Ian Forrester

Re-Think Content

Ian Forrester

Senior ‘Firestarter’ Producer at BBC

AI & Creating Content

Once upon a time, there was a well-known and likable character called Ian. He was working at the fascinating R&D-lab of the country’s highly-esteemed broadcaster BBC. Here, from sunrise until long after dark, the ever-enthusiastic Ian explored the future. However, one day, new research lured him into dark woods, a captivating place where future narratives were tightly entwined with technology. Ian named this new kingdom Visual Perceptive Media. It promised a new approach to broadcasting, pairing the best of internet tech with broadcasting and storytelling. Soon, it started to create experiences as if one was sitting around a campfire telling stories. But the campfire spread out! And it will be hitting Fuel real soon. Will we live happily ever after?
What if plot twists in EastEnders or Sturm der Liebe are soon completely different for every viewer?
Ian at Fuel18: The art of storytelling? It isn’t gone. We have just forgotten about it. Ian Forrester should know, being a senior ‘Firestarter’ producer for the BBC. “Storytelling should be immersive, engaging, participatory and adaptive. Imagine you are driving to work and listening to a podcast. And the podcast can adapt and change based on your journey. That is a unique experience that your customers might be really interested in.” It’s all about variations, not versions. Forrester illustrates this with a classic scene from a sitcom, in which he created over 50,000 scalable variations. From narrative flow to soundtrack. “Because, you see, media is not a solid block. It has to be blown up into tiny little objects. And every one of those objects make the story.” There are lots of ways of storytelling we are not even touching yet. Artificial Intelligence can really help with that. But don’t feed it garbage either, because garbage will come out. “Don’t fear intelligent machines. When you put machines and humans together, rather than competing, suddenly you get amazing results. In the end, creativity and arts are all about mistakes… and choosing which ones to make.”