__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

ADVERTISEMENT SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 17 US $7.95 USD | Canada $8.95 CDN | Int’l $9.95 USD

CANADA POST AGREEMENT NUMBER 40050265 PRINTED IN CANADA USPS AFSM 100 Approved Polywrap

Live: 203 Trim: 213 Bleed: 219

Trim: 210 Bleed: 216

2017 A+E Networks. Claimed marks are the trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC protected in the United States and other countries around the world.

A Publication of Brunico Communications Ltd.

VIS IT U S : STAN D P 3. C - 1 sales.aenetworks.com 20 years of Realscreen | Bunim/Murray Spotlight | MIPCOM Picks | Science & Natural History Report


VISIT US: STAND P3.C-1

sales.aenetworks.com

2017 A+E Networks. Claimed marks are the trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC protected in the United States and other countries around the world.

THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND


2017 A+E Networks. Claimed marks are the trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC protected in the United States and other countries around the world.

LIFE, MAGNIFIED. 2 0 17 E M MY A W A R D ®

WINNER

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH


LOVE DILEMMA Constructed Reality 20 x 30’ - Discovery Real Time

FAMILY LUNCH Fixed Rig 13 x 30’ - Food Network

SARA & MARTI Constructed Reality 20 x 30’ - Disney Channel

READERS Bio Epic 40 x 30’ - La Effe

HIGH INFIDELITY Scripted Reality 190 x 30’ - Discovery Real Time

SEE YOU IN COURT see you in COURT standbymeproduzionitv

@standbyme.tv

@StandByMeTv

standbyme.tv

Scripted Reality 65 x 30’ - Rai 2 info@standbyme.tv


September + October 17 Volume 21, Issue 1

A

20/20 VISION

lot can happen over the span of 20 years. As this industry’s journal of record for the past two decades, realscreen has served as a strong advocate and voice for non-fiction and unscripted content professionals. Through the magazine, our online home and our industry-leading events, we’ve relied on your expertise, your perspectives and yes, your brilliant content, to showcase the vibrancy of this business. We’ve been there to cover the myriad peaks and valleys that have marked your industry’s evolution, from the cable TV explosion to the gamechanging emergence of OTT. We’ve witnessed more than one documentary renaissance, and of course, the resounding impact of the unscripted boom. These are things that a great percentage of those of you reading have also been privy to as participants and key players. That’s why, for our special 20th anniversary issue, we’ve turned to several executives who have been in the trenches for a sizable portion of our existence, if not all of it, to get their perspective on the industry’s evolution, and thoughts on what the road map looks like as we hurtle towards 2020. Some of the execs featured, such as A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc and NPACT general manager John Ford, were on hand for the very first Realscreen Summit in 1999, and have taken part in several since. All of those featured in the report (which begins on page 61) have navigated long and winding roads through their careers, experienced setbacks and successes, and have used their hard-won wisdom to build brands and businesses. I’d venture that it probably wasn’t an easy ride for any of them. But I’d also bet that all of them would say it’s been well worth it. While it’s said that hindsight is 20/20 (there are those numbers again!), the view forward can be a little murkier. Signposts can be noted and predictions can be made. Ultimately, there is one underlying truth that serves as a foundation for both this industry, and perhaps the world at large. As both Armoza Formats founder Avi Armoza and A+E’s Nancy Dubuc imply in their Q&As for this issue, the only certainty you can count on is uncertainty. Some challenges and opportunities can be seen and prepared for, but others arrive without warning and with blinding speed. Thus, in what Armoza calls “the business of not knowing,” it probably pays to take Dubuc’s advice, and “appreciate the journey you’re on.” Speaking of journeys, as you can tell by the photo at the top of the page, there have been some comings and goings here at realscreen. Darah Hansen, who steered the editorial ship for the brand for the better part of a year, has returned to her beloved British Columbia for a new opportunity. As luck — or fate — would have it, the arrival of a new baby at my household meant that I could seize the chance to return to a role — and a brand — that has been part of my life for close to 10 years. So, allow me to raise a glass — or, given that it’s 10 a.m as I write this, a coffee cup — to all of the members of the realscreen team, past and present, and to all of you who have been part of this journey. We are honored to share it with you. Cheers, Barry Walsh Editor and content director realscreen

008

September / October ‘17

Realscreen is published 4 times a year by Brunico Communications Ltd., 100- 366 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 1R9 Tel. 416-408-2300 Fax 416-408-0870 www.realscreen.com VP & Publisher Claire Macdonald cmacdonald@brunico.com Editor and Content Director Barry Walsh bwalsh@brunico.com Research Editor Jessica Mach jmach@brunico.com Associate Editor Meagan Kashty mkashty@brunico.com Senior Writer Daniele Alcinii dalcinii@brunico.com Staff Writer Selina Chignall schignall@brunico.com Contributing Writers Harry Gamsu, Jessica Mach, Chris Palmer, John Smithson Associate Publisher Carol Leighton cleighton@brunico.com Account Manager Kristen Skinner kskinner@brunico.com Marketing & Publishing Coordinator Rachel Wolfe rwolfe@brunico.com Creative Manager Andrew Glowala aglowala@brunico.com Art Director Mark Lacoursiere mlacoursiere@brunico.com Print Production & Distribution Supervisor Andrew Mahony amahony@brunico.com Event Producer Tiffany Rushton trushton@brunico.com Webmaster Farhan Quadri audience services Data Integrity and Customer Support Supervisor Christine McNalley cmcnalley@brunico.com corporate President & CEO Russell Goldstein rgoldstein@brunico.com VP & Editorial Director Mary Maddever mmaddever@brunico.com VP & Publisher, Kidscreen Jocelyn Christie jchristie@brunico.com VP Administration and Finance Linda Lovegrove llovegrove@brunico.com Senior Director, Events and Creative Services Brenda Wilford bwilford@brunico.com Senior Director, IT and eBrunico Eddie Ting eting@brunico.com All letters sent to realscreen or its editors are assumed intended for publication. Realscreen invites editorial comment, but accepts no responsibility for its loss or destruction, howsoever arising, while in its office or in transit. All material to be returned must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. ISSN number 1480-1434

© Brunico Communications Ltd. 2017

U.S. Postmaster: Send address changes or corrections to realscreen, PO Box 1103, Niagara Falls, NY, 14304 | Canadian Postmaster: Send undeliverables and address changes to realscreen, 8799 Highway 89, Alliston ON L9R 1V1. Canada Post Publication Agreement No. 40050265 Printed in Canada To subscribe, visit www.realscreen.com/subscribe, email realscreencustomercare@realscreen.com, call 416-408-2448, or fax 416-408-0249. Subscription rates for one year: in the US, US$59.00; in Canada, CDN$79.00; outside the US and Canada, US$99.00. ™ Realscreen is a trademark of Brunico Communications Ltd.


