So, Cannes again. I have a number of questions I need answers for this year. Here they are: I had a very bad Jason Bourne moment this week.
I knew that at MIP in April I had stayed somewhere that I haven’t stayed before but could I remember anything about where?
No I couldn’t. Nada. A complete and utter blank; no recollection of whether it was a hotel or flat or where it was, what it was called or what it looked like. I stood, wild-eyed and panicked at my assistant’s desk and told her that a whole piece of my life had gone missing and she had to help me fill in the blanks. She calmed me down with a smack to the head. She told me where I had stayed but still I can’t remember anything about it.
- Question 1: Where the hell did I sleep in April?
I’m going to ask for the same room and hope there isn’t a chalk outline of a body on the floor. I’m staring at my MIPCOM VIP membership card. I have been to MIPCOM so many times they are going to have to invent a new metal for my next tier of membership – perhaps that’s why the details are a little hazy.
- Question 2: What is the metal-membership combo that comes after Platinum?
After I have recovered my memory I need to figure out the answer to question three.
- Question 3: what is happening to our industry?
Chorion is going to be re-born as something… quite similar. Coolabi has been ‘approached’, Chapman is fighting for survival, E1 is for sale, DHX is picking over the corpse-strewn battlefield. Makes me wish that we had mountainous debts – feels like we’re missing out on all the fun. Luckily the Aardman Rights team has all the sales meetings covered so I can carry on trying to answer question 4, the $64k question.
- Question 4: How the hell can we afford to produce kids series in the UK without selling our souls?
Four years ago we set up Aardman Digital as a new department. I promised the company that one day it would become as profitable as our Broadcast or Rights or even our Commercials department. It is *so* going to overhaul one of those departments in the next few years, probably Broadcast. So, question 5: When?
- Question 6: Where is the entrance to the Palais for the VIP MIPCOM Platinum card holders?
I’ve had the card all these years and never found it.
So anyway, if you see me on the Croisette, wandering around aimlessly and muttering to myself, ‘Look what they makes us give’, I have probably just had to part with one of our premium properties to a US broadcaster for free. Take me in hand, phone my assistant and ask her what hotel I am staying at. I won’t know.