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The second half of 2014 was notable for a number of interesting conferences focused on the entertainment industries. This is a tribute to organisations such as WIFT, SPADA and Script to Screen who organized, promoted and staged them. We in New Zealand really are alone in the deep blue sea, and it is always a pleasure to listen to tradecraft from overseas, especially when delivered in a Scottish burr by Pete Mullan, or in worldly LA-speak by Lee Aronsohn. Or the cultured BBC tones of Kate Harwood, the New York smarts of Jeff Gomez, the charismatic oratory of Cliff Curtis.

Even the grim war stories from the funding front became somehow more memorable in BBC English. A clear picture of what overseas audiences want (or what the commissioners think they want) is always useful, and being able to talk to guest speakers in small groups was a compelling feature of the WIFT summit.

Another compelling feature being a Long Lunch at Soul Bar on the viaduct. Despite the changes in drink driving laws ensuring I walked all the way up College Hill on a hot day on my way back to the office!

It was definitely Business Time at seminars organized by AUT and Unitec. AUT featured a games developer and attorney from the Silicon Valley to talk about the convergent aspects of the Film and Gaming industries, and Unitec had Jeff Gomez return for another Transmedia Masterclass that reinforced the importance of the narrative, with examples from large franchises, but also by application to smaller projects. After all, even lawyers write blogs for their websites.

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