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
Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester in the BBC’s Undercover
This week we are launching our Frankly Speaking series – a collaborative forum, which will address some of the most topical issues, trends and developments in the creative industries.
The inaugural Frankly Speaking session will be a roundtable on the topic of diversity and will take place this Thursday in association with our partners MeWe – a charitable organisation focused on providing funding, mentoring, networking opportunities and central London hub space for creatives and entrepreneurs from BAME communities.
The topic of diversity has rocked the media industry over the past two years. With Lenny Henry launching his lobbying campaign at Ed Vaizey to back TV diversity and change the law on ethnic minority workers, and the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, there has been lots of buzz and backlash about the lack of BAME representation on and off screen. There have also been on-going discussions amongst the Public Service Broadcasters and TV networks about targets, quotas and promises, in an attempt to tackle the lack of diversity head on.
Our roundtable will take the temperature of the state of the nation, as we discuss the diversity deficit affecting the UK’s talent and production output.
We will hear from an esteemed cohort of talent and execs including:
- Isaac Densu, Chief Creative Officer at SBTV
- Derren Lawford, Creative Director at Woodcut Media
- Minnie Crowe, Actress and COO at the TriForce Network
- Fraser Ayres, Actor, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the TriForce Network
- Femi Oyeniran, Actor and Creative Director at Purple Geko
- Dawn Beresford, Board Member of Creative Access, Talent Executive at Arrow Media and CPL Productions
We also have the brilliant Tara Conlan who writes for the Media Guardian, Observer and RTS attending to moderate the discussion.
Stay tuned for more info! #diversity
By Shereene Witter, Account Director at Franklin Rae
In honour of World Poetry Day our very own lover of literature, Xander Ross, wrote this lovely Haiku to give a sense of what it’s like to work at Franklin Rae.
Rain hits the window
Email ping – client happy
Keyboard keeps tapping
“Poetic Relations: World Poetry Day” – Alexander Ross, Account Executive at Franklin Rae