Being Victor. Joined up ain’t nothing without content.

by Julian Westaby.

We’re not film-makers (although we have been accused of being rather camp) so perhaps the Filmcamp10 event which took place in Glasgow recently was a strange event for us to want to attend.

However, it only took until the first speaker got started to make us realise, there’s no real boundaries for any kind of communication any more. As we’re doing more and more of it, we were there to learn more about the craft of ‘the moving image’ and that was the crux of the whole event. What exactly is ‘film’ these days?

When Kat Hebden from Shed got up to tell us all about Being Victor their latest drama, which is being filmed in Glasgow, we think she’s changed things, quite a lot. Shed’s stock-in-trade is telly fodder and they’ve had huge success with the likes of ‘Who do you think you are’ and ‘Supernanny’ so ‘airwaves-wise’, they really know their stuff. However, it’s clear that this ‘divergence’ Being Victor project, which appears on STV, MTV, Facebook, Twitter and on numerous other ‘Internet’ platforms, was really quite different. It’s maybe the first time (certainly in Scotland) that we’ve every heard anyone talk of a really media-neutral, totally collaborative project. It struck us that we might be witnessing a wee bit of ‘I was there when that happened’ media history. A bit like when we witnessed the Jean-Marc Bosman ruling, which changed football forever.

So what’s going to be the acid test for this and other similar projects that will be ‘in the pipeline’ all over the world? More importantly, will this multi-platform, joined-up, collaborative approach make money? Well, as Shed boldly claim on their website, ‘We Know Content’ and in effect, that’s what it all comes down to. If Being Victor is well-written, pithy, controversial and really making use of the many and various platforms, then it’s going to succeed. If you’ve got good (or, better still, great) content, it will work. Avatar was amazing in 3D but it was still brilliant in traditional form. That’s because it was a good ‘content’ package. Audiences want good stuff, no matter what platform they happen to be consuming it on.