a bit more naturally. Our acquisitions wishlist and programme catalogue got held up in French customs for a day, but eventually it became a useful prop to head off the ‘what are you looking for?’ question. Let me know if you’d like a pdf emailed to you – though it’ll also be online soon.
Wednesday ended with BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand’s drinks and dinner on the roof of a chi-chi hotel. Plenty of new contacts to follow up on when I get to Australia in December.
It was good to be back in the swim of broadcasting, and I’m really looking forward to my new role. Next time I come to Nice airport though, I’m going to remember to pack my helicopter.