A

TWENTY AND COUNTING

quick Google search reveals several of the top news stories of 1997. Among them: Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris; sovereignty over Hong Kong is transferred from the United Kingdom to China in what’s known as the Handover; 58 tourists and four Egyptians are shot to death outside the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the Luxor massacre; 71 hostages are dramatically freed from the Japanese embassy in Lima after a four-month siege; a civil jury finds OJ Simpson liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman; and the birth of Dolly, the cloned sheep, is announced to the world. Bill Clinton was president of the United States, and Tony Blair was elected prime minister in Britain, ending 18 years of Tory rule. Amongst this backdrop of events, realscreen was launched. Stories in the premiere issue included the programming strategy behind National Geographic Channel as it debuted in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and Australia ahead of its U.S. rollout in 2001; an interview with A&E’s then VP of documentary programming Michael Cascio about plans for the launch of a Biography Channel; and a feature on Discovery founder John Hendricks celebrating his distinction as MIPCOM’s Personality of the Year. I think it’s fair to say that over the course of the last two decades realscreen has become the definitive industry journal and forum for the non-fiction and unscripted biz. In her inaugural column, founding editor, Mary Ellen Armstrong, wrote: “We raised some industry eyebrows, no doubt, during the R&D of realscreen. The concept of a monthly business mag about ‘docs, infomags and lifestyle programming’ meant we’d be throwing together camps which don’t always like to mix and mingle. The capital D documentarians would be sharing pages with the animal chasers, the extreme meteorologists, the fashion-philes, the drug bust videographers and the do-it-yourself set.” Well, it seems those camps played nice over the years and they continue to share our pages which have now grown to include dating and game show participants, space travelers and scores of other scintillating subjects. Our portfolio has also grown, and in tandem with our market-leading Realscreen Summit, I’m thrilled to announce our Pathways Mentorship Program (see page 18 for details). This program is designed to provide guidance to a select group of individuals as they consider their next career move. Our mentors are Paul Buccieri, president, A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio; Abby Greensfelder, co-CEO and executive producer, Half Yard Productions; Jon Murray, founder and executive consultant, Bunim/Murray Productions; Jane Root, CEO, Nutopia; and Drew Tappon, chief creative officer, 495 Productions. As I’m sure you’ll agree, this is an exceptional group of mentors. In other realscreen news I’d like to welcome our new associate publisher, Carol Leighton. Most recently from the consumer publishing world, Carol is no stranger to Brunico, as she led the sales efforts for our sister publication Kidscreen, a decade ago. Carol replaces Carrie Gillis, who after two years with realscreen has moved on to run the events business for a Toronto lifestyle publication. We also bid adieu to Kerry Lanctot, who has taken a sales role with Greenslate after a 10-year stint with us. I wish them both the very best. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or made acquaintance with realscreen more recently, thanks for your loyalty and support for the last 20 years, and here’s to the next many ahead. ‘Til next time, go well. Claire Macdonald VP & Publisher realscreen

010

September / October ‘17

Upcoming Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 Editorial features include Realscreen’s Trailblazers, and our Development and Commissioning Report Bonus distribution: Realscreen Summit, NATPE, Sundance Film Festival Booking deadline: December 7 For information on any of these opportunities, or is you’re interested in sponsorship or private meeting space at Realscreen Summit 2018, call realscreen sales at 1 416 408 0863.


Y TO A W E T UR GA

SE

ER V I N U THE

O N O O THE M

ES TTERFLI

BU D N A S SEX, LIE

AKES U Q G N I S CHA www.terramater.com

MIPCOM: Visit us at our booth! RIVIERA R7.N1

1 × 53 min.

in.

1 × 53 m

in.

1 × 50 m


BIZ

TIFF TAKEAWAYS MONEY MATTERS Acquiring private financing from angel investors for a feature-length documentary can be one of the biggest challenges for filmmakers. But if successful, it can reap major rewards. In a session titled “Private Investment In Documentary: How And Why”, Impact Partners co-founder Geralyn Dreyfous and TIFF documentary programmer Thom Powers discussed the opportunities and challenges associated with the private financing of documentaries, and gave advice to filmmakers looking to work with private investors. “Anybody that has money and is taking a meeting with you knows you’re going to ask them for money, so take the boogeyman out of the room,” said Dreyfous, about holding the initial conversations with potential investors. “If they’re agreeing to give you 20 minutes of their time, it’s because they’re already interested in what you have to say. The idea that they don’t know that you’re coming to them to ask them for money is not the case — everybody knows it’s going to happen.

“For someone who has resources, it’s a real privilege and pleasure to: a) discover talent, b) be part of something that can make a difference and c) see if there are contributions you can make besides the financial resources you can bring,” she added. “Our investors at Impact bring so much more than their money. They bring their expertise in technology, their businesses, their non-profit experience, their passion and their networks. Don’t be afraid to ask, because they’re expecting to be asked.” Of course, investors who have supported a film with an equity investment — where they recoup their money — will tend to want to weigh in on the editorial process. Some investors will provide their opinion on elements of the project, while others will want to see rough cuts of the doc. But Dreyfous maintained preserving editorial independence while balancing a respectful relationship with a financier is entirely possible. “At Impact, all of our investors understand they will look at an executive summary and a trailer,” she said. “If they want more involvement in the

B y D a n i e l e A l ci n ii a n d J e s s ic a M a ch

The Toronto International Film Festival’s Doc Conference once again played host to a wide range of movers and shakers in the documentary world. Here, realscreen presents an overview of some of the bigger talking points from this year’s TIFF.

Violeta Ayala brought her latest, Cocaine Prison, to TIFF.

013


BIZ

“Investors can help you solve your problems without bailing you out with more money.”

film because the subject matter is on point with their philanthropic portfolio, we have a conversation with the filmmaker. We often encourage that investor Dreyfous to step up and be an executive producer to earn that right as opposed to a smaller investor, because I think it’s impossible for filmmakers to be showing rough cuts to everyone who gives them $10,000. “Most people that are writing a check for a quarter of a million dollars are too busy to be looking at rough cuts,” she added. “It’s your job as a producer to give people updates. It’s not your job to educate investors on how to make a film.” Because of the nature of documentary filmmaking, projects that begin with a detailed plan can often become derailed by changes out of the filmmaker’s control. The story’s narrative sets off in a different direction. Access to a subject is closed off. Budgets skyrocket. But communication with donors is key. “Keeping people informed is such a good strategy on all sorts of fronts. It can be very helpful for people to understand the process and to help you pivot. Most of my investors who are philanthropic and wealthy people are great problem solvers. Investors can help you solve your problems without bailing you out with more money.” DA

GENDER REPRESENTATION: “MORE WORK TO BE DONE” For its 2017 program, TIFF received accolades for its strong female representation. One-third of the features and documentaries screened at this year’s festival were directed by female-identifying filmmakers, up 3% from last year. In July, TIFF unveiled a five-year plan to encourage participation, skills development and opportunities for women in the film industry through a slew of talent programs for both emerging and established filmmakers. In 2016, TIFF’s talent programs boasted a minimum of 50% female participation.

