Here at Helen Mills Event Space in Midtown Manhattan where there was several panels taking place to kick off the 15th annual New York Television Festival. It was packed with writers, content creators and executives of independent content all looking to hear what the top executives of today's network have to say and learn from their words of wisdom. There was panels all day from writers talking about first pitch to networks to executives talking about how shows are getting diversified across the board. I got a chance to listen and jot down some notes from some of the panelists.
Even though I didn't get to watch from the beginning I can tell that it was intense. Everyone inside was waiting for an opportunity to network and hopefully land a sit down with a top exec and networking among themselves. I got a chance to listen to the kickoff panel which discuss the interaction between digital, audio and television mediums and how they was converging. The executives was from all across the board from WNYC to NBC News, they sat in front of a audience to give their interpretations on how they try to determine what content is best for their format or which ideas for a podcast or radio show and how sometimes a hit is in their hands and they don't realize it until years later. In some cases some of the executive had to realize what major players that they let slip through the cracks. They discuss the future of podcasting and how it differentiate from audio. The intimacy between radio and podcast is the intima;cy one will have because the ear buds keeps in place while you can hear the radio all over the place. Also television can be difficult because everyone is going online to watch everything with digital coming up slowly to replace television soon.
The second panel was about the first impressions one should give when in a meeting with executives pitching their show. This time it was a all women panel which I feel help the crowd because it balanced the gender to know what to say in front of executives in their meetings. The women talked about it all: nervousness, bad wording and even eye contact. There were so many tips given that the audience had pieces of paper to write everything down. When the gears switched to follow ups that where the crowd was stuck because they almost look like they didn't need to at some point. Looking at the interaction from the Q&A session this was definitely the most important panel of the afternoon.
Next panel on the agenda was the keynote speaking who broke out talking about his come up from agent to EVP and everything in between. Brett Weitz, EVP of Original Programming of TBS was the keynote speaker for today and he closed it out pretty strong. His stories about being a young agent to Mike Ovtiz and getting fired was fantastic. I was amazed on what he had to survive between jobs from agent firm to studio to television. He spoke so vivid it was like you was in a car for a long ride. The Q&A was one of the shortest I have seen because it seem like everyone's answer was answered so people was mainly pitching to him in some fashion. It was a good way to close out the opening day of the connect series. Now it's time to talk out the next couple of days stay tuned....