Innovation for Media Content Creation
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Innovation for Media Content Creation

Tools and Strategies for Delivering Successful Content

Marlon Quintero

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  1. 344 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Innovation for Media Content Creation

Tools and Strategies for Delivering Successful Content

Marlon Quintero

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About This Book

Innovation for Media Content Creation provides a fresh approach to the strategic, logistic, creative, and managerial aspects of media content and television programming development. Mr. Quintero has taken the philosophy and methodologies of innovation that have traditionally been confined to use in product development and manufacturing or technological environments, and applied it in the media industry. This well-organized, step-by-step guide provides the framework and tools needed to deliver innovative, creative content successfully and consistently in today's multi-platform television landscape. Executives, creative professionals, and students alike will find value in this one-of-a-kind book.

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Part I: Strategy
Chapter 1. The Importance of Being Strategic in the Process of Innovation
Chapter 2. Defining Who You Are: Creative Individual or Creative Executive
Chapter 3. Finding Where You Are
Chapter 4. Assessing What You Have
Part II: Creativity
Chapter 5. Understanding Creativity
Chapter 6. The Sociocultural Model of Creative Validation in Media
PART III: Innovation
Chapter 7. Understanding Innovation
Chapter 8. Classification of Media Content Innovation According to Degree of Novelty
Chapter 9. Drivers of Content Innovation


Chapter 1. The Importance of Being Strategic in the Process of Innovation
Chapter 2. Defining Who You Are: Creative Individual or Creative Executive
Chapter 3. Finding Where You Are
Chapter 4. Assessing What You Have



