New York Television Festival London (195 Picadilly, 25 April '14) // Words: Jordan Andrew // Photos: NYTVF
Hits as 'The Office', 'The Inbetweeners', and 'Shameless' have all been given US remakes, with some having more success than others. Clearly there is something about British talent that the Americans love, and it's a trend to continue. Since 2005, the New York Television Festival has been striving to help upcoming talent connect with television networks, agencies and product companies. For the third year, the New York Television Festival London graced BAFTA for an afternoon of panel talks and networking.
Not knowing what I got myself into, I sat down to listen to three 'Creative Conversations': 'Creative Cache: Creating Today For Opportunities Tomorrow', 'Specially Formatted To Fit The Screen: The Dominance Of TV Formats' and 'Taking A Turn For The Dramatic: Rich Programming & Quality Content'. As I sat amongst the screenwriters, directors, and producers, you could feel their eagerness to get tips on how to better their career. With all this eagerness, I felt giving the audience only ten minutes or so to ask their questions was stingy, as the day was about the audience learning.
One of main points that all of these Creative Conversations talked about was the fact television is more accessible with the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm. In one sense that is true, however, I would have loved the panellist to be a bit more brutal on how hard it is to crack the industry - despite all the variety, if no one is willing to give you that chance, it remains extremely difficult. Another point was that people want more uplifting shows that and showing people doing good. The days of shows like 'Big Brother' with their evil twists are starting to bore people.
My favourite point was that television is no longer being seen as the ‘poor cousin’ to cinema. With recent shows such as 'True Detective' and 'Breaking Bad' breaking down stereotypes with Hollywood actors. Television has evolved from what it use to be and that was championed by Richard Warlow (creator of 'Ripper Street') and Toby Whithouse (creator of 'Being Human') who opened up into their hardships and their comebacks.
The networking part was a fun experience to meet new people, especially after a few glasses of wine to help calm any nerves. I got to chat a range of up and coming artists, with one of my favourites being music composer Olivia Thomas, who worked with BBC Radio 4 on 'An Everyday Story Of Afghan Folk' and even composed an original piece of music for an area in a theme park - if that is not cool I don't know what is.
I also got to meet Philip Taylor - a screenwriter and film editor, who recently had his latest handy work 'Mozart In Prague: Rolando Villazon' air on BBC Two. As much as the documentary did not really appeal to me, it was beautifully edited and was quite refreshing to watch.
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting last year's NYTVF award winner (for short film, 'Hereafter', embedded above) Johnny Kenton. I honestly did not know who he was until I met him as when he came up to me, I got a skinny Michael Moore-vibe about him, which was completely wrong. With everyone crawling their way to get a piece of him it was great that I actually had some time to chat to him, he is the ordinary guy living the dream for all us ordinary people. Plus he knows of us here at FADED GLAMOUR so bonus points right there!
You can stream all the New York Television Festival London sessions and check out their upcoming events and competitions through the NYTVF website.