MIPCOM: Part 1

Hi all,

How has everyone been? How many of you JUST finished reading a Jian Ghomeshi article before visiting my blog (or are now planning to after you leave it)?

I want to tell you about a crazy experience I just had in Cannes, France at MIPCOM 2014.

You: WHAAAAT??! No way.

Me: Riiiight?! I know.

Two weeks ago I was flown to Cannes, France by the great people at Telefilm Canada to help promote Darknet and Canadian television and WHAT an experience it was.

Let me start by attempting to explain what MIPCOM is, here’s the web definition: MIPCOM ‘ is the year’s most anticipated global market for entertainment content across all platforms.
Yeeeeah, if you are like me, you kinda sorta get it from that description… but not really at all.
Here’s my definition: MIPCOM is essentially were people go to buy and sell TV programming. So picture a HUGE building in the French Riviera were thousands of producers and network exec’s show up and arrange a whirlwind few day of meetings and parties with each other. Like speed-dating for TV. Pretty cool stuff.

You: So why did you get to go? Last time I checked you were an actor, NOT a producer (sorry, not sure why I’m making ‘You’ a bitchy teenage girl)

Me: Good question. Telefilm funded a few actors to be there to represent Canada on the opening night red carpet, and to be there all festival long to help promote their series’ as well as Canadian programming as a whole. You basically I was there on official national business…

So, onto telling you more about my experience!

Let me start by saying Telefilm rocks! So thankful I got to be there.

NOW lets get down to business. My time there was equal parts exciting, weird, nerve wracking, hilarious, and all kinds of informative.

It is WAY too much to tell in one post (I don’t want you to get MIPCOM-lag) so I’ll be posting a few posts on MIPCOM broken down by event I got to attend while there.

In today’s post::

The Telefilm photo call.

Yep. It is exactly that. A time, you are called, to have your photo taken, as promo for Telefilm. No sweat right? Wellll….
I, being the only girl in a family with two older brothers, never learned the art of posing for photos. I’m told, by my much more famous friends as well as my friends who come from a family of hyper-competitive female siblings, that there is indeed an art to having your photo taken well. Personally in photos I am accustomed to hiding behind a taller person, sticking out my tongue in an act of picture posing fear (I mean defiance…), or (despite myself) blinking every. Single. Time.


I was given the secret knowledge of how to pose RIGHT days before my telefilm photo call (along with the knowledge that your make up, hair and outfit are also not as easy to pull off in a photo as they look). SO what did I do? I googled of course. I googled ‘celebrity poses’. YES, guys, these are real! Celebrities have a handful of poses they always do in photos and most of them are so counter intuitive to how the human body actually works. It’s a lot of leaning one way and having your arm cocked another… my god, the coordination. I spent exactly 2.5 minutes trying these out in the mirror until my inner ego told me ‘You got this Alexander’ and that was the extent of my photo prep.
So after 2.5 minutes in the mirror, a professional make up artist teaching me some wicked makeup tricks (eyebrows are important apparently), buying a new dress, and spiffing up a pair of heels I was ready to go. Right?!


The day of the photo call, I was a) Nervous, so I filled in my eyebrows ala Eugene Levy and had to start all over, which meant I was running late b) it was raining and my apartment was a 25 minute (35 in heels) walk away so decided to wear combat boots and carry my heels c) Once I got there after a brisk walk/awkward jog I realized I forgot said heels and was a sweaty, rained out hot mess.

You: So, like what did you do?!

Me: What did I do? I MacGyvered the situation! I locked myself in the bathroom, squatted under the hand dryer to dry my hair, patted down my sweaty little face with paper towel and found the inner swagger to rock those combat boots like a champ! I was feeling pretty great.


I got to the red carpet (more a square of sopping wet red under an awning on the deck).

Guys. I don’t know if you know this, but photo calls don’t just mean one photographer. They mean about 20!! All who know your name because you’re SO famous (okay, actually they know your name because they were given a piece of paper about 5 minutes before you stumbled out in front of them with it written down so they could pretend they know. A fact, if ignored properly, makes you feel famous for about 10 seconds).

The combination of 20 cameras flashing and my pure lack of experience resulted in all of my 2.5 minutes of posing prep going out the window and the feeling of looking like a drowned rat in a skirt returning full force. WHICH resulted in a good ol’ hand propped up on one hip and a HUGE stupid, toothy grin on my face that just wouldn’t go away due to a mondo combination of excitement and nerves.


I officially have SO much respect for celebrities who have mastered posing for pictures. It’s hard.

The result? I’ll let you judge for yourself…


Next post to look out for: The MIPCOM RED CARPET!

*And yes, it will be what you’re thinking, full of unexpected ‘first world’ problems, just like this post.

Michelle Alexander