Fri 2 Jul 2010
The Storyboard producer on her first visit to the Cannes Lions Festival
The festival holds a ‘How to Cannes’ session every morning - to give first timers an orientation - what to expect, where to go, what to catch, what not to miss. That’s a session I did not attend, which may sound strange to those who knew me as a student. If I liked a subject, you’d find me in the first row, taking copious notes and asking questions. If I didn’t care for it, you’d find me in the most remote corner of the room, fast asleep. I didn’t go to ‘How to Cannes’ and it was not because I was tucked in and fast asleep or because it clashed with a shoot or an interview. Its just that I realised I’d do fine without it.
After watching 9 years of Storyboard and working on it for 3 years, my first reaction to the place was a big sense of déjà vu. From the layout of the Palais to the names of those manning the media center, to the people we met and interviewed (from India). It felt like I have been here before. And that was both good news and bad news.
The good part first. Contrary to what I heard from colleagues who’ve done this trip before, shooting was not a struggle. And that’s probably thanks to the familiarity, so to speak. Of course, lugging heavy equipment around on foot, on shoes that are more pretty than comfortable, took its toll once I was back home. But the basic stuff - what footage to get, where to shoot, finding places for interviews, knowing what locations to avoid either because they’ve been done to death or because the light played havoc on earlier occasions did not end up being stress inducers.
Now, the downside. For someone who came to Cannes with the ambition of going back with something radically different, the familiarity suddenly came in the way of a fresh perspective. So while the reporting experience came with fewer surprises that I was prepared for, the challenge of producing content that was one up over the previous years’ ended up being bigger than I imagined. The result is here for you to see - this week and the next on Storyboard and I hope our viewers believe we’ve done Cannes 2010 justice. Because covering it has been a pleasure, with some great new people, mindblowing ideas, and daylight that doesn’t die on you till 9:00 pm!
For me there are some highlights from the week at Cannes that you will not see on air, on Storyboard at least
- The coffee, which was almost uniformly great everywhere.
- The sight of the massive crowd waiting in line to enter the Mark Zuckerberg session. It was as exciting as the session itself. I didn’t come back with a new found desire to get on Facebook, but listening to the 26 year old billionaire talk about how his story has only just begun is a tad unnerving and not something I’d forget in a hurry.
- Yoko Ono’s clutter breaker which could have made anyone - even the many like me who love to hate her - sit up and take notice, even if it was just for a couple of minutes.
- Great (vegetarian) stir fry at this place called Jade. Pleasantly surprising.