CYNOPSIS SHORT FORM VIDEO FESTIVAL
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival took place yesterday at NYC’s SVA Theatre, featuring insights from some of the smartest players in the space as well as showcasing fresh and surprising storytelling. The festival had been postponed by weather once, but Cynopsis was not planning to let a snowstorm get the better of us this time (though it did leave one of our event planners stranded in Nashville).
The day started with talks with brands, and it became clear that the relationship between brand and creator is key. Viacom Velocity EVP of Integrated Marketing Chris Ficarra walked the audience through a Subaru video with Daniel Tosh, emphasizing the importance of authenticity. Except for the rules it gives all creators – wear a seat belt, obey traffic laws – the car company let the comedian share his Subaru love this way, and it worked.
It was a meeting of the minds between SVP, Network Partnerships & Integrated Marketing, NBCU Entertainment Group Sari Feinberg and State Farm National Advertising Manager Karen Noel, who worked on This Is Us-themed videos that were so effective, one was used again during the Super Bowl. What did Noel like about working with NBC? “Everything they offered,” she said. Bodega’s Haley Geffen collaborated with Under Armour’s Meg Oepen, who repeated the theme that partnering with the right people is everything, and showed a dazzling video for an Olympic “speed skin” that matches the athlete’s natural movements.
Evan Shapiro, founder of eshap.tv, moderated a panel on maximizing ROI. “Data from short form really lives in silos at the brand level and it’s not always accurate to assume that what worked in the past will work in the future,” notes Zach Schwitzky, CEO of Limbik. Said Robin Monheit, Strategic Partner/Manager of Crowd Tangle, “We’re really about engagement, and less about views. I always tell people you can’t fake a comment.”
Time staff writer Eliana Dockterman and Time video producer Spencer Bakalar opened the curtain on Time’s Person of the Year viral video on “Silence Breakers.” Despite all the buzz, “Person of the Year is a hard package to sell because no one knows who the person will be – it could be Kim Jong Un,” said Dockterman, but added brands are getting more interested in getting involved. Of the women in the Person of the Year video, “We wanted to really show these women’s faces and put a face to the problem,” said Bakalar. “It isn’t just the Ashley Judds who are dealing with this”
And then it was on to the Cynopsis Short Form Awards, with guest presenters Oneika Raymond (Travel Channel), Savannah Sellers (Stay Tuned), Matteo Lane (The Comedy Jam) and Monique Moses (Sport Court) keeping things moving – and lively. The awards celebrated everything from animals to animation, from cooking videos to comedy, and branded content of every stripe. We saw winning videos on how not to kill houseplants, dorm decor, sports and the solar eclipse – for a complete list, go here.
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Modern Family‘s Abraham Higginbotham inked a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under its terms, he will continue his work with the ABC series, where he’s served as EP since its launch and written dozens of episodes.
John Varvatos and Network Entertainment have teamed to create original content for TV and film, focusing on the worlds of music, fashion and pop culture. Among the initial projects is a series based on Varvatos’ 2013 book, John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion, which explored how rock ‘n’ roll style influenced his designs.
Scripps renewed Pickler & Ben for a second season. The daytime talker, which received three Daytime Emmy nominations, has already cleared 125 markets.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
AMC is launching all 10 episodes of The Terror to its Premiere customers on Monday, March 26 at 9p, the night of the show’s network premiere. The move follows a similar strategy the network employed for its most recent original series, McMafia, propelling AMC Premiere to its most successful week even in terms of new customer additions and viewership.
FOX airs Meghan Markle: An American Princess on Friday, May 11 at 8p. The two-hour special focuses on Markle’s life and potential legacy as the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937.
Smithsonian Channel reveals the inside story of a deadly American tragedy in Waco: The Longest Siege, premiering Monday, April 9 at 8p, featuring previously unseen footage and firsthand accounts from survivors, law enforcement agents and eyewitnesses.
Lifetime is kicking off the National Women’s Soccer League 2018 Game of the Week, which includes 20 regular season matches, playoff semifinals and the NWSL Championship on Saturday, March 24. The pregame show airs at 3:30p, followed by the game at 5:30p.
TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom special bows Saturday, March 24 at 9p. This year, Discovery partnered with Seventeen magazine on a contest for one high school, Washington Heights’ Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School, for not only dresses and formalwear, but a prom itself.
