New creative and funding dynamics reshaping the TV industry discussed at MipTV
As multiple opportunities open up in an evolving market, it’s crucial to protect what’s special about the project first, Element Pictures producer Ed Guiney told a Canneseries panel.
“You figure out what the scripts are, who’s going to do it and how much it’s going to cost, then you go out and choose the best partner. The dynamic is we’re doing this thing, the train is pulling out of the station, so do you want to join us? Rather than “it’s something we think we’re doing, do we have your permission?” he said, citing the collaboration on “Normal People” with the BBC.
“When we were vying for the rights, the BBC did a very bold thing – they lit the show before we got them. We could go to Sally Rooney, the writer, and say, “If we’re the lucky recipient, we’re doing this.”
During the panel discussion, titled The Changing Face of Enemy Co-Production and Rights-Sharing, participants discussed how to keep up with new developments, including in funding.
“I think everyone here has become a co-financier over the past few years,” said Danna Stern, founder of Yes Studios in Israel.
“We see the private equity coming in, the venture capital coming in, there’s a wealth of opportunity as this business grows. It used to be a TV screen and a family watching a show. Now there’s more audience, more opportunities for the eyes and therefore more creative funding,” noted Emmanuelle Guilbart, CEO of About Premium Content, adding that the distribution business has also changed.
“We spend part of our time selling finished programs, but most of it is looking for funding. And sometimes move into co-production, because we’re on board so early,” she said.
But as new players enter the creative industries, the challenge is to ensure there aren’t too many editorial voices.
“The model of being able to fund through multiple sources is a good thing, whether it’s pre-sale or having multiple networks attached from the start. But it all comes down to whether it’s one voice giving notes or many,” observed Moritz Polter, producer at Windlight Pictures. “If it is, then all is well. Usually.”
“I don’t know if it’s controversial, but I still think it’s the BBC or HBO that have the best editorial voices in the industry,” added Christian Vesper, president of global drama at Fremantle.
“They tend to do more shows, on average, that work creatively. I know the idea of not having an editorial voice sometimes makes creators and producers dream, but it’s a collaborative medium.
Stern noted that despite all the changes, it’s crucial to think about the audience first.
“One of the first things I ask when someone starts is, ‘Where do you see this broadcast?’ That’s how you can build your voice. When you think about who’s home, watch this. Without that, it’s just an idea,” she said, adding that Netflix, during local commissioning also requires it.
“You can’t achieve that level of precision if you don’t know your audience.”
Despite the successes, the US market isn’t necessarily opening up to foreign-language content, Polter said.
“Just because you can watch it on a device doesn’t mean it gets popular. And if it does, that should mean you can get money for it. When we talk about global shows , it’s not a local show ordered by Netflix or Amazon. We have to remember that. Shows like ‘Squid Game’ travel, but that’s a phenomenon, not a norm.
However, recognizable names help attract that extra attention, with Vesper mentioning recent collaborations with stars in his company.
“For us it’s about how we invest and ultimately it’s about the show and the talent we bring. We had two Italian shows and one Danish on HBO in the United States: it was Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino and Tobias Lindholm. [behind them]. That’s what brought them to the United States at this level.
In this new world, fundamental creative relationships and the ways of negotiating them have changed, Guiney said, and filmmakers coming to television must recalibrate the way they work.
“It’s hard for one person to hold all the creative answers in their hands. That’s not to say we don’t have someone who’s in charge of creativity, but they know there’s a group of masterminds working together,” he said.
“The BBC, for example, aren’t used to working with iconic filmmakers – it’s new to them. I don’t think they are ‘enemies’, but there are new relationships and dynamics that come into play.”
Stern mentioned Yes Studios’ “Fire Dance,” which premiered at Series Mania and was created by Rama Burshtein-Shai, marking his first foray into series.
“This ultra-Orthodox filmmaker has only done feature films before, so it was a long conversation process,” she said, adding that in TV, the gains have to come faster and come more. early. But a revolution is already upon us.
“I have a 13-year-old son and he will never watch anything we do. And that terrifies me,” she added.
“He’s a gamer, and the metaverse is coming and Web 3.0, whatever that means. We have to figure out how to use what we know and transfer those skills into the next generation of entertainment.
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