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The future of content creation starts today

On May 6th we launched our Shoot the Future contest at Variety Magazine’s Entertainment and Technology Summit. With our panel of industry experts: rapper and actor Ice T, social media queen YesJulz and Game of Thrones producer Oliver Butler—we set out to find the next big talent in content creation.

Skype in Media is renowned for enabling original content. Just 5 years ago, the term ‘broadcast’ meant television. Now it has a far broader definition. Today’s digital native doesn’t just want to view or engage with content — they want to actually create it.

In an industry that’s notoriously hard to crack, Shoot The Future gave entrants a unique opportunity to win $20,000 of development funding and be provided with the expert advice needed to get their content ideas off the ground.

The quantity and quality of entrants was amazing—we received nearly 500 1-minute pitches and business plans via the microsite, Skype and OneDrive from over 12 different countries. We were treated to fantasy worlds, thought provoking documentary ideas and laugh out loud comedy acts. Take a look at 10 of the best videos below.

It was a tough job but we finally chose our winner, James Rath, a legally blind filmmaker based in LA. His pitch, ‘Playback’, is “a stepping stone to give accurate representations of people with disabilities in the media.

What attracted us to James’s entry was that his idea perfectly captures the contest criteria: creativity, innovation and inclusivity—all the things that Skype stands for. We caught up with James and here’s what he says about winning Shoot the Future:

“I’m incredibly grateful for the doors Skype has opened with Shoot the Future. I’m confident that the project, ‘Playback’, will be executed with extreme care and that the final product will be impactful, not only for people with disabilities but for abled-bodied audiences alike.”

We’re incredibly excited to be working with James to produce his pilot. Big congratulations James—the future of content creation is over to you. Watch this space to follow his progress.

Congratulations to all 10 finalists, listed below in alphabetical order, and everyone who has taken part.
It has been a blast!

Anastasia Mechan
Chris Pegut
Ed Luke
Francis Rutledge
James Rath
Jason Turner
Joe Kane
Jonas McQuiggin
Pat Daley
Rob Fred

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