First Motion, a pan-Baltic area EU project, organised a conference this week in Riga, Latvia, and were kind enough to invite me to attend and take part in a panel discussion on funding and transmedia. From two pretty packed days, here are some thoughts I had:
- Transmedia, cross media, multiplatform – no matter what you call it, it’s permeating the media industry. The Latvian Minister of Culture sent her greetings to the conference, and even that greeting talked of ”transmedia” and ”cross media”, without using them in the wrong way. I will admit, I was a bit impressed.
- There is an impressive amount of creativity out there, but when it comes to money, not so much. There was an inspiring lot of varying content on display, from the strange but genial Ghost Rockets from Sweden to the app-game-to-tv-series project The Great Jitters from Germany and anything in between. The different solutions that people had come up with were sometimes impressively neat.
- Initial funding is essential. I’m not sure I saw any project during these two days that would have seen the light of day without some sort or other of seed funding. Even though I’m a strong advocate of projects – and especially cross media and transmedia projects – being financially viable propositions, I readily acknowledge that most of what we want to do either takes an extremely long amount of time, or cost a bit of money. If you’re a small producer, you need some sort of kickstart, that regional, governmental or EU-funding can provide.
- A VC-forum for business angels and content producers to meet and team up would, in my book, be a brilliant addition to the flora of funding bodies. There were a couple of people that informed me that something along those lines would be coming along, in 2014 at the latest. I hope that pans out well.
- BeActive know what they are doing. Triona from beActive presented their look on how to finance content, and I’m always impressed by their clear strategies, their broad-spanning content development and rollout and their quick and nimble production schedule. Great stuff.
- As always, although the talks all were good or even great, the networking was arguably the greatest part of the conference. The multiplatform tribe is an energetic and welcoming one, also in Eastern Europe – if the Baltic states can even be considered Eastern Europe.
All in all, a very good two days in Riga. Looking forward to the next corresponding event already!