I’m exhausted.
I think this is the reason why blogs can be so hard to update.
After a long day, no one really wants to sit down in front of their computer, racking their brain trying to summarize what happened earlier in the day.

But here goes-
Mark, Matt and I zipped to the Vancouver International Film Centre on Davie and Seymour. Earlier this term, I asked Dennis from New Media BC if they would like us to tape some of the sessions at the Creative Conference. I have to admit Vidfest (I went to the one in 2005) was one of the reasons of why I went from broadcast studies to new media- which looked way more exciting and creatively hands-on.

It was strange thing to have ancient history open up a presentation by Ori Brafman– with the Incas and Apaches, but he did have a point to bringing them up.
I need to go find his book and read more about The Starfish and the Spider models for digital media organizations.

Matt and I shared camera-handling for simultaneous sessions- we switched between macro sessions (in the theatre) and micro sessions (in the lobby). There were four macro and four micro sessions altogether, with additional opening and closing keynotes.

I covered the first couple micro sessions outside in the lobby about IP and bite-sized entertainment. I’m so glad that the conference wasn’t as focused on the gaming and animation industry. Honestly, I was glad there was some talk about things that I was more passionate about because there are already other dedicated gatherings for those industries.

IP has a different meaning between content providers.
Internet Protocol popped in my head when I saw IP.
However at the conference, IP meant Intellectual Property.
It’s a major issue amongst very large organizations, wanting to control and own every property they are a part of.

Bite-sized entertainment- When is North America going to adopt this “pay-by-cellphone” capability?
It’s highly popular in UK and in Asia, where mobile-payments shadow usage of credit cards. The only implementations of this payment that I have seen locally are parking meters. This would be such a great and convenient thing to bring to other services in North America, especially to Vancouver.

There were a lot of business owners and managers who attended this conference. The main issue hanging over our heads was money- How in the world are we going to make money?

One can give away so much, but is there a guarantee that there will be pay back? There was no clear answer revealed amongst the speakers of several sessions. For those involved in digital media, we’re all still in the experimental stages of finding that new formula for making money.

The traditional model worked for broadcasters, I quote from one of the speakers-
“It’s all about the money. The shows are created as filler in between the advertisements. That’s why there’s so much crap on television.”

With flourishing new media and audience wanting more- there’s no definite current formula to making money. Major studios and broadcasters had always depended on this model. There’s also the issue of intellectual property- to control and own its value.

It’s hard for these organizations to work with different and newer business models of today. Advertisers are used to relying on audience metrics being able to count on the eye-balls to be exposed to their clients’ product or message. With PVRs and TiVos, these metrics are even becoming more challenging and difficult to accurately calculate.

Eventually, these organizations will have to understand and let go of their control of their properties. Audiences these days don’t need to have advertising thrown in their faces, annoying as those flies flying around as the result of Vancouver’s garbage strike (three months and counting to this day…)

One speaker mentioned that the main market that advertisers are targeting- the18-to- 30 year olds – they need to gain their trust in the brand and product.

It’s like the never ending circle- content is created.
How do we deliver it so the audience doesn’t have to cringe when they have to pay for it?
And usually that’s when some advertising comes in the picture.

Putting advertising aside, there was another prevalent subject amongst Vidfest speakers today-
Content is king.

No matter what particular part of the industry we’re from- whether gaming, broadcasting, animation, film-making- we’re all in it for the same reason.

Entertainment.
The glory of sharing ideas, stories, and concepts.

Whatever platform you’re on- an iPod, online on a Mac, on a PC, on a TV, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is really- what are you trying to communicate? What is your message? Why do you want my attention? Does this pique anyone’s interest?

Almost completing this intensive one-year program, I just realized how much they emphasize so much on how to use the tools. There’s that deeper concept of communication that was touched upon a few courses over the terms, but I think those getting into this program need to understand, sure you can learn these tools, but do you really want to be another cog in the wheel?

I was extremely pissed when our previous video instructor kept emphasizing “Shazam. It’s what clients want to see.”
I regret for not skipping over that class, I thought that the instructor will give me new insight. I didn’t learn anything new in that class- I just really was the tech help for some of my classmates. It was frustrating how our class video instructor never emphasizing the most important thing- you’re trying to share a message, not bombard the viewer with the latest thing in cuts and filters.
The story/message comes first, but make sure your cuts justify your story.

I guess that’s why many artists have the need to take a longer program, like film-school or take courses for an art degree. There’s that need of time to take to further develop and refine their communication skills. It’s not only about the technology and trends, but it’s first foremost emphasizing the content. The content’s got to be interesting in tune with the fancy effects to draw in people, or it’s just all glitter with no substance.

Balancing the quality, with approvals and deadlines sometimes can be hard to practice.

Overall, I realized today that facing the world of digital media, there is always the issue of money, ownership, and time. I truly wonder where this is going to go? What will truly come out as the best-money-making-model for the web and mobile?

I was too tired to make it to the Mixer and Happy Hour.
How much more standing can I take in one day?
I didn’t stay long enough to find out.

It was a very thought-provoking day.
Thanks to the coordinators of Vidfest by New Media BC.
Thanks to the AV guys for helping me out with hooking up audio with our cameras- Matt and John.

Thanks Mark Whitehead, thanks Matt Morrison.
This would’ve been a different experience without you guys!

Now I’d better get some rest so I can get to class in morning, go to downtown for Joshua Davis’ workshop and come back for an evening class.

I like keeping busy and learning new things, and yes, I do get sleep.

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