Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Ian Weiss

Director of Digital Strategy, American Theatre Wing

Ian Weiss has developed digital strategy and content for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Live Entertainment over the last eight years at the American Theatre Wing, Serino Coyne, and Art Meets Commerce. He has won two Webby Awards for his social strategy on the 2015 Tony Awards and was a 2014 Webby Honoree for his work on the Tony Awards Second Screen companion site. In addition, he was nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award and 2016 Webby Award, and he won several Telly Awards for producing the long running documentary series, Working in the Theatre.

Currently in his eighth year developing and running digital strategy for the Tony Awards, he has helped to launch live streaming, near live, and sharable content on social media platforms, websites, and in venue.

Weiss produced the documentary Up Heartbreak Hill which premiered on PBS’s Point-of-View series in 2011. He has also worked as a Producer and Casting Director for hundreds of television and radio spots.

Weiss is a graduate of New York University.

 


 

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

I’m obsessed with what Aziz Ansari and Alan Young have done with the second season of Master of None. The nuance and specificity of each episode has really extended what television can do in terms of storytelling, diversity, and art.

What is most exciting you at the moment within your industry?

The constant influence that users and digital marketers have on the platforms. Whenever I work directly with a platform, they really listen to constructive criticism and new ideas. I think that’s often motivated by the fact that they are also users of social media and want the same improvements and experience that goes with the changing world.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a “best idea wins” person, so I love meeting digital folks who are super passionate about their careers, creating content, and activating partnerships. It’s especially amazing to see the juxtaposition of people who have been involved in professionally creating content from the start of the platform movement, and those who have done it since they were really young and are now getting started professionally. Those worlds colliding often has a great impact on brands and storytelling.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

We are mostly known for our Working in the Theatre documentary series which, in addition to several Telly Awards, was just nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Our episode on Sign Language Theatre from last year has taught me so much about the incredible work that the deaf community has created in theatre. It is also a reminder of the constant struggle that those who are deaf or living with one of many disabilities face in receiving the same treatment for employment and creating new work. I think video content has such great power to educate and entertain simultaneously.