Meet Wallimage director, Philippe Reynaert, The Pixel Pitch juror who likes surprises
By Rosie Lavan
With preparations for The Cross-Media Forum (16 – 19 October) well underway, we speak to members of The Pixel Pitch Jury – the international panel of cross-media executives and financiers who will decide which of eight competition projects is most deserving of ARTE’s prestigious £6,000 Pixel Pitch Prize. First, Philippe Reynaert, director of the Belgian audiovisual investment fund Wallimage, on imagination, desire, and the audience.
Power to the Pixel: What qualities will you be looking for in the projects you will be judging at The Pixel Market?
Philippe Reynaert: First of all, I’m looking for creativity. There are already a lot of tricks and formulae – you know, lessons in how to succeed in cross-media. These can be useful when using cross-media techniques for commercial goals, but concerning the real building of a cross- or transmedia language, we still need to be surprised. If we really want to give the power to the pixel, let’s bring imagination to the frontline. After that, having formerly worked in marketing, I’ll also have in mind the target audience: this is the second important criterion I’m looking for. I don’t have any problem with crazy projects if I’m sure they are speaking to somebody. And the last thing I’m looking for is desire. Is this idea sexy? Do I think I’m in a hurry to play in the game? Or do I think others will have this desire? PttP: What particular expertise and experience do you bring to the Jury?
PR: Being a kind of veteran, somebody born in the good old time of celluloid dreams, I can only bring the experience and the point of view of a digital immigrant. But more precisely, I think it can be interesting for young creators to have to convince an old cinematographic warrior like me…
PttP: Wallimage champions media production at a regional level, but The Pixel Market is an international event. Do producers need to approach regional and international audiences differently? Or are such boundaries between audiences less relevant in cross-media work?
PR: Very interesting question. There is of course no regional cross-media communication. By definition, as cross-media uses the internet, it is international communication. What we try to promote with Wallimage is the use of cross-media techniques in our region. As an economic fund we are there to create and develop regional tools and facilities. But at the same time, as a Belgian, I really believe in the famous sentence “act global, think local”. In the French-speaking part of Belgium, we don’t have a real internal market for our audiovisual productions. We have to be in the international market. But there are very few examples of Belgian productions which achieved success pretending they were American or even French productions. Our strength is our difference, our Belgian singularity: a touch of self-irony, a little smile mixed with a lot of work…
PttP: Can you share your thoughts about The Pixel Market and the prizes which will be awarded there – what is the significance of such events and awards for producers?
PR: Being a producer is a very frustrating job: if the project you support is not working you are the only one responsible for its failure. But if it is a success, the creative people are the only ones who are congratulated everywhere. So it’s important that people taking risks – and the risks are even bigger in the new field of the cross-media business – can be encouraged in a specific event like The Pixel Market. It will be totally convincing when financial partners follow the choices of the PttP jury and put some money on the winners! But I’m sure this day will come quickly. For the moment let’s say that Liz, Tishna and all the PttP gang are real fairies, mixing effectiveness and efficiency to transform the symbolic prizes into pure energy for the winners!
See a full list of participating speakers and jury. More information about The Cross-Media Forum can be found here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org