014

September / October ‘17

Of the 28 documentaries that screened at September’s festival, 11 were directed by women. Projects from Sara Driver, Agnès Varda, Sophie Fiennes and Laura Huertas Millán were among those screened. TIFF Docs programmer Thom Powers says that while this figure is hopeful, the journey is far from over. “I think documentary has always been a place of greater opportunity for female directors,” he says. “[But] it’s far from parity and there’s more work to be done.” One of the reasons women have historically been able to successfully develop documentaries, he says, is that the medium does not require filmmakers to answer to industry gatekeepers as much as they would have to in the narrative world. “You don’t have to wait for someone to greenlight your script, or to get a cast, or get a costume designer, production designer. You can just start filming,” says Powers. Heidi Ewing, who, with co-director Rachel Grady, brought their latest doc, One of Us, to the fest, agreed that the doc field features less obstacles for female-identifying filmmakers. But it’s not because the field is inherently less sexist. “You tend to see a lot more women in documentary because production budgets are lower,” she explains. “The stakes are perceived as lower. It’s harder to see in [narrative] features, where budgets are bigger and the risk is higher.” The Other Side of Everything director Mila Turajlic confirms that female-directed films have a harder time finding substantial financial investment. “I don’t feel [gender] makes a difference when applying to European film funds or talking to European broadcasters, but I can imagine it becomes more of an issue in a situation where you’re financing a feature film, and money is coming from private boards and foundations that are part of a male-dominated business world.” For Violeta Ayala, director of Cocaine Prison, institutionalized initiatives that explicitly address gender imbalances are important. But, she stresses, female filmmakers also need to continue working for advances. “I think that we women have to support each other and give opportunities to each other,” she says. “I don’t believe that change comes from top to bottom.” JM


BIZ

Promotions and people moves

GOING PLACES By Daniele Alcinii and Selina Chignall

Drobnyk

Introcaso-Davis

Gottlieb

Diaz-Gant

NETWORKS

F

ormer Lifetime exec Christian Drobnyk has joined National Geographic Channels as EVP, programming strategy and acquisitions. In this new role, Drobynk is tasked with overseeing the program scheduling strategy, planning and acquisitions for National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo Mundo. He will lead the design and execution of the network’s programming and acquisition strategy, as well as the coordination of global launches that “maximize audience and performance across the National Geographic portfolio,” according to the network. Drobynk will also play a key role in the communication and implementation of network strategies across all shows and platforms. Based in Nat Geo’s New York office, Drobnyk is reporting to Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. Elsewhere, E! Entertainment tapped Amy Introcaso-Davis as executive vice-president, development and production.

016

September / October ‘17

She’s tasked with overseeing all unscripted development and production for the NBCUniversal-owned entertainment brand. Introcaso-Davis takes over from Jeff Olde, who stepped down from the position in September. She most recently served as EVP, programming and development at GSN. She joined the company in 2001 and was responsible for the production and development of programs including Skin Wars and The American Bible Challenge. Introcaso-Davis previously held posts at NBCUniversal as SVP, development and production at Bravo, and SVP, original programming and development at Oxygen. Prior to NBCU, Introcaso-Davis was the VP for series at Lifetime and held a development and casting role at Fox. At A&E, Sean Gottlieb has been upped from executive producer to vice-president of development, where he is tasked with overseeing the development and production of non-fiction programming for A&E.

He reports to Shelly Tatro, senior VP of development and programming. A seasoned producer with more than 20 years’ experience, Gottlieb joined A&E in April 2014 from VH1 and has since overseen the real-time policing series Live PD as an exec producer. He has also served as executive producer on Ozzy and Jack’s World Tour, Storage Wars, 8 Minutes, and Black and White. Meanwhile, true crime network Investigation Discovery has bolstered its development team with the appointment of former Oxygen Media exec Erica Diaz-Gant as senior director of development. She reports directly into Jane Latman, Investigation Discovery’s executive VP of development. Most recently, Diaz-Gant served as executivein-charge of NBCUniversal-owned Oxygen’s longest-running true crime series Snapped, and developed and produced the net’s second longest-running crime series Killer Couples.


ye

25

ars

Wildlife. Science. History. MIPCOM stand no. P-1.L2, P-1.M1 zdf-enterprises.de

Anzeige_Genre_Factual_Real_Screen_MIPCOM_2017_RZ_03.indd 1

21.08.17 22:26


BIZ

PRODCOS

E

Pollak

Levenson

Morgan

Silveira

018

lectus has promoted John Pollak to the position of president, worldwide television and international, reporting to CEO Chris Grant. Pollak previously served as president of the company’s distribution arm, Electus International, which he will still lead. His additional duties will encompass oversight of the global rollout of Electus’ scripted and unscripted content, including development, production and current programming, as well as international coproductions and deficit financing of scripted projects. The company also upped Max Levenson to vice-president of current and creative development. Reporting to Pollak, he will be in charge of development and production of Electus’ unscripted and branded content initiatives across multiple platforms. Meanwhile, former BBC executive Rachel Morgan has been tapped by Bristol-based indie Plimsoll Productions to head its specialist factual and documentaries department.

In the new role, Morgan will focus on specialist factual and documentary programming for both the UK and international markets. She will be based out of Plimsoll’s offices in Bristol. Most recently, Morgan served as commissioning editor of specialist factual at the BBC. Elsewhere, North Hollywood-based production company Pilgrim Media Group has lifted development executive Nicole Silveira to head of development and VP of the company. In her new role, Silveira will be tasked with overseeing the development department and will work closely alongside chief creative officer Johnny Gould, to whom she reports. Silveira, who joined Pilgrim in early 2016 as VP of unscripted development, has been instrumental in expanding the operation’s development slate, having launched unscripted series and formats with more than a dozen networks and OTT platforms.

Wanting to take your career in a neW direction? Realscreen is providing an exciting opportunity for experienced industry professionals to gain professional development through mentorship opportunities and complimentary access to the Realscreen Summit. Participants of the program are individuals who are looking to pivot their career, whether you aspire to go from producer to showrunner, from producer to network exec, or from network exec to owner of your own production company.

Meet our Mentors!

Paul Buccieri President, A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group A+E Networks

abby greensfelder Co-CEO & Executive Producer Half Yard Productions

Jon Murray Founder & Executive Consultant Bunim/Murray Productions

Jane root CEO Nutopia

drew tappon Chief Creative Officer 495 Productions

For a full list of benefits and information on how to apply visit

summit.realscreen.com/2018/mentorship_program


m

Greenlit & Gone

GREENLIT

A look at what’s on the way from assorted networks, and what’s on the way out.

