At MPRM Communications, we are privileged to work with some amazing storytellers, from independent filmmakers to entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. But just like the proverbial shoemaker’s children who go without shoes, they often need help in crafting their own stories. Because it is our business, we are also keen observers of other practitioners of the art of storytelling, whether in service of an issue, business, promotion or simply to entertain. What we plan to undertake here is a weekly look at the different ways storytelling can be used from transporting audiences to motivating change to building a business or creating awareness.
2021 didn’t start out the way we anticipated. We knew it would be about breaking norms, but not the horror of an insurrection in our nation’s capital or the exploding number of deaths due to COVID. Despite the continuing ramifications of these two deadly events, after a year of “pivoting” to create a “new normal,” the MPRM team will continue to use our adaptive skills to carry us through until vaccinations take us to a new and improved normal.
MPRM kicked off New Year’s Day celebrating a “Very Ru Year,” with the season premiere of our client RuPaul’s Drag Race on January 1, which became the series most watched episode ever, as well as the debut of Sing Me a Song, the new feature from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Thomas Balmès (Babies, Happiness), which follows Peyangki, a young monk living in a rural monastery in Bhutan and the impact of the arrival of TV and the Internet on his life. Both projects cause us to reassess our perceptions in unexpected ways.
January is typically a very busy month for MPRM, with the Sundance Film Festival, CES, NATPE and the Television Critics Association press tour, not to mention awards season. This year there won’t be any trips to Park City, Las Vegas, Miami or even Pasadena, but it remains busy just the same with most of these events becoming virtual. We’re particularly excited about our Sundance line-up, which includes Knocking, Rebel Hearts, First Date, and Weirdo Tonight plus we have a very active awards slate from Oscar hopefuls in the feature film documentary, live action and animated shorts categories. It’s also the beginning of Emmy for your consideration season.
We know our February will be focused on Black History Month, and convention shattering projects from American Black Film Festival, a new chapter in the Black Panther saga being released by Serial Box on its immersive audio entertainment platform, a new animated series from Kenya featuring a young African superhero and a new installment of John Ridley’s acclaimed The Other History of the DC Universe.
We will leave it to others to predict the industry’s future, but it is safe to say streaming platforms will see continued growth, legacy media will grow more vulnerable and big tech will be under attack for becoming too powerful. We do know that this will all play into our future as a company.
Nor can we predict the long-term consequences of COVID, deep political divisions, lack of trust in our institutions, information wars, economic inequities, history of racial injustice and more. With an inauguration less than a week away, we are optimistic about the potential for change but realistic that the damage that has taken place will not be reversed in a day. There is so much work to be done and the responsibility rests on all of us to do our part. We are looking forward to a healthier and kinder New Year though!