Creating My Online “TV” Course

I have been driven into the online course market creating my “online TV course” as a creator rather than a consumer. It is a covid thing, no international travel is an issue if you work as an international consultant. It is also something i have been thinking about for a while now.
But It’s a process full of decisions all of which seem quite daunting, so it is easy to procrastinate and spend all your time reading reviews and using free trials.
Do I go it alone, I can build Websites programme HTML and CSS? Do I use one of the big two ready made builders Kajabi and Thinkific? I am very clear about what I am going to offer, developing formats for audiences, now note my use of words, I didn’t say developing TV Formats. What do I call it has stopped my in my tracks and i need help? Is the noun television relevant any more?

Is the word “Television” relevant

Here is my fundamental dilemma, no one under 26 watches TV. I taught and University this year and I can confirm that between the students and my own teenage daughters, no one watches TV, or at least realises they are when they watch Love Island. They of course watch endless tictoks, youtube and stream Netfilx or any number of online sources. This is all done on mobile phones, laptops, gaming PC’s or perhaps the smartTV.
At university we had a robust conversation about what to call the TV production course moving forward.
“Television” sounds like a Jules Verne vision of the future from 1897.
“Content Creator” sounds like a person in an averagely lit bedroom in-audiabily rating on about minecrafts lack of updates.
“Digital Media” well what is that?

When we are trying to attract the crews, producers, writers and directors if we ask, in our excited dinosaur voices “DO you want to work in TV?” I suspect the answer would range from. what’s TV, through, Never watch it to a flat out NO. Its all I ever dreamt of but the last two projects I developed were “digital first” (online only) I used all the same skills and techniques as developing for TV, even in overcoming the unique non linear element of online media. What was I doing, how do I describe it. The market understands TV Format, but search but “TV” as an adjective seems to need expanding. Look, I am a TV director, then we have theatre directors, company directors etc. But what now describes a director working, asking people to point cameras at things for TV, or streaming or online events. Search media director and you will get a myriad of different sectors. I need to know what sector I work in in a single punchy everyone gets it way.

What is my online course?

This I can obviously answer, my “online TV course” is…
I want to help people format their ideas for content into a recognisable pitch for a buyer.
I want to help people format those ideas into what we now call stories, be that a story of a person winning a talent show, gameshow, or selling a thing or culture.
I want to help people who want to direct – “ask people to point cameras things creating shots” and then to “string those shots into something that tells the story”
I want to let people know what a fantastic industry camera pointing and show stringing is with opportunities for many skills and jobs, super technical to arts and design.
I want to help people fill up blank sheets of paper with great new ideas that will entertain, educate and inform.

But I don’t want to put off a new excited cohort of talent by calling by a name of a device no one watches.

Help me out

There we have it, I need help. What do we call this fantastic industry that takes a wildly talent group of people from every socio economic background, using every pronoun in the dictionary from a thankfully ever more diverse group of cultures and abilities, and as always from every educational mark on the scale. The common purpose, the capture, events, stories, concepts performances for anyone to experience through a screen, anywhere. Just writing that excites as much as the first day I walked into the industry on the Muppet Show and Digital/New Media doesn’t hack it. Wjhat do I call my “online TV course”

The Future of Television is…..

The future of Television

Watching the fantastic final of the US Open Tennis I was mindful of the future of television. Emma Raducano has inspired so many to even watch the US open and in its first year of broadcast on Amazon Prime. All making this year’s US Open the most-watched by more people than ever before. The best of the best in tennis have converged on Flushing Meadows to play at the newly opened Arthur Ashe Stadium, and over the course of the two-week event they have produced some of the finest tennis matches ever seen in person or on television. Emma of course, and her brilliant opponent Leylah Fernandez, both had dream come true stories helping to propel this event to newer heights of popularity

Network Competition
The biggest event on the tennis calendar, although I would argue that’s Wimbledon, with no traditional host broadcaster. Take a look at the opens’ TV partners, ESPN (USA, Australia), Amazon Prime (UK) BEIN Sports (Middle East & North Africa), CCTV (China), Fox Asia, Star India and Eurosport. No CBS the broadcaster since the open era began in 1968, it was 2014 when CBS was outbid by ESPN, 80% a Disney company a cable network dedicated to sport. The relationship between CBS Sport and the rest of CBS was always frosty, with many arguments about scheduling and key matches crashing the News etc. So in the USA it makes sense for a dedicated Channel to take the event. Here in the UK, we have the BBC prepared to drop their weekly schedule to make way for Wimbledon.

