If I tell you that creative people have the power to change the world. What do you tell me? I started every interview in this special podcast series recorded at Weare French Touch festival, this way. Marie Blondiaux represents the French Touch in the US and runs two companies that she founded or co-founded with another powerful woman like her. Listen to my conversation with Marie Blondiaux, CEO of Red Corner and Coven in the video game industry.
Who is Marie Blondiaux?
She is the managing director of Red Corner and Coven, producer of content using new web, VR, and AR technologies.
the fundamental contribution of the French side, is in the fact that we know how to tell stories with these new tools, no matter what tool we’re talking about (Web, VR, AR)Marie Bondiaux, DG de Red Corner et Coven
What you can learn from this podcast episode :
- the French video game ecosystem
- editorial risk-taking regardless of the technologies used (web, virtual reality, augmented reality)
- the French “female gaze” in the video game industry
- the new uses of these technologies and their adoption
What is the We are French Touch festival?
The We are French Touch festival is THE must-attend event for the French creative industries. This annual festival is a co-creation between We are_, the creative industries club (see photo of We are_ headquarters above) and the BPI, the French public investment bank that supports entrepreneurs.
The goal of the We are French Touch festival is to promote the transversality of the creative industries in all sectors of the cultural and creative industries (CCI).
To explain it simply, I usually say that the French Touch is like the French Tech for technology start-ups, but in the creative industries, i.e. fashion, video games, media, music, cinema, etc. I don’t know if I’m being clearer here. And the common denominator of these industries is creativity and innovation. The levers of digital and new technologies (Web3, NFT, Metavers, AR, VR, etc) are obviously at the heart of the development of the French Touch industries.
I could also say that the We are French Touch is actually all of us: speakers and participants of this exceptional open day event of meetings and networking,
In this podcast, I take you to We are_ , at 73 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the former perfume museum, just across from the Hotel Bristol. A prestigious address and a beautiful Haussmannian building with its garden as a haven of peace in the heart of the 8th. The Parisian club hosts the largest event celebrating the talents of the French creative industries. Entrepreneurs and managers are invited to share their entrepreneurial experiences in this friendly and open place where they can discuss, network, and find future partners or collaborators.
I am Delphine Souquet, host and founder of 2goodmedia podcast. I’m known as the Loïc Prigent of the podcast because my specialty is to cover in podcast the backstage of big events of the creative industries, in France and abroad.
Today I am covering Weare French Touch Festival in Paris. Now it’s time for a lunch break in the We are lobby and let’s talk about video games and virtual reality with Marie Blondiaux, general manager of Red Corner and Coven.
Marie Blondiaux invited to speak at Weare French Touch festival
the technological world and especially virtual reality has advanced a lot with prophecies …Marie Blondiaux
She represents the French Touch in the US and runs two companies that she founded or co-founded with another powerful woman like her. She is Marie Blondiaux, CEO of Red Corner and Coven in the video game sector.
Delphine [00:02:03] Hello, I’m delighted to catch up with you today, so you’ve just finished presenting the risk-taking you’re doing in the world of video games, of virtual reality. You are a symbol of the French Touch.
Marie Blondiaux [00:00:43] I think that today the technological world and especially virtual reality has advanced a lot with prophecies and an imaginary technology that changes everything, that revolutionizes everything very quickly. But history shows us that the adoption time, and this is true since TV and even video games, and even if these times are getting much shorter, [00:01:08]the adoption time and the usage time are quite long. Not everyone is going to get a virtual reality headset overnight. On the other hand, more and more people are going to do it because they have had interesting positive experiences upon which they have created a bond. And somewhere along the line, that requires a pretty good understanding of usage, which is not just about imposing a technology. And I think that we have things to defend in this respect.
Marie Blondiaux, producer and symbol of the Weare French Touch (web content, VR, AR)
the French ecosystem, both in terms of support, but also in terms of training and investment, makes it possible to take real editorial risks on new technology projectsMarie Blondiaux
Marie Blondiaux [00:02:16] I am a producer. I have two companies, one called Red Corner, which has existed for ten years, which is dedicated to digital creation in all its forms. And a second company, Coven, which I co-founded with Céline Tricart, which is a company dedicated to video games. And in both cases, the idea is that the French ecosystem, both in terms of support, but also in terms of training and investment, makes it possible to take real editorial risks on new technology projects. So it can be games, it can be virtual reality applications in augmented reality. It can be installations in many very different forms.
