My good friend Gingi Baki asked me: who is the most interesting person you met at Banff 2012? Tough question! You see, I have met television creatives & luminaries like Chuck Lorre, Glen Mazzara, Jeanne Beker, Mike Fleiss, Terence Winter and I can easily put any one of them on my “most interesting person” list. But if I do that, I will be doing a diservice to you. What would you gain if I name any one of them? Nothing! Because you know them already. Instead I will share with you a name that, unless you are in the “business“, you may not heard of.
To me, the most interesting person I met in #banff2012 is Paul Chard, Global Head of Content of MediaCom.
Paul is the brain behind bringing the international format Got Talent into the almost impossible land of China (rebranded to be China’s Got Talent 中国达人秀) which was a 15 months effort and lots of negotiation (as Paul wrote, “co-operation and partnership with IPCN, Shanghai Media Group and format owners Freemantle and SYCO“). China’s Got Talent is one of the first TV formats that got into China. I actually saw widespread popularity first hand at the time as many of the amazing China’s Got Talent videos were shared by my friends on their social networks. (for more details, see Paul’s 2010 blog and ICPN page with video clip)
Paul Chard talked about brokering “Got Talent” format into China #Banff2012
My one-on-one interview with Paul at #banff2012
Paul’s on stage talk & interview at #banff2012
The idea of learning from interesting & insightful people
I half-jokingly asked Paul to not hold it against me that I’ve been a big fan of Kevin Roberts (blog) (CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi). You see, I’ve been reading Kevin‘s ideas/writings since the late 80s. You may not realize but the parent companies of Paul and Kevin are the globally competing WPP Group and Publicis Group respectively. (update: Paul showcased the #awesome T-Mobile Royal Wedding video in his presentation, and I just discovered via MBA (mediaCom beyond advertising) that the campaign is a team effort including mediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi, and others).
I stumbled upon a talk by Gary Carter at the 2007 nextMedia/Banff World TV Festival (yes, 5 years ago!) and his insights were amazingly deep. Since then, I’ve attended all of Gary’s talk I can and try to pay close attention to what Gary does and related news, including his recent resignation as FremantleMedia’s Chief Operating Officer. I am sure whatever Gary does next will be worth my attention to know and learn from. (note: Gary came back to Banff in 2009, here is a great list of Gary’s 2009 clips, see The Susan Boyle Phenomenon, and FremantleMedia Experimental)
Which brings back to Paul. And I am going to share with you a secret trick I use. I use Google Alerts to track and try to learn from interesting & insightful people. I am adding Paul to my Google Alerts list along the likes of Kevin and Gary. In life, I believe an important way to better ourselves is to learn from the best.
Kevin wrote years ago, “Ideas are the currency of the future.” And the likes of Kevin, Gary, and Paul are “rich people” going by the quote. And William Gibson’s quote “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” enlightens me to realize that the best way to look into the future is to look and see what “rich people” like Kevin, Gary, and Paul think and do!
P.S. Who is your “most interesting #banff2012 person“? Please share with your reasons in the comment section.
Here is the official Banff session description.
“Paul Chard, Global Head of Content, MediaCom: How Content is Changing the Business
Paul Chard is a true industry veteran, getting his start over three decades ago, in 1980. Today, as the Global Head of Content at MediaCom, Chard is responsible for media sponsorship, sport, branded entertainment and advertiser funding, social media and emerging platforms. In 2010, Chard brokered the successful “Got Talent” format into China and saw it become the biggest foreign reality show ever screened in the country. Having seen this industry from every angle, Chard carries with him a wealth of knowledge and insight. Join Chard as he reflects on his career and looks forward to the future of the entertainment industry in this exclusive opening keynote.”