The London Book Fair has issued a statement about its first “Creative Industries Day,” designed to create partnerships “to open up new rights opportunities for publishers at the fair across film, TV, interactive media, games, comics and graphic novels.” The event, scheduled for Thursday April 16th, will involve “a host of visitors, speakers and delegations drawn from the worlds of film, interactive, games and app developers, as well as publishers of comics and graphic novels. These creative industries professionals will share their expertise on how intellectual property can be extended into new areas of the media.”
Bodies like the Children’s Media Conference, LIMA, BAFTA Rocliffe and more will pair up with publishers “at structured networking and matchmaking events throughout the day.” It does appear, though, that much of the event is not focused on creative collaboration, but on IP and rights management issues. The Children’s Media Conference (CMC) Rights Exchange, for instance, will focus on “pre-booked meetings matching rights owners with content producers, developers and licensing professionals.” Also, “for the second year there will be a brand licensing lounge and exhibiting presence alongside Brand Licensing Magazines Total Licensing and Guide to Licensing World. LIMA, the ‘international’ trade association for the Brand Licensing industry, will once again be curating a programme of seminars around the opportunities across brand licensing and publishing.” Other sub-events pursue similar approaches in film and TV rights licensing, kids’ programming, and gaming.
More encouraging on the creative side, there is at least the involvement of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum “through a competition aimed at supporting emerging screenwriting talent for children’s media,” where “LBF will be welcoming film and television writers into the Fair for events and seminars.” Meanwhile, “world-leading talent agency Curtis Brown will reflect the themes underlying Creative Industries day in their event in the Media Across All Formats seminar streams. Their Thursday event,‘Differences in adapting for film, TV, TV and games’ will convene a panel of experts to draw out the essential qualities of a successful cross-media adaptation.”
All of this serves to position the LBF and London in general “as a creative industries hub.” It won’t escape the notice of many that the actual writers, and writing, don’t get much of a look-in here. It’s all about industry, and biz. Writers, however, may want to take careful note of how their IP is being minded and exploited. Because the LBF’s 2015 strapline could easily be written as “making words earn more.”