Celebrity Showmance Network: ITV2 Production company: Keshet UK Untitled University of Michigan Football project Platform: Amazon Prime Production companies: BTN Originals, The Montag Group, Jim Jorden Productions

Gone

Crash Karaoke Network: MTV International Production company: Switchblade Entertainment

Mariah’s World Network: E! Production companies: Bunim/Murray Productions, Magic Carpet Productions

BEST PRACTICES:

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES B y C hris Palmer and C rystal S olberg

T

he greatest achievements are often accomplished through the greatest struggles. When faced with repeated obstacles, many of us lose steam in pursuing our goals. Here are six guidelines to help you overcome obstacles that might stand in the way of achieving your goals:

Start with the end in mind. This idea still holds weight nearly 30 years after Stephen R. Covey introduced it in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Create a personal mission statement to assist in shaping your life. Identify the most important roles you play — such as parent, spouse, executive — and outline in your mission statement what it means to succeed in these roles. This will help you organize your priorities, stay focused, and avoid getting bogged down with unimportant tasks. Choose your goals wisely. Align your goals with what matters most to you. Make a list of your passions and aspirations. Don’t be afraid to set ambitious goals. If you choose goals that truly inspire you, it will be much easier to keep going in the face of adversity. Anticipate breakdowns. When working toward your goals, take into account the possibility of the challenges you may face along the way. Remember Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Ask yourself what problems and breakdowns might arise and get creative in thinking about ways around these barriers. Although it is difficult to be prepared for anything and everything, having a “Plan B” will improve your outlook on the journey ahead.

Recognize that success is a step-by-step process. It is often difficult to stay driven when working to meet long-term goals. Instead of constantly focusing on how far you still have to go, zero in on your next step. Constantly ask yourself: “What is the next action step I need to take?” This way you can celebrate tiny wins and more easily accept setbacks as learning experiences that need not derail you. Rethink your outlook. You are much more likely to overcome obstacles if you believe overcoming them is possible. Instead of focusing on problems, focus on solutions. Ask yourself, “What aspect of this problem can I control?” Stay positive and resilient. Ask for help. The road to achieving your goals can be rough. Surround yourself with a great network of people. Look to friends, family, and mentors for support, and remain open to suggestions. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” The common denominator of all success stories is simply taking that first step. While fearing failure is completely natural, ambitious goals are achievable through persistence and perseverance. Professor Chris Palmer is director of American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and author of three books, including Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker and Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College. Crystal Solberg is a filmmaker and MFA candidate at American University. •

019


CONGRATULATIONS BUNIM/MURRAY ON 30 YEARS OF SUCCESS

AND TO 2017 EMMY AWARD-WINNER: ®

© 2017 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved. 0263

BORN THIS WAY


B U N I M M U R R AY S P OT L I G H T

Over 30 years, Bunim/Murray Productions has not only created what we now know as reality television — it has reinvented and reinvigorated it along the way.

S By Daniele Alcinii

Earth Live for Nat Geo took Bunim/Murray into the wildlife programming realm.

tart with seven young attractive people of diverse backgrounds and place them in a New York loft. Wait for conflict to boil over due to the unceasing proximity of the housemates. From the ashes of that conflict will come growth, and from that growth, a story arc will reveal itself. It was that concept, relatively quaint by 2017 unscripted standards, which launched Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) to the forefront of the television landscape when it premiered The Real World, often cited as the series that kicked the reality genre into high gear, on MTV. The unprecedented idea for the unscripted drama was pitched to MTV executives over breakfast a year earlier. The youth-focused Viacom network would buy The Real World before lunch, with filming beginning shortly thereafter on Feb. 16, 1992. Just three days after the housemates departed from their 4000-squarefoot Soho duplex, the inaugural season premiered on May 21, 1992. But the innovative series, and the subsequent birth of the reality genre as it exists today, almost didn’t happen. Inspired by primetime ratings winners Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210, MTV had initially approached company co-founders Jonathan Murray, now 63, and Mary-Ellis Bunim (who passed away in 2004 from breast cancer at the age of 57) to develop a scripted soap opera it could claim as its own. But, in another sign of how times have changed, the network soon passed on the idea, unconvinced about investing in the relative high cost of drama production.

And so Bunim/Murray found a more cost-effective route. Relying on Murray’s background in news and documentaries, the studio decided instead to cast seven ordinary Americans out of a pile of 500-plus applicants – paying them US$2,600 each – and filmed their every move in homage to the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. The series quickly became part of the cultural DNA of young people the world over. “That really was the show that allowed us to build our company,” Murray, currently serving as executive consultant for BMP after stepping down as chair in 2015, tells realscreen. “Part of the appeal of The Real World is that it demanded that we cast previously marginalized people – people who primetime television had ignored, whether they were part of the LGBT community, of lower socioeconomic levels, or people of color. “I’ve always been interested in [the marginalized] and, selfishly, I think there were a whole bunch of stories that were available for the taking because television had been mostly the domain of white middle to upper class characters.” The company, and its then-flagship series, would create another television first when it cast Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive Cuban-American, in The Real World: San Francisco, the show’s third season in 1993. Zamora, who was transparent about his HIV status, brought international attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the prejudices faced by the LGBT community. He died just hours after the final episode of the season aired.

021


B U N I M M U R R AY S P OT L I G H T

Kardashian’s wedding to NBA power forward Kris Humphries, E! in 2015 penned a deal reportedly worth US$80 million (with ratings bonuses) to keep the Kardashians for three additional seasons, with an option for a fourth. Celebrating its 10th year on NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment airwaves, the 14th season of The Kardashians premiered Oct. 1. The program’s successes has taken it to 167 countries and led to the creation of nine spin-offs, including I Am Cait, Dash Dolls and the recently launched Life of Kylie. “For a programmer it’s always the dream, when you end up working with a production company that you can quickly have a second language with,” says Jeff Olde, former EVP of programming and development at E!, about Bunim/Murray. “That’s really the joy, when you can get into that rhythm where you completely trust them. You know that they knock themselves out to get the story and deliver it, and to really get at the characters.” Murray

But while his company was responsible for bringing a game-changing series into the zeitgeist, Murray knew further success wouldn’t be achieved by coasting on that series’ success. “We were very busy fulfilling MTV’s needs but we recognized as a company that we couldn’t put all our chips on the MTV network,” Murray explains. “We had to diversify ourselves.” And diversify they did. As it marks its 30th year in the industry, Bunim/Murray has developed more than 50 unscripted series, including The Real World, which wrapped its 32nd season in January, and spin-offs Road Rules (1995) and The Challenge (1999). By the end of the 2017 calendar year, Bunim/Murray will have had more than 30 series on the air in a two-year period, ranging from its latest hit for A&E, Born This Way, to an ambitious natural history project for Nat Geo, Earth Live – and many points between.

