Maker Studios Venue: Skylight Clarkson St. at 550 Washington St., across from the scene of TechCrunch's first Disrupt NY event. Big presentation points: Staying put as short-form content producer catering to Millennals with Disney relationship beginning to bear fruit (Marvel Comics and X Games programming ahead). Big new content: “Camp” (coming-of-age drama, another James Franco digital inroad), “Maker Tales” (music videos adapted from fairy tales), “The Taryn Show” (talk/sketch comedy/social media participation from Taryn Southern) and “This is Why You're Single” (best friends comedy). What worked: The "Who Are You?" theme (all about finding your voice) and anytime chief content officer Erin McPherson talked from one side of the stage to the other. What didn't work: Content creators appearing on stage without the audience knowing much about them. Overall Grade: 3.5 Jacks
Venue: Second floor of Milk Studios (450 W. 15th St.) across from Chelsea Market. Big presentation points: Mode will create a centralized Web site and app for its entire portfolio of video/multimedia programming, arranged by 20-plus categories. May open the door for smart TV/smart TV-making device distribution. Once that happens over the next few months, the company will launch a mechanism for creators to update or modify their work. This may usher Mode into the playpen of scripted content. At the moment, all the content is reality/unscripted. Big new content: “Making Room,” “Home Plate,” “Rad Pads” (home/apartment redecorating and remodeling short subjects). What worked: Great tuna sliders and watermelon juice. What didn't work: Dark, spooky setting as people ate pre-presentation lunch; no on-screen graphics giving executive names/titles, in-and-out audio problems with on-air talent. Overall Grade: 2.5 Jacks
Conde Nast Entertainment
Venue: Spring Studios (50 Varick St.), next door to Tribeca Studios, a key home of the annual New York Television Festival. Big presentation points: Full-fledged entertainment outlet spreading its wings with original digital content, including scripted series; Conde Nast's lineup of magazines fully engaged in content development. Big new content: More than 2,500 original videos will be offered over the next year, including first scripted series “The Tyler Zone.” Before 2015 ends, Vida Belleza (Beauty Life), the company's first Latino-targeted video/Web venture, will debut. What worked: Stylish, modern set, plenty of clips and an opening video exploring how NewFronts would operate in the hands of that oft-spoken about Millennial audience. Some ideas: Vice throws a Queen Mary bash, and “The Hunger Games” go live. What didn't work: No words on “The New Yorker Presents,” CNE's new series for Amazon Studios. Also could have used another minute or two to detail a growing TV business (four series in production, 25 in development and a recently-announced first-look deal with 21st Century-Fox). Nominee for best NewFront quote: "More content was created yesterday than you can watch in a lifetime." -- CNE president Dawn Ostroff. Overall Grade: 3.5 Jacks
A quick reminder of our Jacks grading system:
5 Jacks = Excellent
4 Jacks = Very Good
3 Jacks = Good
2 Jacks = Fair
1 Jack = Poor
0 Jacks = Worse than that
Next up: Digitas LBI and more capsule reviews
Until the next time, stay well and stay tuned!
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