SeriesFest Season 2 Recap
SeriesFest: Season 2, a programming festival showcasing American and International television series pilots, kicked off with a stunning opening night line-up at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver, Colorado during the middle of last week. Not even a little rain and occasional brisk winds could ruin the evening. In fact, it added to the experience of watching a nature doc in a visually striking, beautiful part of the country.
The thrilling chase of predators attacking prey in BBC America’s vicious and enthralling “The Hunt” was a surreal outdoor viewing experience topped off with loud reactions from the crowd. There are incredibly shot scenes with state of the art cameras. Everything from cheetahs to whales to spiders are showcased. At first, the audience wanted to see a concert, but were going along with watching the nature documentary. Red Rocks should consider showing clips from intense nature docs more often. (Event planners and musicians, take note.)
After “The Hunt,” international pop star Sia performed some her popular songs. It was one of the most unique concerts I have ever attended. While Sia was positioned off to the side to sing, an abstract performance with multiple dancers took center stage invoking emotion and engagement during the concert. As someone not familiar with the artist, think Sia as a Rihanna/Bjork hybrid channeling GaGa (in her pre-Tony Bennett era of embracing attention grabbing costumes). I am not a music critic so forgive the comparison if you disagree. She made headlines the next day when the windy, outdoor elements blew around her recognizable black and white wig briefly revealing her face during the performance.
Multiple industry panels covered a wide variety of topics during Series Fest Season Two in the coming days. The Sie FilmCenter was full of people in the entertainment industry. A brief wrap up of the highlights:
New Voices in Primetime Comedy
– A few C-level execs from a major television network attended including the President of NBC. It was a detailed discussion that touched upon industry trends and even casting diversity. This was a very well attended event and was the most talked about during the rest of the festival.
A Conversation with Kim Cattrell
– The conversation hosted by Vanity Fair writer Krista Smith was a lively moment during the festival. “The Sex and the City” actress welcomed a receptive and excited Thursday evening crowd that were drinking a complimentary cosmo drink. Cattrell reflected about her career. I found the most interesting moment was when she was honest about working in the youth obsessed industry.
Journey to Success
– A few actors within the industry (including Jason Ritter, Melanie Lynskey, and Aaron Yoo) discussed working in the TV and film business. It was an in-depth discussion about their successes and struggles while offering sound advice about actors catching a big break.
360 Storytelling – Is VR the future?
– Virtual reality on television is a fascinating idea, but what would it look like? Two experts in the field (Stina Hamlin and Schele Williams of East Coast Digital) offered an informative conversation on the technology and the future of the medium.