The story of Red Corner
what we know best is to tell stories and take the risk of telling stories with new technologies
And what we know best is to tell stories and take the risk of telling stories with new technologies. This is something that has existed for quite a long time, in any case under many other artistic forms that preceded us. For us, Red Corner started at the time of the web documentary, Arte and France Télévisions have tried a lot to bring stories on the web, then in a quite natural way, because we knew how to tell stories. We went from web documentary to fiction in virtual reality. And so I would say that the know-how, the vision, the fundamental contribution of the French side, is in the fact that we know how to tell stories with these new tools, no matter what tool we’re talking about.
Women executives and the French Touch
Marie Blondiaux, executive among the Weare French Touch ecosystem
Delphine [00:03:37] You were talking about women in the video game world. Are you a female team then?
it’s important for us to get together as women in the video game industry where there are still very few women leaders
Marie Blondiaux [00:03:44] In Coven, which I co-founded with Céline Tricart who is a French creator and producer who lives in Los Angeles, so we are two women executives. It was very important for us, both because we know each other and we work very well together. But also, it’s important for us to get together as women in the video game industry where there are still very few women leaders.
The world is moving forward little by little, or this world is moving forward just slowly, obviously. But having two leading figures in decision-making who are women is something that is very important both internally, i.e. the way we recruit our teams, and we are very sensitive to issues of diversity, inclusion, but also externally. That is to say, both with regard to the public we are trying to address, which is primarily a female public and our potential investors and our potential co-producers. It’s important to be able to show that female gamers are a market and women are also creators and have full access to video games.
Delphine [00:04:45] You have the feeling that you are powerful women, that you are opening the road, a little bit, in what you do.
Marie Blondiaux [00:04:52] Opening up the road? I don’t know, because there are some predecessors who came before and who support us. In any case, we have a lot of support on that side. Powerful? Yeah, absolutely. In the sense that we. The impression that our narratives are interesting also brings together convictions, emotions that are those of today. After powerful, in the sense of domination and crushing? No, not at all. We are rather in a rather broad perspective and openness both in the contents and the teams we work with.
The uses and adoption time of new technologies (AR, VR)
Not everyone is going to get a virtual reality headset overnight.
Delphine : You were talking at the end about the uses that we’re going to make of all this? Do you have values that you want to express? Do you think that being two women leaders, being pioneers, you have a role to play in the use that will be made of these tools?
Marie Blondiaux [00:05:47] I think that today the technological world, and especially virtual reality, has advanced a lot, with prophecies and an imaginary of technology that changes everything, that revolutionizes everything very quickly… Whereas history proves us that the adoption time, and this is true since TV and even video games, and even if this time is getting shorter, the adoption time and the usage time are quite long. Not everyone is going to get a virtual reality headset overnight.
On the other hand, more and more people are going to do it because they will have had interesting positive experiences on which they have created a link. And somewhere along the line, that requires a pretty good understanding of usage, which is not just about imposing a technology. And I think that we have things to defend in this respect. Yes, obviously.
Do creatives have the power to change the world?
Conversation with Marie Blondiaux, executive in the Weare French Touch ecosystem
Delphine [00:06:39] If I tell you that creative people have the power to change the world, is that something that speaks to you?
we’ve been lucky for the past ten years to have generated extremely positive emotions around our content
Marie Blondiaux [00:06:46] Yes, I think so. Creatives can change the world. They can contribute to it. No doubt everyone is up to what they can do. The messages, the stories that are, that need to be told, that stand up to a whole technological pipe that is sometimes complex, well, they are powerful. And yes, when they are truly shared, when they are received. And we’ve been lucky for the past ten years to have generated extremely positive emotions around our content. When that happens, it works and it changes things profoundly.
Delphine [00:07:22] Yeah, thanks. It was a pleasure.
Special series of podcasts recorded at the Weare French Touch[00:07:29] Thank you for listening to this episode recorded live with Marie Blondiaux at the Weare French Touch Festival . You can find all the episodes of this day on the 2Goodmedia.com website. You will also find the pictures of the event as well as the transcription of the podcast episodes in three languages: French, English and Italian. See you soon on 2Goodmedia.
Credits : Photographies – Courtesy of We are_club, all rights reserved ; editorials and podcast by 2goodmedia @2022 all rights reserved