TransMIP 2011 – a first look

Tomorrow sees the kick-off for a week of MIPness in Cannes, France. Leading out are two quite different events: MIPDocs is focused on documentaries, and is an established part of the MIPTV setup, where producers and buyers sell and buy a multitude of documentaries over the course of two days. I am not registered for MIPDoc, so even though I would be utterly surprised if not a large part of the documentaries featured could (and perhaps should) have a developed transmedia side to them, I will not be able to comment in detail.

MIPFormat, on the other hand, is merely a year old and already branching out over two days, not one as was the case last year. The format business is reportedly worth upwards of 3 billion euros now, which makes formats a viable part of any discussion around the media industry. Transmedia formats are still few and far between, but this is something I convinced will change in the near future. One featured session is the Fresh Talent Pitch, where a number of chosen formats are pitched to the attending crowd. Amongst the finalists are formats such as Dracula Tour Challenge, which simply feels made to be transmediated. From the description of the format:

«Dracula Tour Challenge» is an adventure competition show in which foreign participants are brought to Transylvania to confront the myth of Dracula and the evil spirits that lurk in this land. The purpose of the show is two-fold. One, to create an entertaining, frightening and thrilling competition for viewers. And two, to provide a unique history of vampires, Dracula and other mythical monsters that originated in this extraordinary area.

Now, what storylines could not be spun from this story world? We’ll see what happens with the format.

There are a number of interesting talks during MIPFormats, many who have some connection to transmedia, be it about rights and disputes or creative workshops. But we have to wait until Monday and MIPTV before transmedia is really on the agenda.

At a talk called ”Transmedia Storytelling: How to Achieve Creative Excellence?” Jesse Cleverly from Connected TV moderates a panel with, amongst others, Nuno Bernardo (beActive), Tracy Robertson (Hoodlum) and Christopher Sandberg (Company P) in a session that will ”talk through their strategic thinking, their creative development philosophies, and their multidisciplinary production processes.” I can see many ways this panel could go, but I dearly hope, from an admittedly personal POV, that it will go in-depth on development and design matters.

Hot on the heels of that panel will be a screening of the four finalists of the Fremantle/RTL Content 360 category ”Interactive & Cross-Media Digital Entertainment Formats”. I have no idea what to expect from this, but one can always dream of a quartet of beautifully crafted transmedia formats that take your breath away, right?

There’s a slew of other interesting talks and panels as well, of course – like ”Monetising Content on New Platforms” or ”Multiplatform Engagement Through Apps” or why not “Connecting to Tomorrow’s Audiences”. All of these have the potential to not only touch on transmedia but go a lot deeper into that sphere (which should be normal, as that would help keep content and story world in line etc etc). At the very least I expect to get a lot of interesting notions and hints that I can take back to my drawing board after MIP.

There is also the MIPCC, the Connected Creativity, happening at the same time as the ”regular” MIPTV. Here I’m hoping to hear more about mobile, apps and their ties in to the television industry. A highlight will be Gavin McGarrys wrap-up session on ”Building Cross-Media Strategies” on Thursday.

So, be warned, there will be a lot of tweets coming from MIPTV in the coming week. If you decide to unfollow precisely because of these tweets, do refollow back in a weeks time, ok? ☺

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