Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 5 - Dragon's Den

Watching television shows downloaded from the internet without commercials has become an obsession and quite often a vice of mine. It's probably one of the few things that can calm me down when I'm feeling emotional in any way. The idea of entering a story that doesn't just last 90 minutes, like most feature length films, but to enter a world that almost feels endless with their 12 to 26 episode, running in most cases, for 5 seasons. The need to be addicted to something is a realization that I've come accept and feel no shame.
The last time I was in Bolivia it was very important to me that I embraced every aspect of the culture by not bringing any music, movies or television shows from home. It was clear, looking back on it, that I wasn't being good to myself. When I arrived last year for the third time in Bolivia and first time in Potosi, I so desperately looked for signs of home so that I could soothe the wounds of being called "the devil" and often treated as an outcast by some of the locals. This time around I've brought an entire arsenal of television shows and movies on my hard drive to combat those moments of loneliness from a city that sometimes does not want me here.
Going to business school, while still a budding young faux-anarchist, at the age of 19 is an indicator that my taste for things tend to be very broad and sometimes contradictory. From cheesy romantic comedies to detective/lawyer shows to docudramas to short films by the Whitney Brothers. If its done well and I can connect with some element of innovation or drama, I'm hooked. The British and Canadian television series Dragon's Den is no exception. The objective of what seems to play out as a sort of "game of life," has entrepreneurs pitching their dreams and ideas to multi-million dollar equity investors. The entrepreneur presents their pitch and are immediately grilled by the "Dragons" about the product, evaluation of the company, finances and projected sales. Much like a stand up comic, there's a level of vulnerability that I appreciate and admire in these moments. For someone to put themselves and their ideas out there in front of a row people who's primary objective is to make a lot of money, seems like an act that should be respected. In Drangon's Den, where a great idea, solid business plan and flawless presentation is the highest form of currency, the film/documentary world's aggressive demand for a great story, eye catching premise and a strong director are essential elements in order to be heard by broadcasters or producers. I'm not naive to think that something like the Dragon's Den and the film/documentary world are practically the same but having witnessed dozens of pitches to broadcasters, producers and distributors by filmmakers from all over the world, their similarities are staggering.

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