Discussing Content with Spike Jonze and Shane Smith at Cannes 2016

24 Jun,2016

By A Correspondent


‘Content is King’ is one of the over used lines in the last few years. But what content does the youth want to see is something that everyone is figuring out. To try and find more about it, Vice hosted a discussion on ‘Making Content We Care About’ with Shane Smith, Founder and CEO, Vice and Spike Jonze, Co-President, Viceland, Vice. The session focused on the importance of making content that young people care about and was moderated by Joel Stein, a well-known journalist from Time magazine.


A video made by Vice was aired before the conversation began. The video dealt with issues that today’s youth are concerned about, from LGBT issues to adventure sports. ‘Quirky’ was the best way to describe the discussion. Stein started the conversation by asking Jonze on how it feels to see so many mobile phones focused at you instead of people. Though Jonze ducked the question and blamed jet lag as the reason that he cannot think anything right then, it was Smith’s mocking reply about how technology is the future and he feels good about it, cracked up the audience.


The conversation was to an extent dominated by the old school media versus the new school media debate. With the former being afraid to make content which did not follow traditional rules while the latter almost broke all the rules. “I think we are not scared of making something that we feel strongly about is because we do not have the fear of getting fired. So, we make things which we believe in,” said Academy Award winner Jonze. Smith added, “What we do is, we just say make it. Just go out and do it. If it is bad we will fix it or not make it and if it is good we will make it.” The key point here is that most of these new age content makers are not afraid to experiment and make new content. They have embraced failure as a part of the journey and not a hindrance to it.


They also discussed about the transition of Vice. Stein felt that it has become more serious. Which both men agreed to and said that it is a part of their growing up as people and also the organisation getting expanded. So, what is it that appeals to the youth? They have a different view about almost everything and they are opinionated. “There has to be some purpose and meaning to the content they watch. It just cannot be another reality or talent show,” said Smith.


Meanwhile, on the awards front, India has received seven shortlists in the Film category. Indian agencies have bagged 23 metals so far, one of which is a Grand Prix and with four Golds. Guess just a day before we get the final picture.


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