News Reel & Blog

Written by Jack Hopkins on 19th October 2018

MIPCOM 2018 has officially ended, and it’s a return home for many movers and shakers in the television industry after a 4 days of networking sessions, pitches and screenings. Here are our highlights from one of the most pivotal events in the television calendar.

Jamie Oliver stole the show on Day 1 of this year’s MIPCOM. His estimated global TV audience reach of 64 million makes it easy to notice the effect that Jamie Oliver has had on the world of cooking and entertainment in general, whilst installing positive social change in his productions. He stated that he setting up his own production company was a natural next step after having success purely as a presenter and that “to understand that the grade is as valuable as the sound man, the direction, the imagery. That’s beautiful; the craft of TV.”

Colman Domingo from Fear The Walking Dead joined Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, on the main stage on Day 2.  Domingo is in the middle of developing an adaptation of his play Dot  for AMC, telling the story of a woman at the head of a family with Alzheimer’s disease. He stated that “he was hesitant to pitch it to AMC initially, since it felt like a smaller, personal story, but the network has supported the project and his vision.” Showing that the desire to produce personal stories is still as popular as ever, as these are the types of shows that strike a real chord with audiences.

Issa Rae, the creator, producer and star of HBO show Insecure, was the highlight on Day 3 as she was named MIPCOM 2018 personality of the year. She recalled experiences throughout her career where she was told that there wasn’t an audience for the kind of content she wanted to create. Her stance in response to these comments was that “the answer for me was putting something online for my friends to watch”. She also thought there’s been an important change since the 1990s and early 2000s, when network shows were “geared to capture the biggest audiences possible.” This could be seen through shows such as Orange is The New Black and Good Girls that push the limitations of the norm.

It was the return of The Wit’s ‘Fresh TV’ sessions on Day 4, with CEO Virginia Mouseler stating that 22% of new dramas in 2018 have been based on IPs and real events, which is up 10% on 2017. There were 3 future series’ that caught our eye: Strangers (All3Media International) about an accident that turns out to be a murder, Escape From Mafia  (RAI COM) about  a family of Sicilian immigrants in America in the early 20th century, and Butterfly  (Fremantle) about an 11 year-old who was assigned male at birth, but who makes the decision to transition.

MIPCOM 2018 seemed to have been thriving as much as the industry itself, which is great news for everyone involved – we hope everyone had an enjoyably successful Mip!

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 9th October 2018

There’s been a recent trend for alternative bands and artists to shift their sound towards a genre that is vastly different to their original sound - this could be in the form of remixes, album reworks or guest features.

In the build up to the first ever National Album Day on 13th October, we’re going to look at 3 specific examples of when this has recently happened, and how it progresses the band’s sound as well as the genre and industry it finds itself in.

Flume, an Australian producer and musician, usually only focuses on electronic music. His debut album ‘Flume’ (2012), was released with a deluxe edition which was a replica of the original album just with the inclusion of some of the best hip-hop artists around. "Insane", which adds a hard-hitting rap by Killer Mike is one of its highlights alongside. "Space Cadet", with lyrics by Ghostface Killah, is another momentous song. It could be seen as a stand-alone rap mix-tape, but it almost acts as an extension of the oringal album and opens the musician to an alternative fan base.

Mr Jukes is similar, but strays even further away from his original sound. Mr Jukes is Jack Steadman, the lead singer of the alternative band Bombay Bicycle Club, and completely shifts his sound that’s full of guitars and riffs to a jazzier offering in ‘God’s First’ (2017). Artists such as, BJ the Chicago Kid, Lalah Hathaway, De La Soul and the late great Charles Bradley are all sampled on the soul album. The album comes in the wake of an indefinite hiatus by Bombay Bicycle Club, but this funky piece of work still strikes similar collaborative chords with the amount of different artists that are featured on it.

Alt-J have released the most recent example that showcases a band’s shift in sound. ‘Reduxer,’ (2018) Alt-J reworking ‘Relaxer’s’ (2017) 11 original tracks with the inclusion of talent like Pusha-T, Danny Brown, Twin ShadowGoldlinkRejjie Snow, and The Alchemist. Not only is the original album re-worked, a couple of songs are repeated in ‘Reduxer’ but are re-mixed by different artists. In some aspects, it feels like the content is being stretched, but a couple of the songs are so different and ground-breaking that they are outstanding songs in their own rights.

Can you think of any other bands that have gone down an alternative musical path? Were they successful?

If you haven’t listened to some of the above, we highly recommend that you do!

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