The thing about MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) or MOC (Memorandum of Cooperation) or LOI (Letter of Intent) signing ceremonies are that people usually show up more for the FAD (Food and Drinks).
Not unlike wedding ceremonies, but I might be a bit cynical there.
Most parties at MIPCOM (at least the ones thrown by the MDA) pretty much have one of these photo ops where deals are announced and smiles are flashed incessantly for the cameras, with the hope that some of those pictures make their way to the trade journals and market dailies the morning after (at least for the publicists’ sake).
These scenes are probably more prevalent at parties thrown by government organisations or funding bodies, given the obvious need to show that their funding and support are showing results in the form of multi-million dollar deals.
The food was pretty good this time, but I didn’t have any bites before the signing in the fear that any leftovers between my teeth could show up in the trade magazine pictures. My fear was totally unfounded, as there was apparently little coverage on the signings, much less any pictures. Well, at least the handful of readers of this blog can get a taste of what went on.
Truth is, the whole thing was quite uncomfortable for me – sitting there, signing ‘deals’ and smiling for the cameras, knowing full-well that you stand between a hundred-odd people and their free food and alcoholic beverages.
Besides, anyone in the industry knows that these photo ops are little more than a chance to get the company a few minutes under the spotlight, and the real work starts later on with sober heads working through financials, deal terms, budgets, schedules and production chaos before even a frame of animation is seen on screen a couple of years (or longer) down the road, and hopefully everyone sees a bit of profit before it’s all over.
But all that can wait when alcohol’s free flow…