Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
May 27, 2007
A long time ago when I taught high school English, I introduced
a requirement that all sophomores had to take Media Studies
for one trimester because it was my belief that the strongest
force in their lives was not the books we wanted them to read
but the television and films they were consuming. If it was
true in those long ago days when I taught high school, it
is infinitely truer now when media is more immersive and ubiquitous
than ever. And, in that long ahead time when I wont
be doing what Im doing now I would like to go back to
that, teaching media.
I am, as evidenced by this column, fascinated by the effects
media is having on us. Programs like The Sopranos, Battlestar
Galactica, the amazing effects of the internet the
massive explosion of communication and information is transforming
the world. And I find the effects amazing sometimes
a bit distressing. I mean, do we REALLY need all the pop star
magazines that litter our magazine racks? [This week various
magazines gave you a choice of which version of the Brad and
Angelina story you wanted: blissfully happy, breaking up,
indulging in a ménage a trios. Something for everyone.]
It gives me pleasure to know that some of our erstwhile Presidential
Candidates are using You Tube to let the world see a slightly
lighter side of themselves as well as to get out their various
messages. This wouldnt have happened a decade ago
and You Tube and its cousin video sharing sites are influencing
the way campaigns are conducted. Hillary, for example, is
using YouTube to soften her steely image.
Messages there reverberate throughout the political world
recall the bump in Barak Obamas digital world?
Barak alienated a goodly number of digerati, at least for
a moment, when his campaign was approached by a follower who
was maintaining a very popular Barak Obama website. The costs
were getting high so he asked for some money. The Obamaites
took over the site, made it their own and then never paid
him a solitary sous.. [Bad P.R. in the new media age; the
web has a life of its own and its not very forgiving.]
On Sunday, I had The Sopranos on in the background, watching
one of the final episodes of what has been one of the great
television dramas of all time. Its a little sad to see
it come to an end; it is good that it is ending with its integrity
intact and with a sense that it will end decisively.
I tip my hat to David Chase and to HBO, which supported
this ground breaking drama an epic video novel.
Speaking of HBO, its no secret that what happens in
Vegas doesnt always stay in Vegas witness the
comet like fall of Chris Albrecht, now ex-CEO of HBO and the
man credited for much of HBOs success. He allegedly
was inebriated, got angry at his girlfriend and made the mistake
of attempting to throttle her in front of the Vegas police.
He was gone in almost a blink of an eye, not before returning
to AA which he should never have left.
However, the Time Warner shareholders were apparently far
less concerned about the Albrecht Adventure than they were
about a stagnating stock price coupled with what some shareholders
felt was egregiously generous pay packages for senior staff
on the corporate level. [Just as a matter of principal, I
voted my few shares of T-W against the executive compensation
package proffered by the Board. It felt good to make a small
We are immersed in a mega media world that is fascinating
and frustrating, infuriating and inspiring. Acts of courage
and extreme venality are around us all the time and, at the
end of the day, we are what we choose to consume out of the
mouth of the media. We can be well informed about the world
around us or we can have our mental faculties devoured by
the Brangelina stories on the checkout stand.