Amazon Prime The future of Television
In the UK for the Open, we had what I see as the future of television, The entire US open broadcast Live on prime. Each match timetabled as a stream or select matches available as VOD. It was quality broadcasting, hub studio, good commentary from Martina Navratilova and courtside observations from Tim Henman. Given the interest in Emma Raducano, there was a last-minute deal the final free to air. Literally, 24 hours before the big event Channel 4 signed the contract, for an as-yet-undisclosed seven-figure sum, and 9.2m peak watched. for free.

Broadcast TV is Dead
The vast sums paid for these events means that in the near future Amazon Netflix etc will be the only organizations with deep enough pockets to pay up. As Audiences migrate to online viewing it was live TV and big sporting events that look like they could save broadcasters. However, I think that now looks unlikely as the streamers get on the live event bandwagon, the audiences already have the sign-up, younger audiences have moved away from any terrestrial TV. The writing is on the wall as “brand flight” takes hold from the broadcasters advertising money printing press. I do now think the disruption is complete. If Netflix paid ITV productions 30m for love Island why go to the trouble of running a broadcaster on empty?

The new world
Just as tennis adjusts to games with no line judges and computer-generated calls of “OUT” and AI takes us into a world with less reliance on humans. So our viewing of media will change. I have already campaigned for educational courses to drop the title “TV production,” in fact TV anything, it is becoming increasingly redundant as a term. Content Creation is for social media, so what is the new catch-all term for those of us that make shows for the new era? Media Production, Video Production, any suggestions gratefully received! I think the future of media production is going to be huge, the future of television – perhaps less so.

We have just started using to help with our renewed blogging effort. Running 3 web sites and trying to make the all dynamic, using new content etc. Its a hard ask for small companies. So the test over the nexxt few weeks is to see if hello woofy does a better job then in helping us (thats me) post to a scedule. Thinking of the content isn’t the hardest part, its the effort of sticking to a strategy for me personally. I have so many diverse things going on that its easy to let the regular things slide, and yet they are vital to keeping that traffic coming in.

We have aslo launched our new inititative at Pepper Rafferty, helping us focus on providing live video streaming solutions to the Cambridge area. That is increasing the social media workflow. Plus we know I am a dyslexic, “Never an excuse, only a reason.” and that also means I do have slight aversionn issues to writing!

So expect a report, you may even see evidence with renewed posting activity   ✏️  here’s hoping!

Red Joan Review

Jed Joan Review Jonathan Gazier

Red Joan Review by Jonathan Glazier: This is a terrific film. With that cast, it should be Dame Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson and directed by Trevor Nunn. I found the narrative style fresh and exciting, the use of flashback is always a fine line, but I thought it was a line used to perfection. So that’s the good stuff, now for my issue. How loose does loosely based mean? Yes, Tube Alloys was the real cover for the British Nuclear Program, yes the real Joan was a secretary to the Chief Professor doing the research. And yes the real Joan gave a press conference on her suburban doorstep much to the amazement of her neighbours.

But the real Joan went to Southampton University, not Cambridge, she had long flirted with the communist party etc. etc. Her advocate was her daughter, not her son. So it really is a long list of points that goes beyond dramatic licence, in my view its a different story, a good story but actually fictional. I have always had an issue with that. It doesn’t matter how well observed the cars, costume and design match the period. If the facts are so bent, it’s not based on it is just very loosely inspired by. All said and done this is a film worth seeing.

The Future of TV

TV but not as we know it

So what is the future of TV as we know it?

Many years ago at the Royal Institute, I said that broadcasting would centre around live appointment to view tv, so a reduction in recorded programmes, particularly entertainment shows. That has happened, most of our Saturday night shows now have big live shows as part of the format. I also predicted that MIMO and FOMO would become significant components in scheduling strategy. Today if you don’t actually watch Love Island you “Miss It and Miss Out” and that fear drives views. Obviously, because social media will be full of spoilers, viewers have to watch, the “Fear of Missing Out” is real. Now streaming is shaping the future of TV. More significantly, where advertisers spend their money is changing the face of TV.

