If you’ve been following my twitter feed, you’ll know I’ve been down in Cannes, France for my very first MIPCOM market. MIPCOM is like a huge bazaar of TV shows; it’s probably where your favourite shows have emerged from (bought, sold, financed, packaged, etc) and it’s nothing short of overwhelming.
But I was in town as part of MIP Junior, this kids TV market, and witnessed something else overwhelming…the weather.
As you might have heard, Cannes received something like 18 inches of rain in two hours. I was out to dinner, seated outside with the lovely London Book Fair delegation, and the streets became rivers.
For a while, it was quite fun…a bit of adventure. But then as the water kept coming, it turned scary.
I didn’t know until the next day that the evening had turned tragic. At most recent count, I heard there were 21 deaths, ordinary people drowned in the most horrific ways that I won’t repeat here.
Strangely, the sun came up the next day and an eerie calm washed over Cannes, as mipcom got ready to gear up even as the death toll climbed.
Most of the participants faced power outages, flooded apartments, no wifi, and other first world problems…but nobody could dare complain in the face of so much tragedy.
But, since it’s the entertainment industry, “the show must go on” and the market got into full swing. For me, I took tons of meetings and tried to connect with as many people as I could. I’ll have a couple of big announcements soon…but not until the deals are done. But watch this space!
The market itself was exhilarating and whirlwind, a combination of old school hustling and new age networking. Mostly, the industry is filled with people who love what they do, and it shows.
And, I got to meet a Stormtrooper!
But despite the buoyancy of the market, I think everyone deep down will return with a sense of surveyor’s guilt, a type of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ sense that life is precarious and precious, and not to be taken for granted. For even in the sunny shores of the Cote d’Azur, bad things can happen to good people. I hope that everyone attending mip this year returns to LA, London, wherever, with a deeper appreciation for just how lucky they truly are.