Last month we ventured to Paris for Series Mania – the co-production event for scripted producers, and it was buzzing. Now in its eighth year, Series Mania is less about selling TV and more about celebrating the creative talent off-screen and nurturing co-production relationships.
Co-producing with partners that can add real value has become more important to a show’s success. Gone are the days where you would receive a healthy commission from a broadcaster to make a show and a good advance from your distributor, plus additional amounts of income from sales. Although having a broadcaster on-board remains somewhat critical, a production may also need co-pro partners that bring something in addition to finance to the table. It could be a different cultural perspective – resulting in a broader appeal amongst audiences, or it could be a fantastic showrunner, casting relationship, a location genius, a rocking writing-room, a relationship with broadcasters in a different territory, a stockpile of the latest hardware, a fantastic post-facility or just a different way of working.
Series Mania has a different vibe to other events we attend. It’s more creative, with producers discussing the challenges of a second series, how networks can kill a show, or even why Nordic comedy travels. There’s also a full day of experienced production companies from all over Europe pitching their show concept on stage in front of the industry – all looking to forge alliances to get their projects off the ground.
The organisers did an amazing job too in looking after us delegates. Hospitality really makes such a difference and we were spoilt with drinks at the jawdroppingly gorgeous gilt-laden Hotel de Ville, followed by dinner the next day at The Museum of Natural History.
Throughout the whole event, it was refreshing to see the top European production companies building relationships with their UK counterparts.
Great relationships have to start somewhere and Paris definitely isn’t a bad backdrop. Who knows where they may end up?
By Sophie Naylor, Managing Director at Franklin Rae.
Last night the Franklin Rae team took a trip down to The Hospital Club for the very first Turn On, Tune In event of the year, with some of the industry’s most respected programme makers.
We were treated to a talk from panel show producer Matt Nida, whose production credits include Big Fat Quiz of the Year, 8 out of 10 Cats and Would I Lie To You. Over the course of the evening, Matt let us in on a few secrets and tips on the tricky art of making a panel show – here’s what we learnt…
In most successful panel shows the points system doesn’t really mean anything at all! Instead, the competitive element of the format offers a starting point for chat across the panel.
All about chemistry
A successful panel show should feel like the audience is a fly on the wall at a really great dinner party – chemistry and debate between the panelists is also essential.
Simply does it
It’s a mistake to think a panel show can be based on anything, or that an intricate and unique twist is a sure-fire way to make a hit. In fact, keeping the format of the show simple is often most effective in allowing the jokes to flow.
Producers are always on the hunt for creative ways to get panelists out from behind their desks or stands – but only if there is a clear reason and/or it’s funny.
Sometimes the best technique is to build rounds or questions around anecdotes and stories that guests have to offer. So research, research, research! Thoroughly researched chats can often provide comedy gold.
All in all it was an enlightening and informative evening, and we’re looking forward to the next one!
By Chloe Lawrance, Junior Account Executive at Franklin Rae.
There was a true depth of innovation on display at this year’s BETT exhibition, which took place last week, demonstrating that the international edtech industry is very much alive as ever. As we spent a few days exploring the aisles of the ExCel among the industry’s elite, it was hard to ignore the pull of all the gadgets and gizmos promising the next wave of education.
It’s safe to say Virtual Reality for classrooms was the technology of the moment, with the crowds fighting it out to test run Microsoft’s game-changing Hololens. And thanks to Raspberry Pi’s legacy, coding in schools continues to be the initiative on everyone’s mind. But the one thing the edtech community agrees on is that gaming is the missing link in mainstream education – and while Minecraft and Microsoft had the biggest presence at BETT in this department, it was great to see some of the exciting new players such as Lightneer and our client Tinybop making their claim in the market.
So what does it take to stand out from the crowd at key events such as BETT? PR and marketing are essential tools to help shout about your innovation when it counts, support your business objectives and let key influencers know what you are taking to market.
Here’s a few of our top tips to stand out from the crowd:
You know the drill. Once you register to exhibit at one of these events, you’re bombarded with marketing emails that promise to help you make the most of your stand. And as tempting as it is to leave them in the inbox – make sure you don’t miss those important deadlines for submitting your copy and company profile to the official show guide. Make it as easy as possible for attendees to find you on the day. That means getting your name in the programme before it’s too late.
Looking to make a splash with news during the show? Let the media know beforehand. The beauty of modern journalism is that you can announce new developments and generate immediate impact. Markets are a great place to pick up trade magazines and print media still works very much in advance. It’s not dead just yet. Most key publications plan special preview features in their editions leading up to market. So, consider this – if a prospective customer sees your news in the media in those important days beforehand, or even while they’re reading their morning coffee on the way to market, you’ve already got a head start.
A major strength of trade shows is the ability to meet face-to-face with the right people in a short amount of time. Well, guess what — you can also build much stronger relationships by meeting your industry journalists face-to-face. Use this opportunity while you’re all under the same roof to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones with your target media. Believe us, it’ll pay off in the long run!
We’re already looking ahead to the Kidscreen Summit in a couple of weeks, the Broadcast Indie Summit in March and MIPTV in April. Who’s coming with us?
By Abi Williams, Account Manager at Franklin Rae
Last week we attended a breakfast event at BAFTA with a number of the specialist factual commissioners from the BBC, Sky, Nat Geo and Channel 4.
Despite an early start the David Lean room was full capacity, with filmmakers and production company’s all looking for insight into the latest trends and what’s on the commissioners radars.