“ENERGY, CURIOSITY AND CREATIVITY” “There’s a lot of burnout in this business and a lot of people who do one thing or are known for one show and that’s it. What Jon’s done is really extraordinary in that he’s brought an incredible amount of vigor, passion and investment to every minute of his career,” says Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, for whom BMP produces the Emmy-winning

022

September / October ‘17

Goldschein

Born This Way. “That’s one of the things that really marks [Bunim/Murray] as outstanding — that sort of seemingly endless pool of energy, curiosity and creativity.” Other early series that emerged from that “endless pool” included the syndicated Starting Over, which served as the first reality soap opera for NBC-owned and operated stations, with 516 one-hour episodes over a three-year period. Its next big unscripted swing came in the form of the Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie-fronted reality sitcom The Simple Life, which reached a high of 13 million viewers in its first season on Fox. The series would eventually migrate to E! Entertainment for its final two seasons before making way for the freewheeling antics of the Kardashian family in Keeping Up With the Kardashians (with Ryan Seacrest Productions), a series that boasted an average audience of 2.1 million for adults 18–34 in its 13th season. Though those numbers are a far cry from the 10.5 million viewers accumulated by the two-night special focused on Kim

GLOBAL GROWTH “There are two major tenets [for BMP],” Gil Goldschein, Bunim/Murray’s chair and CEO, adds in a phone call from the Glendale, Californiabased studio. “At the core we’re storytellers and we want to pioneer. That’s really what drives everything we do.” Storytelling and pioneering both require resources. Goldschein, 43, recognized early in his 17-years-and-counting career with the prodco that much of Bunim/ Murray’s content had sold well in U.S. and worldwide markets. Meanwhile, Murray, having led the reality powerhouse for more than a decade alone since the passing of his partner, began thinking about transitioning the company’s leadership and realized that for Bunim/Murray to be viable long-term, it needed to become part of a larger conglomerate. Following months of negotiations, Bunim/ Murray settled on a dancing partner: Paris-based Banijay Group, which acquired a majority stake in 2010 to provide the company with access to international formats and, importantly, distribution of its series and formats to the international marketplace.

“At the core we’re storytellers and we want to pioneer. That’s what drives everything we do.”


“We’re looking at opportunities on a global basis and feel like there are certain strategic partnerships that make sense for us,” says Goldschein. Under Banijay, Bunim/Murray has reaped all the benefits of being part of an international conglomerate while enjoying the autonomy of operating under a business-as-usual mandate and maintaining the familial atmosphere created under Jon and Mary-Ellis. Goldschein says the parent company recognizes that each prodco in its respective territory is the expert in its field, and as such, the companies under the Banijay umbrella operate under a relatively free rein. In April of 2015, BMP entered another phase of development when Goldschein, who had served as president and general counsel for the company over the course of his tenure, was tapped as chair and CEO of the studio. Murray, meanwhile, stepped into the role of executive consultant to get closer to the product by developing series and documentary passion projects, while also overseeing some of the shop’s longest running series. He remains very much involved in the creative process of Lifetime’s Project Runway and A&E’s critically-acclaimed docuseries Born This Way and is developing two additional projects for the same networks. “I’m still involved, I am just having a lot more fun because I’m actually spending a lot more time in the field and in the editing room,” Murray says with a laugh. The 2015 restructuring saw Jeff Jenkins shifting to co-president of entertainment and development, and Julie Pizzi, co-founder of PB&J Television and a former creative VP and showrunner at Bunim/Murray, returning to the company also as co-president of entertainment and development, overseeing formats.

PASSION AND PRIDE Born This Way, which follows the lives of young adults living in California with Down syndrome, has warmed the hearts of audiences across the U.S. and overseas since December 2015. In its first season, the 2016 Emmy winner for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series saw viewership surge by 67% over the six-episode arc. It resonated particularly well with 25 to 54 years olds, growing 84% over the season. The series was renewed by A+E Networks for an eight-episode fourth season. It’s a validation of the cast, the subject matter, and the effort put in by the prodco, and by Murray, who had

Born This Way has achieved critical acclaim, Emmy wins and a loyal audience.

been nurturing the idea since 2009. “To be honest, I don’t think anyone at the network or a lot of people at Bunim/Murray thought that the show would go on beyond the first season,” Murray muses. “There was a feeling that it was an important show to make, but there were doubts as to whether it was too niche. “We’ve certainly worked very hard in the development of the show to make sure that the stories would be very relatable to anyone watching.” The prodco also aligned itself with numerous nonprofit organizations for the project, including Best Buddies International, which looks to create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and RespectAbility, dedicated to empowerment and self-advocacy for individuals with disabilities. “To see Jon’s passion project come to life has been one of the greatest satisfactions of my career,” offers A+E Networks’ Sharenow.

“It’s such a special show and makes such an important statement. Born This Way is a great example of reality television having a prosocial message and it’s representing the best of what television can be at large.” The same, of course, could have been said about the show that started it all. After spawning a genre 30 years ago and forever altering the television landscape, Bunim/ Murray aims to keep producing “the best possible stories” while expanding its footprint across multiple genres and platforms, supported by innovative and original ideas. “We’re really in the business of building franchises and if you look over the 30 years and what we’ve done, you’ll see that a majority of the shows that we’ve had on the air really sustain themselves,” Goldschein explains, adding that it’s a point of pride at BMP to “create these brands for our television network and cable partners. “That’s what we want to be doing — creating franchises that have a long life.” •

023


REALITY FORMAT www.redarrowinternational.tv | MIPCOM: Booth P4.C10


MIPCOMPICKS2018

MIPCOM 2018 BEST IN SHOW B y M eagan K ashty and B arry W alsh

Another MIPCOM approaches, and with it comes another edition of our annual MIPCOM Picks. Here, you’ll find a slew of non-fiction and unscripted projects coming to market, ranging from foodiefriendly fare to penetrating explorations of social issues, and from awe-inspiring natural history to light and fun formats. From the scores of submissions we received, one trend emerged — a wealth of projects focused on health and well-being. You’ll see a few of those projects in this list as well. Congrats to our best in show, which wins a pass for the submitting company to the 2018 Realscreen Summit.

THE DEPARTURE Partners: Drifting Cloud Productions, ITVS, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; FilmRise, Dogwoof, AMC Global, Huanxi, Globosat, EER Length: 88 minutes / 56 minutes Premiered: April 2017 (Tribeca Film Festival) Rights available: World excluding North America, MENA, China, Estonia, SSA, Brazil From Lana Wilson, director of the acclaimed After Tiller, comes this portrait of Ittetsu Nemoto, a Japanese punk-turned-Buddhist monk who has devoted his life to helping individuals on the brink of suicide to step back from the ledge. However, the film finds him increasingly grappling with his own concerns, as the pressures of his work impact other areas of his life, including his health. As the story unfolds, Nemoto finds himself confronted by the ultimate questions haunting those that he counsels.