CBS News journalists, embedded with survivors of the Parkland, FL school shooting, takes viewers inside the creation of a movement as students turn grief into action, in 39 Days. One-hour doc airs Saturday, March 24 at 8p.
Cinelatino and Centroamerica TV will air special religious programming during Holy Week and leading up to Easter Sunday. Among the highlights, Cinelatino airs El Milagro de Lourdes and Marcelino Pan y Vino on Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30 beginning at 8a and on Sunday, April 1 beginning at 7a.
UP TV presents Easter Lives Here, a two-weekend event beginning Palm Sunday, March 25 at 7p with Risen and concluding Easter Sunday, April 1 at 7p with Mom’s Night Out.
Bill Bellamy (Any Given Sunday, How to Be A Player) hosts the eighth and final installment of Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: I’m Still Laughing. Show bows Friday, March 23 at 10p on Showtime.
After 59 years on the air, retiring radio broadcaster Don Imus ranks himself and longtime rival Howard Stern among the top-five best ever in an interview with Anthony Mason for CBS Sunday Morning. Episode airs Sunday, March 25 at 9a.
Noticias Telemundo features multiplatform coverage of the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, live coast-to-coast beginning at 11:30a. The network will provide continuous updates on the protests around the country demanding gun control.
VIDEOS IN SHORT
Young Hollywood launches digital docuseries Rookie on The Rise, featuring Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, on Tuesday, April 3. Each 2 to 5-minute episode showcases behind-the-scenes moments with Mitchell, following his rise to national stardom.
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises invested over $250,000 in El Campeon En Ti. The campaign promotes the positive benefits of participating in sports to more than 20,000 Latino youth in underserved communities.
CBS is doubling up on big guest stars. Bill Gates visits The Big Bang Theory on Thursday, March 29 at 8p, while Jason Alexander plays Sheldon’s drama teacher on Young Sheldon Thursday, March 29 at 8:30p.
Monty Python is coming to Netflix. The SVOD service obtained international rights to all of the classic British comedies, including movies Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Life of Brian. All will air in the UK and Canada as well as other territories beginning April 15 before launching in the U.S. later this year. Netflix also announced a premiere date for postapocalytpic thriller The Rain. The streamer’s first Danish original series bows Friday, May 4.
In other Netflix news, the guest lineup for Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity comedy special. Names booked include James Corden, Sarah Silverman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeff Goldblum and more. The special is being taped Saturday, March 24 at the Hollywood Palladium to air in April.
And last, but not least, Deadline reports that Netflix has closed a deal for a new original documentary series. It’s inspired by the New York Times Magazine’s Diagnosis medical column written by Dr. Lisa Sanders and will follow patients with mysterious illnesses and track their journeys to find a diagnosis, potentially, a cure.
ABC News is launching Start Here, a new daily news podcast hosted by Brad Mielke on Wednesday, March 28 at 6a. Each episode features four to six stories, taking listeners right to the scene with on-location reporting.
AfroLife.TV partnered with Chimpanzee Productions, Inc. to license Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela. Show centers on Thomas Allen Harris, who in the wake of his stepfather’s death, embarks on a journey of reconciliation with the man who raised him as a son, but whom he could never call father.
Face Forward returns for a 16-episode second season on Snapchat’s Discover Page on Saturday, March 24 at 6a, focused on deserving young women getting a complete style overhaul, culminating with a celebrity-inspired photo shoot.
Shout! Factory TV partnered with Twitch to host a 24-hour marathon of the complete original series ReBoot. Premiere date: Wednesday, March 28 at 3p.
Blue Ant International expanded its catalogue with over 450 hours of new programming. Included are factual entertainment, nature and wildlife programs, documentaries and new original scripted series Gary and His Demons.
Woodcut Media finalized a deal to produce a third season of true crime series Britain’s Most Evil Killers and its international counterpart World’s Most Evil Killers.
Argonon International is launching Ready or Not, a hidden camera prank show with a play-along game, at MIPTV. The show will air on BBC One .
Pernel Media was commissioned to produce a second season of docu-drama The Real War of Thrones: A History of Europe for France 5.
Armosa Formats’ The Surprise Teacher, created and produced by Palomar Productions, is set to air in Italy.
Corus Studios is starting production and international sales on Stitched, an original fashion competition series, slated to premiere this fall.
Arrow Media commissioned The World’s Greatest Mountains, exploring the secrets of Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc and Ben Nevis, for Channel 5.