Technology is exciting, enriching and enabling. It helps us reinvent the way we entertain and engage viewers, but don’t for a moment believe that shiny technology can stand in for old-school creativity. It can make a good show better, but it can never make a bad show good.
So how do you use the technology in the right context to simplify the production process, minimise costs and maximise creativity? Technology has to be there for sound editorial reasons. Like a dog walking on its hind legs, it’s clever but why? Technology will distract and detract from your creative vision if it’s not integral to the game play or narrative.
Technology is exciting, enriching and enabling. It helps us reinvent the way we entertain and engage viewers, but don’t for a moment believe that shiny technology can stand in for old-school creativity.
Even worse, if the technology doesn’t work exactly as it should, it may even kill your concept before it’s born. Many shows fail to get off the ground because the technological underpinnings were flawed. It’s a shame for the show in question and it doesn’t help the industry’s evolution to have producers saying, “Oh, don’t bother to use such-and-such technology. We tried it and it doesn’t work.” Don’t treat a show as an IT project. IT projects have a reputation for not working, being late and coming in over budget. TV projects have to work, be on time and stay on budget.
Less is usually more. When a new technology hits the market there’s a tendency amongst producers to think, “We’ve got to do something with this exciting new tech. I know, we’ll combine touch screens with second-screen interactivity and augmented reality and let’s throw in an animatronic marmot for good measure.” Enough already. Keep it simple. If you do too much, too soon, you’ll to end up with a poor show, with little interactivity and a weak online presence. Focus on finding a great show, or a great online idea, or a great social-media idea. Then start looking for the technology and systems to drive it.
Focus on finding a great show, or a great online idea, or a great social-media idea. Then start looking for the technology and systems.
Employing social media fully in shows opens up a raft of opportunities for producers working on smaller budgets. Bleeding-edge technology is no longer only accessible to producers with deep pockets. Creatives of all shapes, weights and sizes can identify the best and cheapest way of realising their vision.
A longer version of this post appears in TBI Vision.