025


MIPCOMPICKS2018

AN OCEAN MYSTERY: THE MISSING CATCH Partners: Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation; distributed by APT Worldwide Length: 1 x 60 minutes | Aired: April 2017, Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) Rights available: All rights available worldwide, excluding U.S. broadcast Recent decades have seen dramatic drops in fish stocks, and study after study points to overfishing as a chief culprit. But according to Dr. Daniel Pauly, the amounts of fish being caught in the world’s oceans are drastically under-reported, and the true numbers should sound alarms for the health of our marine ecosystems. This film, narrated by actor and conservationist Ted Danson, follows Dr. Pauly and an international team of scientists as they take part in a global investigation to assess how flawed the official data is, and how close we are to a catastrophic crash of fish stocks worldwide.

A TIME TO LIVE Partners: Wellpark Productions for BBC; distributed by Banijay Rights Length: 1 x 60 minutes | Aired: May 2017, BBC2 (UK) Rights available: World excluding UK and Ireland We are all guilty, at some point, of taking our lives for granted. There will always be a tomorrow, and the dream that we’ve silently nurtured over time can always wait until… whenever. But what happens when you’ve been told you have a terminal illness? This program finds 12 people, ranging from their 20s to their late 60s, who are facing their own deaths, but who are choosing to use the time left for what truly matters to them. This glimpse into what is, for many, an uncomfortable reality — our own impending demise — serves as an inspiring exploration of how to live life to its fullest.

CIRCUS KIDS: OUR SECRET WORLD Partners: Drummer TV for Channel 5 (UK); distributed by Beyond Distribution Length: 3 x 60 minutes/ 1 x 60-minute compilation Aired: July 2017, Channel 5 (UK) Rights available: All rights available worldwide, excluding UK and Ireland It’s an age-old childhood fantasy that still holds its charm — running away and joining the circus. For some of the children in this documentary, it’s not a fantasy, and they didn’t have to “run away” to be part of the circus — it’s in their blood. Circus Kids follows children whose families have roots in circus performing that extend across multiple generations, as well as those who left “normal” life behind to pursue their dreams under the Big Top.

DIAN FOSSEY: SECRETS IN THE MIST Partners: Tigress Productions for National Geographic; distributed by Fox Networks Group Distribution Length: 3 x 60 minutes | Airing: December 2017, National Geographic Rights available: All rights available worldwide Dian Fossey was one of the world’s best known primatologists, studying mountain gorilla groups in their own natural habitats over a span of 18 years, before her brutal murder in a Rwandan camp in 1985. This special presentation, executive produced by James Marsh (Man on Wire), is culled from more than 40 hours of rare archival footage. It allows Fossey to tell her own story, from her childhood to her life with the gorillas in Rwanda, with excerpts from her writing narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

026

September / October ‘17


MIPCOM STAND P-1.G66 pbsinternational.org

A L A NDM A RK DOCUMEN TA RY E V EN T


MIPCOMPICKS2018

FOOD EVOLUTION Partners: Black Valley Films, Boomdozer; distributed by Off the Fence (theatrical distribution through Abramorama) Length: 1 x 60 minutes; 1 x 90 minutes | Premiered: June 2017 Rights available: Worldwide excluding U.S. territories and possessions Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos), Food Evolution examines the war of words surrounding the issue of GMOs and our food. The film does have a viewpoint — that a lot of the furor over GMOs is propelled by faulty science and social media commentary — but it allows opposing arguments to be heard… and then, ultimately, rebutted by assorted scientists and data. Whether the doc will sway opinions remains to be seen, but the argument is presented intelligently and entertainingly.

THE WORK Partners: The Orchard, Dogwoof, NRK, IPBC, DR, BBC, Da Tang Length: 1 x 87 minutes | Premiered: March 2017 (SXSW) Rights available: World excluding North America, UK, Denmark, Norway, Israel, China Directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous, this film provides, in Variety’s estimation, “a remarkable vérité portrait” of a group therapy session at Folsom Prison that teams three free men with level-four convicts. Its depiction of a new, humane approach to rehabilitation has earned the film the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at SXSW, and the Audience Award from Sheffield Doc/Fest.

THE TOY BOX Partners: Hudsun Media, Electus for ABC (U.S.); distributed by Electus International Length: 8 x 60 minutes Aired: April 2017 (ABC, U.S.) Rights available: All rights available worldwide Call it “Shark Tank meets Little Big Shots.” In this crafty competition series, aspiring toymakers present their creations to what is ultimately the toughest panel of judges they’ll face — kids. The pay-off, somewhat reminiscent of Electus’ Fashion Star, sees the winning toy produced by Mattel. Hosted by Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, the series has been picked up for another season by American broadcaster ABC.

HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIS Partners: Goldcrest Feature Films for National Geographic; distributed by Fox Networks Group Content Distribution Length:1 x 120 minutes Aired: June 2017 (National Geographic) Rights available: All rights worldwide From part of the team behind Restrepo (Sebastian Junger & Nick Quested), Hell on Earth is another visceral, eye-opening examination of a territory and populace torn apart by conflict. This time, Junger and Quested took their cameras to the ghastly civil war zone that is today’s Syria, amassing some 1,000 hours of footage from 39 trips to the region. Through historical perspective, analysis and truly chilling footage from a variety of sources on the ground, the film chronicles the chaos that allowed ISIS to thrive and a true hell on Earth to emerge.

028

September / October ‘17


pbsinternational.org

NO COUNTRY FOR THE POOR


MIPCOMPICKS2018

THE LOCKER ROOM Partners: Deklat Binnen for Canvas (Belgium); distributed by Lineup Industries Length: 6 x 52 minutes | Aired: April 2016 (Canvas, Belgium) Rights available: Worldwide format rights available excluding Belgium Members of a championship sports team share bonds that can last a lifetime. There is the hard work, discipline and camaraderie necessary to win; and then there are the experiences that teammates have in the midst of the celebration. Once the cheers fade, however, the champions are once again mere mortals — an adjustment that can be difficult for some. This format follows former teammates as they reminisce in the locker room that they shared for years about the glory days, and reveal who they became after the spotlight dimmed.

THE F-WORD Partners: Studio Ramsay for Fox (U.S.); distributed by All3Media International Length: 9 x 60 minutes Aired: May 2017 (Fox, U.S.) Rights available: Contact All3Media International This live cooking competition series marks the latest format from super-celeb chef Gordon Ramsay to cross the pond and set up shop in the United States. This time, Ramsay brings families into the mix to battle each other for culinary supremacy, with assorted VIPs seated at the judge’s table. The competition element is but one piece of the puzzle for this series, as celeb guests appear both as judges and via “in the field” segments that highlight famous foodies.

SUMMER IN THE FOREST Partners: R2W Films; distributed by Cargo Film & Releasing Length: 1 x 107 minutes | Premiered: June, 2017 (UK) Rights available: All rights available worldwide Summer in the Forest invites viewers into the village of Trosly-Breuil in northern France. Founded by Canadian-born Catholic author and philosopher Jean Vanier, L’Arche community was created in the 1960s as a refuge for individuals living with learning disabilities, previously outcast by society. Narrated by Vanier himself, Summer in the Forest tells the story of how marginalized individuals were able to forge together to beat the system and create a home for themselves on a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. La vie est belle.

