23 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Co-Founder Stephen McCormack on upcoming Mediacon Global Entertainment Summit
07 Sep 2016 : Katie McNeice
Mediacon Global Entertainment summit is a two-day conference promoting content creation and open discourse on the digital entertainment industries.

It takes place in Dublin Castle from September 13th-14th and features over 400 delegates from 20 countries.

The line-up include a look at the evolution of ‘Gogglebox’, ‘We Don’t Train Dinosaurs: The Future of Screen-Craft’ from Dean Elizabeth Daly of the USC School of Cinema/Arts and ‘Discovery Virtual Reality Keynote’ from Cory Key, VP at VR Discovery.

IFTN talks to McCormack about what to expect from the upcoming event, his vision for a nationwide content strategy and promoting home-grown content in future. He tells us the summit is designed to gather together the best professionals in the world in the fields of new media, television and technology in order to know where we are going next.

The challenge, he says, is in crafting an intelligent plan for Ireland’s development over the next 5-10 years. In bringing world-class people together however, world-class strategies will emerge. Key stakeholders such as the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, RTÉ, Enterprise Ireland, Virgin Media, the Irish Film Board and others will all be present to partake in panel discussions and presentations.

Figures from these areas include Virgin Media CEO Tony Hanway, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes and IFB Chief Executive James Hickey.

McCormack also tells us that secondly, Mediacon is a marketplace facilitating partnerships between producers and other professionals. This is a platform for those looking toward a long-term career in the film and television industry to make contacts, and also for participants to meet partners and create new, successful content.

“The way forward for a small country such as Ireland is to partner with other people”, McCormack says, with Mediacon also including pitching sessions and masterclasses to this end. He also emphasises our cultural history as storytellers in Ireland, which should inspire the upcoming generations of content creators to become known for our storytelling through all media.

McCormack draws a comparison between the success of Irish film versus television, and says we should be leveraging those film writers as well as journalists and new talent, in order to nurture the same success in drama. Given the strength of ‘Red Rock’ and the quality infrastructures in place in Ireland, he states there is no reason why we should not be writing and creating our own equivalent of ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘House of Cards’.

Just as the tech industry in Ireland has encouraged young talent, he calls for a similar investment in young talent across film and television, with support for young production companies and those with an interest in pursuing long-term careers in content creation.

When asked what advice he would give fledgling professionals in the industry he says, “The first step is to think multi-platform and about all visual storytelling. The future of all content will be all screens, not just one screen.”

He further states that young professionals need to develop their skills toward an overall understanding of all forms of digital media, and publish their original content to the likes of YouTube irrespective of how polished it is, without waiting for an opportunity to present itself.

Media students interested in partaking in Mediacon as volunteers can email participate @ mediacon.ie.

Visit www.mediacon.ie for further information and tickets
Visit the full Mediacon Schedule

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