Will broadcast TV survive? That’s an interesting question. The big difference between broadcast and on-line was the linear schedule versus the on-demand of on-line, but we now see more live event streaming. The appointment to view has crossed into the on-line world with my daughters making a note of the expected upload of the next Sam and Colby video on youtube.

There’s a debate about sVoD against aVoD. sVoD is, of course, the Netflix subscription Video on Demand model while aVoD is the ad-funded model of youTube. All these services are known as “OTT”; Over The Top as in over the traditional TV services. The demographics of the viewer dictate the type of business model. Subscriptions are relatively high and tend to be funded from the Bank of Mum and Dad. That’s where the younger viewers tend to get their access to SVoD while preferring the content on the aVoD platforms

.All of this is bad for traditional broadcasters unless they can migrate their offering to some kind of OTT platform they will be doomed. In the UK, we are seeing the emergence of the ITV hub, which is a offers both ad-funded content and subscription services. Youtube is actually doing the same, you can free your self of the adverts by paying a subscription. Apple, of course, offers the PPV, pay per view.

Traditionally content providers got the cost of making the content plus a fee, and in the UK they kept (past tense is intentional) or shared the IP or intellectual rights. This meant they were free to resell the material and develop secondary revenue streams. However, Netflix keeps the rights, they have to, the content sits on their platform across the world for years. Any secondary use of the content threatens their business model. This means they have to develop healthy margins allowing a worthwhile production fee. They also have to build great relationships with their producers, and they are doing this and doing it well.

If I were in the business of making TVs or if I were a broadcaster or channel owner I’d be worried. If I were a traditional platform owner like Sky or Astro I’d be super concerned. Why pay $60 minimum for a cable or satellite service? Incidentally, I have always found “cable cutting” a bit of a strange phrase in the UK. We never really had cable TV, going instead straight to satellite which of course has no cable.

Eventually, Satellite TV will cease. Traditional Broadcasters will continue the move on-line. Even though the BBC is protected from the uncertainty of ad dollar funding because of the licence fee. It will come under pressure, and the licence fee will have to evolve. We need to keep the BBC as is; let’s keep one part of our life in national ownership. Not allowing it to descend into the hell of dumbed-down commercialism. iPlayer will see the BBC continue in some form, but we need to explore how we pay for it.

The future of TV content is excellent, we will all just be watching using different forms of delivery. The cable and satellite services will be the first to go, There will be heavy competition for our subscriptions, but the consumer will dictate the market. I don’t want to be paying out for three or four services because the content is fragmented across platforms and providers, Disney ITV HUB, Netflix Amazon etc.

I think to ensure their TV business stay relevant, the manufacturers will do a basket deal. All the VoD’s will offer the services for a one-off payment through on their smart TVs, that’s the future of TV. Mobile will do the same through the handset manufacturers.

As for Advertising, I hope it dies a death as we all move onto influencer marketing. Youtube is about to be overshadowed by Tic Toc. And we will all wake up to the fact that get rich schemes are a giant scam, and social media will face a crisis of funding.

Jonathan Glazier

Creative executive & multi-camera director in digital and television media, Consulting with and inspiring teams to reach their creative potential.

Sunday 11 Aug 2019 Dragons Den Ep 1 Series 17

I produced this show while I was in New Zealand, my boss was one of the Dragons! This is the 17th series of the BBC version, props to the one and only Tim Crescenti CEO of Small world for discovering the show in Japan. Featuring a new “Dragon,” the youngest, straight-talking Sara Davis worth 35m GBP

#jgtvdirector #jonathanglazier #jgpickoftheday #dragonsden

The Masked Singer

Coming to ITV in 2020, in production in Australia as I write (break a leg David and Chris) a show described as mad in the US press after its first season debut on Fox. The Masked Singer is a Korean Format from my friends at MBC.Celebrities don masks and perform in their own voices to the ubiquitous panel of judges. The performers are paired off and the loser is eliminated and of course, unmasked. Given some of the performers are not known for their singing this could be dubbed cruelly as a murder mystery given some of the attempts are “pitchy”. That said like the best of entertainment and in the works of one of the great entertainment producers of her generation the late Jane McNaught “you have to be able to see the joke.” Or in other words don’t take it too seriously, enjoy it as a parlour game but play to win. I can’t wait to see what Australia makes of it, and I really do hope the UK version has Eamonn and Ruth masked as beauty and the beast.

