If you’re a writer with a story to tell, you’ll need the help of a studio or publisher who can bring your ideas to life.
In collaboration with the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2019, Kevin Ho, Mediacorp’s Assistant Lead for English Content, shares valuable tips for writers who are interested in pitching their concepts to major studios and content producers.
Are there particular genres, demographics, etc. that Mediacorp’s stories have to satisfy?
Mediacorp is Singapore’s national broadcaster, and as such, has to produce content for a wide variety of Singaporeans. So we’re always on the lookout for genuine Singaporean stories – stories that Singaporeans will look at and go, hey, that’s me! Or, at least, hey, that’s a guy I know!
How does Mediacorp decide which ideas they should produce?
Mediacorp looks at a lot of factors when deciding what to produce, but the most important is the story premise. If the premise of the story is strong, then most other things can be worked out. For example, we’ve had inexperienced producers pitch strong ideas to us, and we commission them on the condition that they work very closely with our commissioners to develop and execute those ideas.
How does Mediacorp overcome the challenges they face?
Toggle, our digital entertainment platform, has really helped. In the past, we were limited by the number of hours available – we could fill our channels with, at most, 24 hours of content a day. Now, there’s pretty much no limit to the amount of content that can go on Toggle. Check it out, you’re almost certain to find something you like!
What are the primary trends that Mediacorp observes in the industry, and how can Mediacorp use these opportunities to improve their offerings?
One trend that has been present for a while is the way technology is changing the stories we can tell. For example, cameras are now smaller, lighter, cheaper, and film at higher resolution than ever before. That, in turn, makes it possible to tell stories that we couldn’t in the past.
Maybe we’re filming a drama in a really nice location, and we think an aerial establishing shot would be great. In the past, we would have had to get a helicopter. Today, we just use a drone.
In the past, running around with a camera to film an action sequence would have been exhausting. Today, cameras are light and memory cards are tiny. Technology continues to make the impossible, possible, and the difficult, easy. Mediacorp is always looking at ways to use technology to tell new stories in new ways.