GTC Chairman's October message
As I write this, we are about to celebrate the 2008 GTC Awards. Both the name of the Guild and the citation on the Awards themselves use the word ‘television’. But just what does that word that mean these days?
A great deal has happened since it was first coined in 1909. A great deal has happened since the Guild was formed in 1972. A great deal is happening right now.
These days, it’s becoming more and more difficult to define exactly what we mean by broadcast television. Indeed, recognising that we live in a multi-platform world, the BBC now uses the phrase BBC Vision to describe the many ways in which programme production can be used and distributed.
We can no longer think of ourselves as working exclusively in ‘television’; to do so not only limits our own employment opportunities, it limits the quality of the many products that should be using our expertise and talent.
Anyone travelling to the GTC Awards event, need only take a look at the Digital Signage at stations and other sights around London. Mobile phones, sell-through video, the internet, video on demand; they all demand our talent, expertise and professionalism. Even the cinema is rapidly going digital; who is going to be using all these new cameras?
Advertising and corporate vision (not just video), producers are crying out for our craft. It is essential that we look forward, and in so doing, lead the industry in the right direction.
The GTC is already taking that leadership. We have new faces on Council who are keen to introduce new initiatives. We are planning new workshops, designed to ensure that members are ready to take full advantage of new technology and methods. We continue to talk with other trade bodies, encouraging the use of our skills. We continue to meet with the broadcasters and producers, helping them to make the right decisions.
We can do so because we have a Council whose members devote themselves to seeing the GTC grow. I was somewhat shocked to find when I became Chairman that I was spending two full days a week on Guild matters; but I am by no means the only one. So why do we do it? Why spend all that time?
The answer is very simple. Television is undergoing an immense transition. It needs guidance, it needs to move in the right direction. If we don’t do it, who will?