Just got back from a hectic few days at Realscreen 2014. It was -8C and the snow was thick on the ground. The venue had changed and we all found ourselves in the spacious Washington Hilton, made notorious because Ronald Reagan was shot here in the 80s. But the newly refurbed giant works well as a new hotspot – there are more places to meet producers and broadcasters, bigger conference and screening rooms, and crucially a lot more bars to drink in. The British Pub, serving pints and fish and chips, sponsored wisely by PACT, was packed day and night with a cacaophony of international voices…and a lot of laughs. Very feelgood.
The big trends of the summit remain character-based docus and a return to interest in formats. This is good news as it mirrors the trend in the UK. Alongside a robust showing of Americans and Canadians, there were 70 British prodcos, a noisy clan of Israelis, a smattering of Europeans and Australians and a few Asians. The great and the good were there for some spirited panels and debate. Washington has always brought people together for auspicious dialogue, just as dear Mr Lincoln did back in the day. Real Screen remains the definitive producers forum in North America.