The countdown is on to the Banff World Television Festival – my second, its 28th, and I’m looking forward to being a little less deer in the headlights this year. Here’s hoping the flood stays away, or I could:
- Get caught at work in a state of emergency; or
- get trapped by a washed out Trans-Canada Highway.
But chances are:
- I hope.
There’s a great lineup of TV show creators, like Greg Daniels (The Office), Jenji Kohan (Weeds), Rob Thomas (the late Veronica Mars), Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Mike Clattenberg (Trailer Park Boys), and even TV critics I admire (Bill Carter of the New York Times, John Doyle of the Globe and Mail), and enough behind-the-scenes-of-TV sessions to satisfy my inner TV geek.
But one name I’m newly excited about is one I actually didn’t know before: Gregg Spiridellis. He’s the CEO of JibJab. What’s JibJab? They’re the company behind a couple of the videos I’ve posted here; the company that was invited to create one of their spot-on cultural critiques for the White House correspondents dinner (the one at the first link). Here’s the one that really landed them on the viral video map:
I can’t find any information on what he’ll be doing at Banff, but here’s his bio from the festival website:
Gregg Spiridellis co-founded JibJab Media Inc. with his brother Evan in 1999. Launched with a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and a dial-up Internet connection from a Brooklyn garage, their dream was to build a global entertainment brand. In addition to his role as CEO, Gregg is also JibJab’s head writer. In 2004, his lyrics helped spark an international sensation with the release of JibJab’s election parody, “This Land.” The two-minute short and its follow up, “Good To Be In DC!” were viewed more than eighty million times online on every continent, including Antarctica. NASA even contacted the brothers for permission to send a copy of the animation to the International Space Station! JibJab’s productions have screened at the top industry festivals including Sundance, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, SXSW and many others. They have also won awards at the Ottawa International Film Festival, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, and D&AD.
These guys are creating sharp, innovative content for this newfangled Internet device, and while I can’t quite see how they make money at it, I think they’re on to something pretty cool.