Kevin Spacey Speech – It’s the Creative Stupid!

Kevin Spacey’s recent speech to the Edinburgh Television Festival has hit all the right nerves. After the critically acclaimed success of his new TV series “House of Cards” on Netflix, Spacey sets the tone for how the production of story telling through television should and must change. His ‘pitch’ as an election slogan is “It’s the Creative Stupid!”.

One of the key points comes during his presentation when he mentions the number of pilots produced each year to pacify risk averse television executives. The numbers shock the uninitiated when you realise how much the combined number of pilot episodes cost, how many actually make it to a series and how few are renewed before any member of the audience can connect with a character or the destination of the story arc. In fact for many series the story line is sabotaged with last minute land mines in order to ‘draw a conclusion’ to an unrenewed 13 episode series.

Below you can be inspired by the 5 min snapshot of Spacey’s key points but do yourself a favour and visit the 47 min full version to hear a story of inspiration and sense that challenges the broadcasters and distributors of content. As you start thinking about what you enjoy, remember that you are the audience. You, just like every one else hate, hate being asked to take a bite of the cake and then having the cake taken away just as the sugar high kicked in.

Leave a comment below. What series do you miss that crashed and burned in the first season? Have you seen the “Joseph Fiennes” curse that left the actor high and dry after Flash Forward and then Camelot ‘the series’ was renamed Camelot ‘the mini-series’?

Audiences don’t like to be abandoned by media producers. The new age of television is about global release for the social shared experience. Television is no longer about sequential seasons and budget cycles, its about audience appetite and content creative response. Our vacuum should pull the new talent to centre stage and push the boundaries of story telling to burn brighter and longer because you no longer are constrained by the ‘pitch’. Today your story should be told because it can be told. It’s the Creative Stupid.

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.
Orson Welles

For the full 47min Kevin Spacey speech try this link.


Be Determined to Surprise

Nicholas Selby should have a part in the remake of “Revenge of the Nerds” the Georgia Tech – Freshman Convocation to excellence in engineering was an epic welcome speech. The viral video of the young man giving the welcome speech to future engineers at Georgia Tech is creating a storm. From those who wonder if this is an excerpt from a Harry Potter movie to those inspired to renew their education based on the impact of his speech to follow a ‘higher purpose’. For many of the audience, the prestige of the college they had walked into and the culture represented by the faculty in their academic robes was probably a little bit overwhelming.

In walks Nicholas Selby to break the expectation only to replace it with a higher calling in the same vision. As CNN reported; “The sophomore is a Mechanical Engineering major, co-leads Team Solar Jackets — Georgia Tech’s team that built and raced a solar-powered car in the Formula Sun Grand Prix — and is a president’s scholar, representing the top 2% of enrolled students at the university.”

Sometimes we have to be determined to break the monotony, to push aside the expectation of the environment to deliver something unexpected. It might be higher, faster or of a more beauty and quality than what would have been acceptable.

Only then will it be memorable!