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  • Writer's pictureDean Anthony Gratton

Skype looks to you to Shoot the Future

Acclaimed British screenwriter Tony Jordan recently pointed out that “the urge to be entertained is a primal human need. People love good storytelling, wherever and however they find it” and I have to agree. But the way we tell our stories is continuing to evolve, with broadcast media taking new leaps forward in delving into real-time moments to fully immerse our audience with new and innovative entertainment concepts.

Turning new ideas into reality

Skype in Media embraces this movement with its recently launched ‘Shoot the Future’ contest, the aim being to support the next generation of forward-thinking content creators with a competition devised to pitch their ideas and win $20,000 development cash. Content creators can turn their ideas into reality through the contest, which aims to expose the greatest new concepts and talent in this ever-evolving broadcast arena.

You’ve only got to look at the way the Late Late Show and VICE News use Skype in their mix to provide a new interactive form of entertainment to understand how Skype allows traditional media to evolve in a way that resonates with today’s viewers. It’s a symbiosis of traditional meets future ‘now,’ allowing creativity rather than purely budget to take the reins of great entertainment. With judges for Shoot the Future including rap storyteller Ice-T and Game of Thrones producer, Oliver Butler, standards for the contest are high, but the potential to break new boundaries is limited only by imagination.

A virtual bonfire

Skype is hoping that the contest will not only unearth new broadcasting talent, but will provide insight into the future of the industry. For me, it’s the social immersion Skype brings to broadcasting that’s most exciting. The opportunity to engage with our peers in real-time has expanded far beyond the traditional common room sofa, but the ethos remains the same in terms of group entertainment value, something echoed in a recent talk by Tess Alps of who said “We can all remember how sitcoms seemed a lot funnier in the common room at college, or in the lounge with our flatmates. A joke is funnier when two people are laughing. When there’s a whole timeline of people laughing then that joke’s better still.”

It seems that a combination of social streaming and Skype broadcasting has lit a virtual bonfire around which we can all gather and exchange real-time feedback and opinion, in turn, creating a new sense of belonging never before experienced in our consumption of media.

Who’s the producer?

And industry leaders agree, with Dave Evans, former Chief Futurist for Cisco systems recently stating: “One thing emerging clearly right now is that video is no longer just for passive consumption; it has become an interactive experience. It is also changing in terms of who is the producer; it’s not anymore just about the big studios or networks. The type of technology that an individual consumer possesses now would rival what a studio had a decade or two ago. Just look at the power in your smartphone, and its capability to create and broadcast video that can be consumed by millions or even billions of people”

Shoot the Future is a great opportunity to not only discover new broadcasting talent, but to reveal new ways to use Skype to tell our stories in dynamic, immersive and compelling ways.

Until next time…

I have to admit that, as a young boy, having access to this technology would have further fueled an already over active imagination since I always wanted to be the next Steven Spielberg. As a youngster, I would often orchestrate crashes with my train set using an elaborate backdrop of trees, bushes and miscellaneous debris and then use my hands to mimic a camera swooping over the scene of the crash. I would also regularly frighten the bejesus out of my mother by creating fake wounds on my arm with lashings of tomato sauce as the blood. Couple my young creativity with today’s technology and who knows!

So, this is where a yesteryear Dr G signs off.

Originally published in Skype in Media.


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a technology influencer, analyst & futurist 

I dispel the rumours, gossip and hype surrounding new technology

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