TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 5
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

The CRTC’s Differential Pricing Decision – for us content people

Over here on the content side of things most of us are not familiar with phrases such as ‘zero rating’ and ‘differential pricing practices’ so might tune out of a CRTC decision titled “Framework for Assessing the Differential Pricing Practices of Internet Service Providers” but we shouldn’t.  Net neutrality is an increasingly important concept for content creators and consumers.

Let’s go through a few definitions first.

Net neutrality is the principle that all data on the Internet should be treated the same.  It costs the same to the user, it is regulated (or not) the same and it is delivered the same (i.e. no throttling of certain kinds of data).  So the video or the game that you create is not treated any differently from email or music or apps etc.

Differential pricing is the practice of offering the same content or services to consumers at different prices.  Examples are:

Zero rating:  the practice of not charging consumers for certain kinds of data.  That could be sports or all video or gaming.  That data would then not be counted towards the consumers data cap and would make that service more competitive.

Sponsored data:  an application provider arranges with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to discount the data associated with its app.

The CRTC’s decision is to disallow these differential pricing practices (and any others that arise, based on a framework that has been developed to assess the practices) in order to maintain net neutrality.

In practical terms this means that immediately Vidéotron’s Unlimited Music Service, which excluded the data used by that music streaming service from certain mobile plans, was offside.  What it means for content creators is that ISPs cannot distinguish themselves on the basis of what content they have to offer – no exclusive access or zero-rated access to Netflix, or CraveTV or gaming.  They can compete on price and speed and size of the data caps but not content.  Look at this quote from the decision:

“The Commission considers that any short-term benefits of differential pricing practices would be greatly outweighed by the negative long-term impacts on consumer choice if ISPs were to act as gatekeepers of content through their use of such practices.”

Gatekeepers.  Does that sound familiar?  This is why the decision should be of interest to content creators, particularly those who are moving away from broadcasters as gatekeepers to offer their content directly to consumers.  The Differential Pricing Practices decision means that you will not be moving from broadcaster to ISP as gatekeeper.  For digital content creators it means that the ISP cannot insert itself between you and your audience.

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Comments and queries for the week of April 21

Huh! Yet another Canadian show [Cold Water Cowboys] I’ve never heard of. And it’s been on three seasons already! Google Canadian TV shows wiki and you can find so many shows have been done that most Canadians have never heard of let alone ever seen. And many, if not most, were/are really good, so that’s a huge bonus too. Thanks for the article. —Stevie


[Saving Hope‘s] latest Alex splitting with Charlie because of a “pact with God to stay away,” is so utterly and completely ridiculous. Too bad such a great show is ending with such a contrived storyline. It would have done better to have Alex fade away and focus on the other great characters that are so much more interesting. I for one am rooting for Charlie to end up with someone new. I will endure Alex to the end of the show, but only because I love the other characters. (Oh, and the episode that tried to convince us that Alex was a ”badass” was so laughable, I almost gave up on the show then and there.). —Tammi

I hate that they have split up Charlie and Alex. Not the same feel to the show. I’ll watch to the end to see if it gets resolved but, I don’t like it at all. —Donna


Could we return to the former “solve a mystery” style of Murdoch Mysteries? I’m not really a fan of my lead characters being exposed to so much danger. I felt that the last episode was “dark”! I was happier when William, George and Julia were investigating and solving other people’s problems. You have a superb cast of characters here! —R. Green

 

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Writing an episode of Kim’s Convenience at the TSC

Hey CBC, you can go ahead and greenlight Season 3 of Kim’s Convenience because the folks in the WGC Writers Room Intensive at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference have got you covered.

Storylines featuring a pregnant Janet, a shirtless Jung, Nuit Blanche, speed dating, Feng Shui and, yes, more shirtless Jung, were outlined during an eight-hour session at Entertainment One’s downtown Toronto offices. Writers Amy Cole, Derek Robertson, Elize Morgan, Gillian Muller, Jennifer Siddle, Lisa Rose Snow, Marcia Johnson and Richard Clark were chosen to participate in the Writers Room Intensive and, led by Kim’s Convenience co-creators Kevin White and Ins Choi, broke ideas for a mock midseason episode of the hit CBC comedy.

