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 storytelling 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 storyline 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 everyone 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’s ‘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 the global release for the socially shared experience. Television is no longer about sequential seasons and budget cycles, it’s about audience appetite and content creative response. Our vacuum should pull the new talent to centre stage and push the boundaries of storytelling 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.
For the full 47min Kevin Spacey speech try this link.