THE JUDGE Partners: ITVS; distributed by ro*co films international Length: 1 x 74 minutes Premiered: September 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival) Rights available: All rights outside of North America While gender imbalance has been a long-lamented issue in the film industry, The Judge succeeds in featuring women both in front of and behind the camera. Directed by Erika Cohn, the doc follows Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih — the first woman appointed in Shari’a court in the Middle East. Cohn’s film tracks Al-Faqih through her journey as a lawyer and covers her ongoing advocacy for women’s rights.

030

September / October ‘17


ASK THE SEXPERT Partners: ITVS; distributed by ro*co films international Length: 1 x 75 minutes | Airing: April 2017 (Hot Docs) Rights available: All rights outside of North America We’re often told to listen to our elders and heed their advice, but the idea of asking grandpa for sex tips is an uncomfortable prospect for anyone. But Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a 93-year-old sex columnist, has gained notoriety in Mumbai for his daily newspaper column, which offers straight-forward, non-moralistic advice to anyone who asks. Despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the popularity of Watsa’s column has prompted many to write in. Ask the Sexpert captures Watsa’s charming personality and sex-positive way of thinking while unearthing the questions people face about their own bodies and sexuality.

BIG PACIFIC Partners: NHNZ in coproduction with PBS, CCTV9, ZDF, ZDF Enterprises, Discovery International, Channel 9 and ARTE; distributed by ZDF Enterprises Length: 4 x 50 minutes Aired: June 2017 (PBS) Rights available: Contact ZDF Enterprises Over four episodes, the latest project from storied factual producer NHNZ aims to break the boundaries between land and sea. Throughout the premium blue-chip series, narrated by Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim, cinematographers and researchers have worked to discover the secrets guarded under the Pacific Ocean. Big Pacific showcases the multi-faceted character of the sea, with each episode based on a different set of behaviors: “Violent Pacific”, “Passionate Pacific”, “Voracious Pacific” and “Mysterious Pacific”.

KOREA: THE NEVER-ENDING WAR Partners: WETA , Ark Media; distributed by Zed Length: 2 x 52 minutes | Airing: 2018 Rights available: All rights available worldwide They say that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. With the recent opening of archives in Russia, the U.S., China and South Korea, along with newly unearthed historical material including color films and hundreds of photographs, Korea: the Never-Ending War aims to bring to light a time in history that has nearly been forgotten. In learning more about the Korean War, producers hope to bring more historical context to the current crisis on the Korean peninsula and showcase how the events that happened between 1950 and 1953 have influenced international relations today.

THE CHECKLIST EFFECT Partners: Collaborate: Ideas & Images; distributed by TVF International Length: 1 x 45 minutes Premeired: Global Health Film Festival (2016, UK) Rights available: All rights worldwide Inspired by the award-winning book The Checklist Manifesto, this doc goes into hospitals across Europe, Central America, Asia and Africa to speak to experts, doctors and patients in an effort to better understand the challenges faced by surgical teams. At the heart of this battle is the World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist — a universal document used to track a patient’s progress through surgery. The Checklist Effect explores the fallibility of those in the medical profession and the global need to make surgery safer.

031


MIPCOMPICKS2018

BECOMING WHO I WAS Partners: Sonamu Films, PROSUM Inc.; distributed by Cargo Film & Releasing Length: 1 x 95 minutes | Premiered: DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (Korea) Rights available: All rights available worldwide Filmed over eight years, Becoming Who I Was explores a bond of friendship between a future religious leader and his godfather. After an impoverished boy is discovered to be the reincarnation of a high-ranking Tibetan monk, he and his elderly godfather embark on a trek across India so he can find his place at the monastery. Striking shots captured by drones are used to convey the magnitude of the sparsely populated and mountainous Ladakh region where much of the doc takes place.

STACEY DOOLEY INVESTIGATES: MUMS SELLING THEIR KIDS FOR SEX Partners: True Vision for BBC3; distributed by Orange Smarty Length: 1 x 30 minutes | Aired: May 2017 (BBC3) Rights available: All rights worldwide, excluding the UK Notable British host and journalist Stacey Dooley isn’t one to shy away from difficult subject matter, and her latest project is no exception. In this hard-hitting instalment of Stacey Dooley Investigates, Dooley travels to the Philippines to learn more about Filipino mothers who traffic their children to traveling pedophiles, many of whom come from the U.S. and the UK. Dooley works with an undercover Special Agent from ICE Homeland Security Investigations and follows an operation in which they try to arrest several mothers selling their children for sex.

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH Partners: White Gold Productions for TVO; distributed by Boat Rocker Rights Length: 1 x 90 minutes | Aired: January 2017 (TVO) Rights available: All rights available worldwide In a year when natural disasters and environmental impacts seem to be at the fore of many conversations, it only seems natural that a doc should address the economic ramifications of how we treat the planet. To The Ends of the Earth examines the rise of energy extraction and its impact on the global environment, economy and local communities. Narrated by Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson, the doc aims to bring to light the world’s economical struggle within the fossil fuel industry, and asks if new technology will usher in an era of renewable energy great enough to fuel our society.

AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS Partners: Talos Films for History (U.S.) Length: 4 x 120 minutes | Aired: June 2017 (History, U.S.) Rights available: All rights worldwide America’s War On Drugs takes viewers on a trip through the last five decades of drug enforcement, from the Cold War operations that empowered a new generation of drug traffickers, to modern-day moves to legalize marijuana. The series showcases how the CIA’s efforts to keep America safe from communism impacted the drug trade, and reveals the unintended consequences of when gangsters, war lords, spies, outlaw entrepreneurs, street gangs and politicians vie for power and control of the global black market for narcotics. Stories are told through the firsthand accounts of former CIA and DEA officers, major drug traffickers, gang members, noted experts and insiders.

032

September / October ‘17

N

M T 5

P T


DOUBLE HAPPINESS Partners: Media Stockade (Australia); distributed by TVF International Length: 1 x 52 minutes/1 x 90 minutes Airing: TBD (ABC, Australia) Rights available: World excluding Australia In previous generations, marriages in China were arranged by the state. Love was not a necessary factor for married life, and wedding photos were typically absent, outside of small, black and white passport shots featuring the wedded couple. Times, and policies, have changed. Now, the wedding industry in China accounts for a staggering $80 billion. Part of that success stems from the new tradition of extravagant pre-wedding photo shoots, in which the couple can bring to life their most luxurious romantic fantasies. This doc examines the culture of coupling in China, through the lens of this trend. •

033

NATURE . WILDLIFE

Masai Mara: The Big Hunt 52’ .com e: sit ution b e rib st

Visit als oo www.au ur ne ten w tic w -d i

Produced by Tesche Documentary

MEET US AT MIPCOM 2017 STAND R7.F2


MIPCOM LISTINGS all3media International Berkshire House, 168-173 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7AA P: +44 (0) 20 7845 4350 F: +44 (0) 20 7895 4360 Email: international@all3media.com www.all3mediainternational.com Stand: R8.C20

all3media international is the distribution arm of the all3media group. We promote and license a catalogue of award-winning TV programmes to broadcasters and media platforms across the globe. Over 1000 broadcast, DVD and digital platform clients from over 200 countries entertain their audiences with the content we supply.