Consumption of media is growing at an accelerated rate thanks to multiplication of the TV platform in several exposition windows (computers, mobile phones, tablets, TV sets, etc.). This multiplication of the TV platform is defining and creating valuable opportunities for creative individuals who want to build a career producing content to entertain people, and these opportunities are generating a wave of content that defies structures and the old schools of thought, opening up new ways to tell stories and reach audiences in rather unexpected ways. Advertisers, TV networks, technology companies, user-enabled internet portals, movie rental corporations, electronic manufacturers, and mobile companies are adding to a growing melting pot of possibilities, all striving for content, which is nothing but good news for creative individuals. No matter how diverse the television experience becomes, and how the new concept of “transmedia” takes over, the importance of content will remain intact: audiences need to be entertained and writers need to bring relevant content to them. To secure relevancy in this new competitive environment, and to become a player and efficiently direct creative efforts to yield innovations, writers and creative professionals need to be strategic more than ever.
Developing a strategic notion (or perception) will allow you to be a more-intelligent and assertive creative individual and will help you to make better and more-educated career decisions. You will need a road map. You will need to develop a set of personal goals and then strive for them. You will also need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and then get the best out of them. You will need to team up with people and establish a network of contacts that will become your bridge to success. You will need to create a path and figure out how to walk it. To walk this path, you not only need to be intuitive, but you also need to know the terrain, and what to do, and to be clear about what comes next. Having a personal strategy will give you the inner motivation needed to pursue your path and help you match your creative interests with those of entertainment companies or entities to secure growth and mutual satisfaction.
Being strategic is a trait you must develop to be successful in the creative content business. Being strategic is not easy though. The road to success in entertainment has ups and downs, but in the end these ups and downs represent experiences that will help you to be stronger and to build the necessary knowledge to anticipate and better react to changes and obstacles. You must be flexible and alert and always willing to learn something new. Everything is a source of creativity. A well-processed concept might yield the always-expected innovation!
The idealization of creating, producing, and owning “the show” everyone is talking about—the show that is able to attract advertisers and stay on the air for long periods of time or produce repeated downloads and streaming in different digital platforms—has writers, producers, and TV and media executives working tirelessly across the globe. Bilton (2007) stated that this notion has created two myths: the genius myth and the Hollywood myth. I would add a third, the new media myth. The genius myth is associated with the notion that it takes a lonely genius to come up with great and outstanding concepts; the Hollywood myth focuses on the illusion of hitting the Hollywood jackpot; and the new media myth leads us to believe that anybody can be the next Justin Bieber or pop sensation and be skyrocketed to terrestrial stardom thanks to the support of viral social networks of internet fans. There are, of course, few who actually do “make it” and find glory, strengthening the power of these myths, but fortunately this experience is not necessarily the “rule of the game.” Those with real drive, strategic sense, and knowledge of the world they are in can succeed.
J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer, David E. Kelly, and Shonda Rhimes have become solid references of successful creative and strategic individuals in the entertainment industry. Each of them has gone on from being a writer or a director with potential to become an enterprise and generator of content that pleases millions of viewers every week. They have been able to innovate and come up with a stable pipeline of content through time. Each of them embraced the industry, understood what was missing and what was needed, and brought to life a show that filled that void.
J.J. Abrams created Felicity (1998 – 2002) to serve a young audience in search of identity, reinvented science fiction (sci-fi) television with Lost (2004 – 2010), showed a new side to the world of undercover CIA agents in Alias (2001– 2006), and in 2008 brought us a post The X-Files investigative tale in Fringe (2008 – 2013) and later another lost world story in Revolution (2012 – 2014).
Jerry Bruckheimer has built a staple name in crime investigative shows (not to mention his successful and prolific film career). He produced one of the most successful drama series ever, CSI, and developed the TV franchise concept by creating CSI Miami and CSI NY without cannibalization between the two shows. He also produced Without a Trace and Cold Case and has led the production of The Amazing Race, one of the most successful reality shows ever.
David E. Kelly has dedicated his creative life to the exploration of human relations and behavior in the legal world. His shows Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal, and recently Murphy’s Law are all unique thanks to the very peculiar characteristics of the leading characters and the way they practice law.
Shonda Rhimes broke through with Grey’s Anatomy by showing a fresh and intimate youthful view of a hospital through the lives of resident doctors. After 6 years on the air, she continued innovating and then spun the show into Private Practice and more recently created Off the Map, a merge of Survivor with her own Grey’s Anatomy series. After reinventing the medical drama genre, Shonda Rhimes continued showing us how love stories between real, diverse, and strong characters in chaotic and difficult work environments collided and mastered her offering by switching to Washington, DC, the most powerful place on earth, through her series Scandal.
These showbiz stars grew to be who they are and to specialize in what they do and they succeeded. They all started from scratch and built a path until hitting stardom. Their careers illustrate creativity, flexibility, knowledge, and consistency and a very specific content strategy. They are strategic in nature and always have been. They first worked to build a name: they understood the nature of the industry, developed their own competences, gathered knowledge and resources, and stayed consistent. For example, Kelly, Bruckheimer, and Rhimes never stop exploring characters, relationships, and different angles to show a new aspect of the world they live in (legal, investigative, and medical). J.J. Abrams is eclectic and radical in his proposals and prefers to come up with something new and different every time. Bruckheimer (fiction, film, TV, and reality) prefers to diversify his portfolio and try different genres. These creative individuals innovate in different ways, making their names into brands. Now they are institutions with innovative catalogs and complex operations to create content. We want to hear about “what’s next” from them. They are trendsetters who help define the context of entertainment—the same context you have to understand today to figure out how to break into it and then create a new context with you in it.
In today’s world, being innovative is not just related to coming out with awesome concepts but also to understanding how to bring to life ideas that matter and have a real purpose in the industry. To accomplish this goal, the same as our illustrious role models did, you need to be strategic—and to be strategic, you need to understand the forces behind the complex media industry to be able to implement a framework of operation that will allow you to make proper use of the resources at hand to ensure creativity and innovation over time.
Common to hear from creative professionals is that the term strategy has nothing to do with them—that it is solely related to business people. And they are right in the sense that the business world moves based on strategies which are commonly prepared by business-savvy professionals working in the so-called strategic areas of corporations (business development, strategic planning, etc.). But guess what? You want to be a creative force that generates successful media content and money. Thus you want to be a business or to drive a business through the creation of content. Let’s say that you want to have a creative business. As a result, no matter where you are in the chain of content generation, you are also part of the business. So, absolutely necessary is that you understand the meaning of strategy and then generate a strategy to succeed as a creative business force.
Strategy is about readiness and having a framework for action to embrace the future (Johnston & Bate, 2013). This framework provides direction and a capacity to respond to changes in the environment to continue growing and succeeding. Depending on the clarity of your framework, so that subsequently your strategy is clear as well, you will be able to sail through the changes.
There are two dimensions in the preparation of a strategy. One dimension is at a macro level and is called “corporate strategy.” The second dimension corresponds to a micro level, which is more specific and results-driven, and is called “business strategy.” The macro level serves to define what industry a company or a creative individual wants to compete in (telecommunications, electronics manufacturing, etc.). The more-specific micro level defines how the company or individual is going to compete to generate revenue (based on differentiation, cost advantage, or a combination). The mix of both levels defines the overall strategy.
Strategy provides a necessary sense of direction and identity (Grant, 2002). No matter whether you are leading the creative efforts in a company or deciding what kind of content you want to do in your own creative career, a crucial starting point is to define the macro-layer of your strategy by answering three basic questions: who, where, and what? Who represents your identity as creator or a creative entity. Where unveils the world you are going to compete in. What identifies your resources.
Part I will focus on the macro level (the who, where, and what) to define your core sense and macro-strategy as a creative entity. Then the remaining parts will walk you through how to generate and implement your specific creative strategy to achieve content innovation.



The creative industry is managed by people and operated thanks to people. As a consequence, there are different layers of interaction in which people with different capacities and responsibilities work together to move the full machinery that will later yield a new show. The idea behind this chapter is for you to gain an understanding of the types of responsibilities of creative professionals to enable you to decide and define who you are.
Creative professionals are of two types: creative individuals and creative executives. Important is to recognize the roles of both. Creative individuals work together with creative executives who are the representatives of the industry that ignite the production of content. Creative individuals and executives need each other; they work in a system of interdependence. But how does that system work? How can these executives and generators of content understand each other so they can succeed in the process of media creation? How can executives and generators of content strive for innovation in creative industries? How can you understand these roles and decide where you fit in? What are the functionalities of creative professionals?
Creative individuals. Creative individuals are professionals who work directly in the crafting of a product. Writers, producers, and directors form this group. Creative individuals can be part of a corporation or work independently. Creative individuals present their projects to corporations that are looking for content or they are hired directly by corporations to render the necessary services to create a show. In the first case, individuals who present their projects to corporations, the creative individual negotiates the rights of their creation with a company that wants to ac...

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