Tag Archives: Television

Why The Slap Producers have got it wrong

The producers of the Australian TV drama, The Slap, have taken on a Netherlands torrent site and won. The site was used by about 40,000 citizens of Australia and New Zealand to “share content that was not commercially available for viewing in other countries”. Now, Australians overseas will need to either wait for the DVD to come out in their respective country or find another torrent site to go to.

The ABC geo-blocks iView content so that overseas audiences can’t view. The rationale is that if audiences can download content online, for free, then they won’t bother buying the DVD. The only problem is that TV viewers around the world are fragmenting into the downloaders and the DVD buyers. People who download, don’t buy DVDs and people who buy DVDs, don’t download.

Australian producers need to adjust their business model accordingly. Why isn’t The Slap available on iTunes or an online ABC Shop? Not months after the buzz has subsided but the night after the Australian broadcast. Would producers not make more money via online channels than with DVD sales? TV is evolving and the beauty of iTunes is that you can realease episodes one by one and not have to wait for the season to finish before distributing it on DVD.

What lessons can be learned from the music industry’s struggle with piracy? Is it really illegal to download a show via a torrent in the UK if the show is available, for free, to watch anytime, on iView in Australia?
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Filmland vs Adland – Some common ground

John Slattery Mad Men

I used to make TV shows. ‘Factual TV’ they call it. Occasionally I got to work on some feature films. That was fun. It required a lot of patience but the larger the screen the more satisfying I found it. I never made any IMAX films. That would have been fun. Now that I work in digital media production for an ad agency I’m in a pretty good spot to point out some similarities between the film/TV industry and the ad/digital space. Here are some:

Universal insight

Both filmmakers and advertisers are on the hunt for the universal insight. An idea that connects with an audience. There is no point in making a film if no one gets it. Likewise for ads, websites, mobile apps. Films and ads can have big budgets and feature Hollywood stars but if they don’t resonate with an audience they flop.


The director behind a film is pretty much doing what a creative director does at an agency – flounce and flourish. I jest. They drive the creative vision and require a significant team in the shadows to pull it off. Both Filmland and Adland consist of considerable teams that need to seamlessly work together to come up with an idea, plan an execution and deliver.

The three Project Triangle constraints

Both films and ads need to be on time, on budget and at a high quality. The Project Triangle is balanced by a Producer or Project Manager who works tirelessly behind the scenes. Everyone wants to deliver award-winning work but there are also tremendous pressures to deliver to deadlines and, of course, bring it in on budget.

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