Interactive gets award show

The figurative asphalt on the electronic superhighway has hardly set, yet it has its first awards show from Los Angeles June 16.And a Canadian company is to produce it and holds the worldwide tv broadcast rights.Peter Hayman, president of Milestone Entertainment...

The figurative asphalt on the electronic superhighway has hardly set, yet it has its first awards show from Los Angeles June 16.

And a Canadian company is to produce it and holds the worldwide tv broadcast rights.

Peter Hayman, president of Milestone Entertainment in Toronto, says the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards will honor the best in interactive movies, tv and music, virtual reality and compact discs, as well as interactive video games.

Hayman makes quite clear the interactive awards – a name for them has not yet been decided – and the American movie industry’s Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences every March, are separate.

Hayman is bullish on the future of interactivity.

He promises ‘absolutely the coolest visuals you have seen on an awards show,’ and says no one knows where interactive applications will end.

He says marketers should note one video game already has product placement in it, adding now, or pretty soon, advertising will be ‘all over’ the interactive wares available to consumers.

Hayman says the winners in the interactive contest are the marketers who can spark the interest of young people for whom video and digitization cause no apprehension.

As for the two-hour show in June, Hayman says it will not be interactive except perhaps in those areas in which two-way tv is already a fact.

Hayman says some ‘participation’ in the show is expected from the White House, and notes u.s. vice-president Al Gore has already given a widely reported speech on the electronic superhighway.

Others due to appear are rockers U2, David Bowie and Billy Idol; actor Robert Culp of I Spy tv fame, who has made an interactive movie; martial arts movie star Jean Claude Van Damme; Sylvester Stallone; and Home Alone child actor Macaulay Caulkin.

Also due for exposure is an interactive cartoon from Toronto native Howie Mandel.

As for the worldwide tv rights, Hayman says he will not take them to the big three u.s. networks but will try Fox instead.

In Canada, he says he is looking at a ‘syndication-type’ deal for the show, adding two other likely buyers of the broadcast are Australia and Britain. DC