A key take away across the panel was ‘authenticity of experience’, something which in an era of ‘alternative fact’ and ‘fake news’ Tom McDonald, Head Of Specialist Factual commissioning for the BBC, said is imperative. Authentic portrayal is something specialist factual programming must provide.
Conversation also touched on the ever changing digital world and what this would mean for the genre. Many on the panel agreed that the traditional 30’ and 60’ minute format is becoming increasingly old fashioned. With VoD and SVoD becoming more and more the first port of call for viewers, the commissioners said there was a greater flexibility for filmmakers to make engaging content that could be 15’ or 90’ minutes in length. Short form has definitely become more popular in recent years, especially for people on the go i.e. commuters, and younger audiences who traditionally take to YouTube for a quick fix. So there are ample opportunities to make specialist factual more accessible for these audiences.
Snow Leopard – India – Planet Earth II
Moderated by media-veteran and journalist, John Plunkett it was a fascinating morning listening to key figures from a genre that is still riding on the crest of the wave of successful recent hits such as Planet Earth II, The Secret Life of 4/5/6 year olds and 24 Hours in A&E. Specialist factual is a genre that we are confident can create informative, entertaining and must see programming.
By Michael Goward, Account Executive at Franklin Rae.
No idea why Doc Brown’s De Lorean was on the Croisette – but was hugely excited by its appearance. Yes that is a real Flux Capacitor.
Franklin Rae has recently returned from MIPCOM, the international market for TV programmes held in sunny Cannes, and what a great market it was. Arigatou Gozaimasu (Thank You Very Much) to Japan which held the position of Country of Honour, they piqued our interest and opened our eyes to the array of content and formats it produces. In general though the market was balanced, it seemed to be more international and less dominated by the big US or UK producers and distributors – just as an international market should be.
MIP Junior had a record attendance of 1600, there was a greater focus on original factual content for kids, than there has been in previous years – that’s not to say it dominated, animations still lead, but it was good to see it acknowledged. The challenge for the kids industry is that the audience are all digital natives, so reaching them safely across all digital platforms is critical – an issue recognised by Sony who announced their investment into pre-school SVOD platform Hopster, which is already in 100 countries including the US.
Recent MIPs have been led by Drama, from big, sumptuous dramas like Kosem and Versailles, to high quality gritty co-productions like The Last Panthers. This year, with a couple of notable exceptions like Taboo distributed Sonar, saw a return to formats. I can’t say I’m able to spot the next global success but survival with a twist is still popular with Families Gone Wild from Naked Ent, and Welcome to the Wild from Keshet standing out. There were a couple of formats which focused on conflict resolution through eye contact – is it the new hot thing? I’m not convinced a staring contest is the answer but
Marty McFly’s driving permit. Really.
time will tell.
As always, the market was fast, frantic and fun. We made new friends and caught up with old ones – and saw the future of programming. A bientot Cannes.
By Sophie Naylor, Managing Director at Franklin Rae.
It’s no mean feat to get an independent film made and released in cinemas. It’s hard work. Especially when you don’t have a five-figure budget and the only films that seem to really “make it” are the big budget, star-studded Hollywood blockbusters. This is why we came on board to launch new UK crime thriller, The Intent. Our job wasn’t just to help sell out cinema screens. We needed to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of independent film, and the work that goes into bringing topical stories and issues to the public via the big screen.
Written, produced and directed by two, very talented filmmakers Femi Oyeniran and Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker, The Intent tells a true and chilling story of gang warfare and greed. Starring an array of incredible British actors including Dylan Duffus (1 Day and Line of Duty), Sarah Akokhia (Venus vs Mars, Hallows Eve) and Shone Romulus (Topboy), as well as some of the UK’s leading rappers including Scorcher, Krept and Konan and Fekky, the film hit nationwide cinema screens on July 29th and is accompanied by an equally thrilling soundtrack loaded with songs from Ghetts, Fekky, Ms Banks, Tanika and many more.
Working closely with Femi and Nicky, whom also star in the film, we created a campaign designed to generate a buzz around independent filmmaking and engage the film’s core target audience.
With an intense publicity drive, we secured 27 reviews of the film across national, film and mainstream consumer press.
“It’s a pulsating south London crime thriller that has confidence, energy and style”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
We also arranged a number of interviews for the directors and cast with national, radio, TV, regional, print and online press, including BBC 1Xtra, BBC Radio West Midlands, London Live, Sky News, Evening Standard and NME. This all helped lead to The Intent selling out in cinema screens the day of release and reaching #3 on the iTunes film charts a couple of days later.
The success of the film signified an important game-change for the UK film industry as two young, talented BAME producers and directors achieved mainstream success without the support of a distributor, but through talent, focus and determination (and a robust publicity campaign).
Love Island stars Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen at The Intent premiere in London
To complement the campaign, we also secured a number of competitions and giveaways with the likes of Sky Cinema and HMV.
We also held a private press screening at the BFI and helped to organise a glitzy central London premiere before the film officially hit cinema screens, securing the attendance of key influencers and celebs in the urban music, TV and comedy scene. The night was a huge success and a testament to the entire team’s hard work.
It’s both an honour and pleasure for us to be part of such an amazing project, and to promote the great talent we have in the UK film industry.
We look forward to seeing what’s next on the horizon for all those involved, so watch this space. In the meantime check out the film via www.theintentfilm.co.uk
By Anoushka Awad, Senior Account Manager at Franklin Rae