Jonathan GlazierExecutive Producer & Director, Writer and Creatorformer BBC head of format entertainment.

Elitism, is IP a thing anymore, for that matter, are TV formats a thing anymore?

Jonathan Glazier Formats and IP

Interesting I choose to write this on the day we hear ITV Studios has acquired Armaoza Formats, I wonder why… not why I’m writing but why the takeover? Is the format business as active as it once was? Or has the format fever just reverted into business as usual? Are MIP and MIPcom just getting smaller because of prohibitive costs and the Amazon effect of the internet with everyone, media buyers included, operating using their mobile while watching C21screeners and reading K7media reports?

Fremantle and Endemolshine are restructuring, otherwise known as downsizing, there have been precious few breakout hits showing any signs of longevity. Sure Love Island is doing the rounds, and The Singer is enjoying a flurry of sales but will we see a return to the days of Millionaire and Weakest Link taking millions. Yes, we all point to Got Talent, X factor and The Voice as being international successes, but in real terms, T.V. viewing is old hat, figures are down everywhere. If the floods of climate change don’t get them first, the next audience is stuck in Tic Toc land glued to influencers the rest of us have never heard of, unless we are down with the kids.

So are Apps the new Formats? Do we need a coded interactive thing with filters and followers, something that mums and dads think is the devils’ work and should be banned because it turns brains to mush and is a paedophiles paradise? One thing is for sure the bottom has dropped out of the Format lecture circuit, those of us that made some cash on the side exporting our early adopter knowledge haven’t been booked for a while. Try telling a Korean T.V. executive they need a workshop, they bled us dry of our expertise and now have shown the world they can do Formats as well.

There’s a market for selling intel ask K7media, freshly expanded into new offices in central Manchester, red phone box and all. The only trade on information today is about who is doing what and where. Netflix has bumped the holy grail of I.P. ownership into touch, sell a fact ent to discovery and that a worldwide sale so no secondary stream there. So there may be more content being watched, more opportunity to find a home for our content than ever, but how do we make it pay our mortgages?

The SVoD was thought to have been the opening up of a route to the audience free of the traditional gatekeepers, of course, all we have is new gatekeepers. Its the BarcroftTV model that is really bucking the trend, doing what Jon de Mol failed to do, creating a content model that self publishes to your tube and makes the finances work. Like JOnwhoi tried to own the production house and channel. Isn’t that a tradition broadcaster anyway? When the BBC started a producer would walk up to the controllers’ office and say, “I’ve found two comedians doing the circuit can we give them a T.V. show?” controller says yes and Morecambe and Wise are born. Peter Kosminsky thinks SVoD’s have created hyperinflation in drama, and that will eventually drive drama out of PSB’s (he means the BBC). Paying 7 figures an Episode where the BBC can just scrape together the low 6s. Incidentally, if the latest sci-fi outing of AnotherLife is an example of this great new drama explosion, we are doomed.

All of which brings me back to my initial thought, is I.P. a thing anymore? Well, it should be a thing, a person who creates something should keep a portion of the rights; otherwise, we are going to be left without incentive. It’s more a question of what is that I.P. is worth. As the audiences broaden worldwide and SVod’s and subtitles become far more global, we are going to see the multiple income streams from local production diminish. Yes, International versions of shows made for a more traditional broadcaster will, of course, continue to be made. Netflix, Apple and Amazon may carry their own localised versions of shows perhaps geoblocking to provide a more globally segmented offering.

But it could all be to no avail because the clock is Tic Toc ing for this current generation of cord cut natives watching barcroftTV, Vice, Joe media and BBC3,  then the content creators will have truly smashed the grip of this pesky gatekeepers. I was once heavily criticised for having an anarchic view of the “gatekeepers” people said they actually worked with the creators in partnership and I shouldn’t be so critical. I suggest you watch “How to Break into the Elite” on iPlayer. The T.V. industry comes across as one of the worst for a bias toward the upper-middle classes in terms of recruitment not only that it’s an industry rife with nepotism. It’s shocking, and Channel 4 is even worse than the BBC. T.V. is now something to do,  a cool industry. The days of passionate people driven by creativity are gone. I wanted to direct since I was six, an ordinary lad from a single-parent family, state school and dyslexic, thank goodness I had a charming R.P. accent, if I’d have come from South London there’d have been no chance, if I was a PoC totally no chance, unless I was a PoC from Eaton and Oxford. It’s a national disgrace.