Two groups of four, with White and Choi as the leaders on each—as they do when working on Kim’s Convenience—went off and brainstormed ideas for scenes. Nothing was ignored, but everything was analyzed in detail, plot holes plugged and then written down on sticky notes. Then the two groups assembled and the culling began. White, aiming for a “typical” episode of Kim’s, nixed a plethora of possible threads until two remained and two groups of four separated to beat out the scenes. It was fascinating not only to see how Choi and White

It was fascinating to see how Choi and White strip away ideas to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. An added bonus? The pair taking threads, verbally running through them with the group and then with each other. There was a lot of laughing, especially when Choi adopted Appa Kim or Kimchee’s persona to recite dialogue.

What did the group settle on, and what story beats were nailed down? Make sure you attend In the Writing Room with Kim’s Convenience, taking place on Saturday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m. ET in the John Bassett Theatre at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Link: A ‘Breaking Bad’ writer and producer is behind a new Anne of Green Gables

From Erin Blakemore of Smithsonian.com:

Link: A ‘Breaking Bad’ writer and producer is behind a new Anne of Green Gables
“Anne is timeless, but she’s timely right now. I’m not influenced by what’s come before. I feel like Anne’s issues are incredibly relevant and topical right now. There’s so much conversation in the world about gender parity and feminism and prejudice and those who come from away. People who are other. All of these conversations are within L.M. Montgomery’s writing. It’s the perfect time to talk about it again.” Continue reading. 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Kevin White previews this year’s Writing Room Intensive at the TSC

This year’s WGC Writing Room Intensive at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference is notable for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s the first time the TSC’s Intensive is focusing on comedy writing. And secondly, the Intensive is being run by Kevin White and Ins Choi, the co-creators of CBC’s hit comedy Kim’s Convenience, giving the participants the opportunity to write a mock episode of the series which is, coincidentally, prepping for Season 2 on CBC.

On Thursday, Amy Cole, Derek Robertson, Elize Morgan, Gillian Muller, Jennifer Siddle, Lisa Rose Snow, Marcia Johnson and Richard Clark will join White, Choi and myself for six-hour session (there will be snacks, just like a real writer’s room). What can these lucky eight expect from the session? We got Kevin White to tease what’s in store. And check back on Friday to read my recap of the session; I’ll be moderating a panel discussing the group’s experiences on Saturday, April 22, at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

First off, what interested you about participating in the Writing Room Intensive this year?
Kevin White: It’s hard to get experience making stuff and doing stuff. I feel like anytime you can share that with people, with the hopes that people can learn and get better at the craft [is good]. And, hopefully, we learn something too and get a chance to meet emerging or young writers. That’s what was in it for us. If anyone can take anything away from the way we write the show, all the better.

What are you hoping they walk away with?
I don’t really know how other writer’s room are run. I’ve been in other people’s rooms as a writer for hire, so I have some sense of that. I’ve adapted a lot of things over the years as to how we approach breaking story and writing scripts collectively, so I hope some of that might be informative and helpful to people who have had less time in rooms. From a selfish point of view, it’s always nice to meet writers you haven’t worked with before and have a chance to see what their ideas are about, how they think and their point of view. I think it will be exciting for us to have eight fresh eyes on the material and really hear what it’s like for someone who hasn’t had any previous experience or exposure to the behind-the-scenes of our show freshen our outlook as well.

Will you be setting up the Intensive like you do it on Kim’s Convenience?
We’re going to try. Obviously, we have part of the morning finding out who everyone is. Then we’ll share ideas.

What can you say about the breakout sessions you have planned?
We have seven writers in the room on Kim’s Convenience now. With a number like that, we often work in different side group configurations. I hope we’ll have time to break up how we do it a little bit. Ins will have half the room, I will have half the room and we’ll be able to work in two smaller groups and report back to the bigger group. We want to be able to work with as many people as possible and meet with as many people as possible.

People will, presumably, be coming to the table with ideas. We need to hear those ideas and ruminate on them on them in the smaller groups. We’ll boil down to the ones that seem to have the most promise and then get back together and have feedback as the groups present their strongest ideas. They may be big stories and they may be small stories. Then, once we land on the stories we like the most and can sort of fit together, then we can figure out what will be the main story and what will be the other story. There might even be a third story. Then we’ll probably break off again into groups and beat those out.

Are you expecting to have an episode outline completed by the end of the day?
[Laughs.] I don’t know! I’m sure we can cobble together something. You can always make something because of time constraints because day’s end is coming. But, yes, I think we’ll be able to cobble together the bones of an episode and try to come up with what those 18 or 20 scenes could be for this typical Kim’s Convenience episode.

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs April 22-23, 2017. Get the latest information—including events and how to register—on the official website.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail