Nat Geo's Steve Burns to debate on science and factual content

(25 October 2010 7:15 pm)

MUMBAI: The organisers of the upcoming World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP), to take place in Dresden, Germany, from 30 November to 3 December, have announced that National Geographic Channel (NGC) executive VP global programming Steve Burns will share his insight into the current climate of science and factual programming.

The event brings together factual broadcasters and producers.

His session is called Films I Wish I Had Commissioned…. and Some That I Did! In his newly expanded role as National Geographic Channels executive VP global programming, Burns is placed to see an array of science and history films from all over the world and is constantly on the look out for creative storytelling and high production values; or, as he puts it, "top notch" filmmaking.

While television commissioners stick to the tried-and-true topics that they know will bring in audiences, producers have to come up with ever more creative ideas for refreshing the stories and the ways of telling them. He will unveil his pick of this year's crop of top notch international films.

This year WCSFP will also feature a four-day programme of workshops, networking events, one-on-one pitch meetings, and panels that will reveal emerging content trends and highlight important industry issues. Last year, more than 200 representatives from international broadcasters were in attendance, including ABC, Channel 4, Discovery.

The WCSFP in Dresden is expected to hoast a two-to-one ratio of independent producers to broadcasters. One session will offer overviews of the International Broadcasting Landscape.

An overview of the broadcasting landscape for science and history programming in the major territories of the UK, USA, Europe and Asia will be presented. There will also be an update on the array of channels under the Discovery banner and the reorganisation of National Geographic Channels.

There will be a session on whether factual is f****d up. Television programme makers, like all content producers, are wrestling with the effects of the digital revolution. How is it altering the way programnes are made and the way audiences experience them? Do you tweet? Do you blog? Do you care? Is it possible to adapt to the online age? Or are factual producers, creators and broadcasters all f****d?

The session will reveal results of a survey of what members of this industry are already doing, or not doing, in the new media space.

Another session will look at The Fundamentals of 3D Documentary Production. This session will focus on the essentials of producing documentaries in stereoscopic 3D. It will give an introduction to 3D perception of the human brain and lead through the various aspects and technologies of 3D image acquisition in the field, giving a brief overview of the possibilities and challenges in post-production and mastering, and concluding with the implications 3D production has in production management, scheduling and budgeting.

Another sesion looks at whether 3D is just hype. 3D is the buzzword of the year, but is it true TV gold or just a flash in the pan? The session looks at whether 3D really adds a new dimension to TV production. Do the numbers add up or will 3D production leave producers out of pocket?