Everyone deserves a voice, and we should create a society of equals, with Boris at the helm leading that cabinet we have no chance. We shouldn’t be celebrating equality until we get the first black prime minister from Brixton, state school and with Russell University 1st. The same goes for T.V. until we regain passionate, creative leaders who didn’t just think T.V. was an entry pass to Soho House and a better option than P.R. or the City. I joined T.V. when it was a leveller, it didn’t matter if you were Oxbridge, Eaton or Roundwood Park secondary modern,  we all had a voice, perhaps that’s what made ATV Elstree so very special.

Oh and I.P. is a thing it’s just not worth such a lot, and yes formats are still a thing, we just don’t act like its a British thing thank goodness.

Jonathan Glazier

Executive Producer & Director, Writer and Creator former BBC head of format entertainment.

The Great Hack

the great hack

The Great Hack is a superb watch, compelling even if you forget the implications of the story because the characters are fascinating. In particular, Brittany Kaiser, why does a Bernie Saunders voting, former green peace advocate and brilliant woman end up working for the Trump campaign through Cambridge Analytica? Was she seduced by the anarchy and power of the undoubtedly charismatic Steve Bannon, or was it her family’s dire financial circumstances? This is something the film doesn’t address in any depth. Nor does it look at how all the leading players at Cambridge Analytica have simply started up precisely the same kind of company after dissolving CA. Although we do get the impression they filed for bankruptcy to avoid their legal responsibilities. The money and power screams of an Illuminati conspiracy theory. All that said this is a must-watch show, brilliantly made. Chilling imagery of our data being collected and shots of those “innocent” quizzes we have all clicked on Facebook bring home the reality of data collection. There’s one caveat I’d add, who did anything wrong? Sure the ownership of our own data is something we should all debate. But all recent elections target the swing vote. All parties seek out the “persuadables“, why is it so shocking and called election influencing when it’s been happening since the mid-’50s. Once upon a time, it was Mr Murdoch who was the alleged kingmaker. Yes, the stories used today to target the swing voters are despicable, mostly false but very effective, why are we so surprised? I think the most insidious thought being the platforms we use to post cute cats are the ones being used to split society apart and the fact that Russia and other foreign powers are using the same techniques to subvert our democracy. Vice wrote an excellent review here, saying the great hack mostly missed the point. That point being, we are entering into surveillance capitalism, but that’s been the case for years, the powerful have been keeping the masses in their place using every trick in the book. Supermarkets have been employing psychologists for years placing impulse buys in precisely the right place in the store etc. The infamous “torches of freedom” smoking campaigns designed to get women to equate smoking with their emancipation in the late 1920s were an example of early manipulation by large wealthy corporations using Edward Bernays and the psychoanalyst A.A. Brill. So while it is a must-see “The Great Hack” is really about the modern-day techniques being used today, the fact that it’s got so much easier to farm data thanks to the large internet corporations. I think we all half expect our governments to hold data about us, perhaps our banks and medical institutions, suddenly we discover a bunch of college kids with an app have 100 times the data, and we gave it up ourselves so easily is a shock. If I am honest, I don’t know why we actually give our trust so easily to governments, medical institutions and of all places banks.

The Last Alaskans

The Last Alaskans

The last Alaskans is a remarkable series. We all know the pain of getting quiet reserved people to talk on camera. This is where this series really succeeds for me. Seeing these people, particularly the men open up in such an emotional way is heartwarming. These are the last 8 or 9 families living in the Alaskan wilderness, once the last children of the current permit holders die, no more permits will be issued. Contrary to popular belief is is possible to fail capturing spectacular scenery, this series does not fail, it is beautifully shot. The drone shots are lovely and the IV and cabin interiors take you right into their lives.

For me though it’s the story telling that succeeds so well and that centres on relationships. The relationships within the families and the families relationship to nature. I am no supporter of hunting or trapping, this show does help square some of those issues. For these families it is about survival and actually their relationship with nature actually does help preserve it, probably much more than most non hunters. But don’t judge me take a look at this gem of a show.