To Variety‘s Entertainment and Technology Summit presented by City National Bank, held in West Hollywood on Thursday, entertainment industry leaders and visionaries gathered to discuss the growth of technology and how it affects television, film, games, music, digital media and consumer brands.
Executives from brands including Disney, Universal Television, Mattel, NBA, Twitch, Paramount, Taco Bell and more participated in panels that highlighted the different ways new technologies are being implemented in their fields. of work. Read below to see what top entertainment industry figures had to say about the evolving intersection of entertainment and technology.
Creativity remains supreme in a crowded streaming world
During the Titans of TV Programming panel, TV executives discussed their growing footprint in a streaming world moving away from cable TV and toward ad-supported and subscription-based streaming services. Dan McDermott, president of Entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said executives always value creativity in storytelling and intellectual properties with established audiences.
“What has remained constant is the value of creativity and long-term, high-quality storytelling,” McDermott said. “It’s a much more crowded landscape than ever before, but as a programmer you’re definitely looking for those pieces of IP that have a built-in audience and fan base.”
Social media is an unavoidable battleground for brands
At the Brand Storytelling Elite panel, representatives from consumer and entertainment brands discussed at length the best ways to engage audiences in a media environment that often feels oversaturated and cluttered. Nicole Weltman, who leads social media for Taco Bell, spoke about competing with established news outlets for consumer attention.
“When we think about what our content is showing, it’s showing in relation to content from Vice and NBC, places with an embedded audience,” Weltman said. “When we think about the stories we want to tell, we rely on these fans to tell their stories and make their voices heard.” She then developed a genuine partnership with pop artist Doja Cat while promoting the return of their Mexican pizza.
Creating immersive experiences may be the future of audience engagement
The Future of Audience Engagement: Insights into How Innovation and Creativity Forge Strong Connections with Today’s Audience The panel featured a conversation between Omar Zayat, Senior Director, Head of , Entertainment, Meta; and Keisha Senter, VP of Culture and Impact, Monkeypaw Productions, the production company founded by Jordan Peele. The two spoke with Variety‘s Heidi Chung on how to further immerse audiences in the worlds of experiences they create around different mediums like film.
Their collaboration has led to a metaverse experience centered around Peele’s new film “Nope,” and Senter highlighted some key questions his team asks when cultivating new ideas and experiences: “We really think about how we Are we high. Is our content high? Is our content representative? Is it gender-centric? Are we looking for ways to be mischievous and fun? There are so many ways to think about it with filmmakers , but also with the partners with whom you collaborate.
Web3 has great potential to benefit the entertainment industry
At the Making Sense of Web3 for the Entertainment Industry panel, industry leaders discussed at length possible ways in which new Web3 innovations could bring better and effective change to the entertainment industry. Melody Hildebrandt, CISO and President, Fox Corp. & Blockchain Creative Labs, shared two key areas where it believes the potential of Web3 could be unleashed for the benefit of consumers.
“I really think of this as a technological innovation that will just allow entirely new models to be created in two key areas for media, one is on the content side, how is content actually created and brought to market ?The other side is distribution, and we think there’s a way to bring content directly to fans in a much cleaner way,” Hildebrandt said of Web3’s potential impact on the industry.
Stagecraft could revolutionize the possibilities of future virtual productions
Lynwen Brennan, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Lucasfilm, and Janet Lewin, Senior Vice President of Visual Effects at Lucasfilm and General Manager of ILM, discussed how using Stagecraft as an “end-to-end virtual production tool butt” transformed the production landscape at Lucasfilm. Having previously practiced the tool on their highly popular projects such as “The Mandalorian”, “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, “The Book of Boba Fett” and the upcoming “Andor” series, the executives shared positive predictions based on the advantages of Stagecraft.
“What Stagecraft enabled was this incredible collaboration with all the department heads and filmmakers before filming,” Brennan explained. “Then all of these in-camera visual effects, which meant we could save money in our visual effects budgets, and we could save time in our post-production schedule and have this amazing quality result. .”
Guessing what the future might look like, Brennan replied, “I think it really depends on our filmmakers and that’s what makes it so exciting.”
“We now have a proven production methodology, but we like to be inspired by the new ideas that come to us. Also to leverage development in this space both with real-time tools like Unreal, but also with future advancements in LED technology,” she continued. “It is difficult to predict where the future will go. There’s a barrier to entry for some productions right now to use the toolset because it’s expensive. But if you get a return on investment, it can be very effective.