Intersection of media hot topic in Cologne

Conference tackles subject of traditional TV, new media

COLOGNE, Germany -- The merging of television, Internet and gaming was the topic on everyone's mind the first day of German confab the Cologne Conference.

Execs from old school TV on Wednesday agreed with online programmers and designers of viral Internet ad campaigns that traditional boundaries are vanishing and that new narrative and financing forms will have to be found to successfully produce content for a wide audience.

Daniel Hetzer, vp programming and co-productions at Fox Television Studios, detailed some of the majors' attempts to tap the elusive potential of Internet buzz and gave a sneak peak at two of Fox's upcoming online dramas: the conspiracy thriller "Subterranya" and "Iris Expanding" -- a sort of "Sex and the City"-meets-"lonelygirl15."

"The different media still have trouble talking to one another," commented German games designer Michael T. Bhatty ("Sacred").

"There was a move to hire a lot of screenwriters to write game narratives because they are so good at storytelling. But that didn't work because they would always say 'and now the gamer does this,' which goes against the (user-controlled) idea of gaming."

One interesting model presented was the BBC's docudrama "10 Days to War," a series of eight short films that, in addition to drawing a large TV audience, also was a major success online through the BBC's VOD service.
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