Jonathan Kneebone's Cannes Diary: Day 1 and 2

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 2.42.00 am.jpgJonathan Kneebone, writer/director, The Glue Society is sitting on the Cannes Lions Cyber jury. Kneebone is reporting exclusively for CB.

Right now, it's the Cannes before the swarm.

Most of the global advertising community are yet to pack their loafers let alone board flights to the South of France.

And in many ways, seeing Cannes in its current relaxed state, it's become apparent why it was originally such a good idea for a place to host a festival.
DSC04297.jpgThe Croissette is empty. You can get a table at the Carlton Terrace bar. You can walk down the pavements without bumping into a hundred people whose names you've forgotten or indeed tripping over someone who's fallen asleep in the gutter. The locals are friendly. The beaches are beautifully clean of vomit and condoms.

And the place is wonderfully free of bullshit.

What the ludicrous number of DSC04296.jpgentries in Cyber has meant is that we needed to get here on Tuesday before the festival even starts just to meet the final award show next Wednesday night.

And apart from the other juries who have earlier ceremony deadlines to meet, we've got the Palais to ourselves.

The stats are alarming. The 26 of us judging Cyber have 3738 entries to judge. All with three minute case studies. Even banner ads come with case studies these days.

Our online pre-judging only managed to reduce that total to 2228 to cull into some sort of shortlist.

So in five groups of five we are now making our way through the array of individual categories.

Already trends are emerging.

Whatever country an entry is from, agencies from all around the world are using American voice over artists to narrate their case study films to make it seem like the idea is more global than local.

The Virtual Reality train is so vast it needs it own category. And we have already decided the Grand Prix Trophy for that should be something you can only enjoy by putting on a headset to admire it from every angle.

And the other alarming theme is that people are doing way too much explaining and not enough entertaining in their online films. It's a case of case study creativity.

Rather than create something which gets the audience directly excited, there's a trend to make an online film where you just get to watch other people experiencing something and pretending to get excited. It's strangely unexciting and decidedly unengaging.

It is hard to say, having only seen around a fifth of the work, how the picture will look for Australia or New Zealand.

But I get the sense that the best work this year is going to come from only a few of the 65 countries who have entered this category.
 
We are hoping to be finalising our shortlist by the time the festival opens for real on Sunday.

And then have three further days to agree what gets what.
 
We are apparently able to have two or even three Grands Prix in our category - simply because of the wide-ranging definitions.

But as of two days in, I would say I'm personally yet to see something which will be getting one of them.

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