Each week NYF profiles one of the TV & Film Grand Jury members, all are award-winning executives recruited by New York Festivals to select the World’s Best TV & Films℠. The New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Grand Jury is made up of over 200 award-winning members from over 40 countries; this diverse jury with a global mix of perspectives is one of the strengths of the New York Festivals jury.
Grand Jury member, Marie-Claude is Head of Strategic Communications and Innovative Initiatives for Tata Communications Montreal, Canada. Marie-Claude spent 14 years researching, interviewing, producing and telling stories from over 30 countries, as a Radio-Canada reporter and through Cpasifou, her independent multimedia project around the world. She is an award winning journalist and has covered many election campaigns, as well as major economic, environmental, cultural, social, and educational issues.
In the interview below, Marie-Claude shares her insights on what she learned from her first job, the defining moment in her career, and her opinion on where the broadcast industry will evolve in the next five years.
New York Festivals: What is the most important thing you learned from your first job?
Marie-Claude Guay: Always take time to think and bring your story further: reporters have lots of pressure to meet their deadlines, most of them have thin resources (time, human and budget) hence they hesitate to take a step back and invest their precious time to question their angle, the information they have, the best way\medium to tell their story and brainstorm with colleagues
Figures speak as much as people. It just takes different efforts and different skills set. It is important to not be afraid to go through reports and do some math. Not only it brings more depth and credibility to your story, it can win you additional and exclusive stories.
New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?
Marie-Claude Guay: Having my bosses at Radio-Canada Alberta trust my ideas and empower me to turn them into projects and stories. It takes guts and boldness to send a young reporter to cover politics, give her a team, a budget and a full 7 months to investigate an international story, and let her become your current affairs reporter. As a result, we won recognition, prices and nominations in Film Festivals. Most of all, we learned a lot through the journey and had a great deal of fun. It is said that the recipe for success is 90% of work, 5% talent and 5% chance…if nobody gives you a chance, you can work very hard without meeting your goals.
New York Festivals: Where do you see the industry in the next five years?
Marie-Claude Guay: One word: Innovation
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
With the technology being more and more affordable and accessible, the adoption is fast increasing : according to Digi-Capital, AR and VR will hit 120 billion in revenue by 2020. AR and VR allow artisans to go further into their creation: not only from a production/craft side and how the story is told, but also how the story is received and perceived. The viewers are immersed: more than ever can they bounce with the main character, feel what they feel, hear what they hear, compare their own reaction with the ones from the production. They are not just spectators, they become actor. I am very pleased to see that NYF is leading the way and embracing this opportunity by adding a new category called Best Use of Technology. Very looking forward to see the results of our 2016 participants’ creativity!
With the next 3 billion internet users coming online by 2025, mostly coming from developing countries, we will see opportunities to develop more local content. Again, with technology being more accessible, it will be easier for current and new artisans as well as start ups to develop and put their skills and talent to the benefits of worldwide viewers.
New York Festivals: What qualities set apart the TVF medal winners?
Marie-Claude Guay: What I have seen during my last 2 years as a Grand Jury member, is that medal winners really get out of the traditional reporting/production comfort zones, they take risks (and by this I don’t mean they all risk their life!) they do not hesitate to develop different ways (story structures, camera angles, choices of characters, interviewees, voice-over, sound) of telling their story. And most of all, their story is not just told: it provokes a reaction. You want to know more. You question yourself. And sometimes…you even take action to help things change and find answers.