My Life as a Chimp – 1x60’ In this exclusive and audacious experiment we’re going to see how a group of chimps learns to make their own home movies. This pioneering documentary will chart the lives of a group of extraordinary orphan chimps as they make sense of the new technology and express their emotions and interactions in their African sanctuary home. We will follow both the learning process and their progress as budding filmmakers. These chimpanzees will provide us with a never-before-seen moment in television: an exceptional film where apes call the shots.

Spa Wars – 8x60’ Beauty salon owners battle it out to be named the ‘Best Salon Experience’ as they visit each other’s establishments and undergo treatments. After each visit, the competitors must decide how much they are willing to pay for their treatments, but feedback and payments are not shared until the very end of the process in a tense finale. Who will be crowned the beauty king or queen?

Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc. 111 Grand Avenue, Suite 203 Palisades Park, New Jersey 07650 P: (201) 224-8000 F: (201) 947-4500 info@haberinc.com www.alfredhaber.com

EXECUTIVES ATTENDING: Alfred Haber, President Andrew Haber, Vice President, International Sales Steven Weiser, Vice President, Domestic & International Sales Patricia Villagran, International Sales Executive MIPCOM 2017 MIPCOM Booth: Palais 1, P-1.L50 MIPCOM Phone: +33 (0)4 92 99 8300

COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Alfred Haber, Inc., Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc., and Alfred Haber Television, Inc., now celebrating 49 years of business, together form the world’s largest distributor of U.S. network annual event programming and are major independent distributors of primetime series and specials, including unscripted reality, crime and investigation, clip shows, pop science, music events, and films. For more information about the Alfred Haber companies, please visit www.alfredhaber.com. HELP! MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED! – UKTV New! Running time: 12 x 60’ | Genre: Reality From the creator and star of Ghost Adventures, the #1 paranormal show in the world. Zak Bagans introduces HELP! MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED!, the spine-tingling new series that focuses on everyday people who have encountered supernatural phenomena in their homes.

MOST SHOCKING – truTV Running Time: 89 x 60’ | Genre: Reality Breathtaking ‘caught-on-camera’ reality series about the heart-pounding world of law enforcement features shocking, never-beforeseen, action-packed crime footage. It’s “goodagainst-bad” at its very best!

YOU CAN’T LICK YOUR ELBOW – NatGeo Running time: 6 x 30’ Genre: Informational Series It’s a fascinating look at the most complex piece of machinery in the universe: the human body! Cutting-edge CGI and engaging, easyto-understand narratives reveal the strange, amazing, and often unbelievable things the body does to deal with daily life. 2018 60TH ANNUAL GRAMMY® AWARDS – CBS New! Live! Running time: 1 x 210’ | Genre: Awards/Music Show Music’s Biggest Night®, the milestone 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, will be broadcast live from New York on Sunday, January 28, 2018, and promises even more of the energy and excitement for which the popular annual music event has become known. DEAD AGAIN – A&E Running time: 9 x 60’ | Genre: Reality A true-crime series from iconic “Law & Order” producer Dick Wolf’s Wolf Reality and Left/Right Productions, DEAD AGAIN is the slick, stylized and compelling nonfiction A&E Network series about an elite team of detectives that re-investigates controversial and mysterious murder cases to confirm, or reject, the original verdict.


A+E Networks 235 East 45th St, New York, NY 10017 Tel: +1-212-210-1400 Stand Number: P3.C1

A+E Networks is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E® Network, Lifetime®, History®, Lifetime Movie Network®, Bio™, H2™, History en Español™, Crime & Investigation Network™, Military History™, Lifetime Real Women®, A&E IndieFilms®, A+E Networks International®, A+E Networks Digital® and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 425 million households in over 150 countries. The A+E Networks international website is https://sales.aenetworks.com/. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH (SEASON 2) Returning (17 x 1 hours) Genre: Series ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ follows Leah Remini, along with high level former Scientology executives and church members, as they delve deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the Church and spoken publicly about their experiences. The new season will feature new episodes that will further explore accounts of former members whose lives have been significantly impacted by the Church’s practices.

AMERICAN RIPPER New (8 x 1 hour) Genre: Factual At age 40, California attorney Jeff Mudgett is stunned to learn a gruesome family secret; his great-great-grandfather was Herman H. Mudgett, a.k.a Dr. H. H. Holmes, the man considered to be America’s first “serial killer.” Holmes’ audacious acts of mass murder have become that of legend, inspiring hundreds of books and even an upcoming motion picture by Martin Scorsese. In an attempt to finally shut the case on the greatest crime mystery in modern history, the remains of H.H. Holmes will be exhumed and subjected to a battery of tests to prove that he and The Ripper were truly one and the same.

AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS New (4 x 2 hours) Genre: Factual Ecstasy is a synthetic hybrid of the hallucinogen mescaline and the stimulant amphetamine. Sales are staggering and it’s spreading faster than wildfire. According to Interpol and U.S. Customs, the Ecstasy trade is controlled by Israeli Organized Crime, and June 14, 2000, 25 individuals were arrested from the trafficking organization including the accused leader. Interpol is also at the center of an operation that has unraveled a major worldwide heroin smuggling organization centered in Nigeria.

Passion Distribution No 1. Smiths Square 77 Fulham Palace Road London, UK, W6 8JA +44 (0)207 981 9801 Email: sales@passiondistribution.com Website: www.passiondistribution.com Stand: P4.C18

Executives attending Emmanuelle Namiech, CEO Nick Rees, Managing Director Nick Tanner, Head of Sales Nikki Andrews, Senior Sales Manager Agnes Mbye, Sales Manager Jimmy Humphrey, Head of Acqusitions

London based Passion Distribution specialises in popular quality programming and formats in genres including Factual Entertainment, Reality, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Game-shows. International successes include RuPaul’s Drag Race, Dynamo: Magician Impossible, An Idiot Abroad, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Paradise Hotel, Dr Christian Will See You Now and the Unreported World documentary series.

The Class Next Door (4 x 60’) A brilliantly funny and warm new factual entertainment series which sees a class full of parents being sent back to school. Parents discover what being an 11 year old child today is really like and revisit some of the highs and lows of their formative years. A Firecracker Films production for Channel 4

Pompeii: Countdown To Disaster (3 x 60’) 2000 years ago the entire Roman city of Pompeii was buried in a volcanic eruption. Pompeii: Countdown To Disaster presents a countdown through the final days of life in Pompeii and how new archaeological digs and technologies are revealing previously unknown secrets about the people hidden beneath the ash. A Voltage TV production for Channel 5.

Trust Me, I’m A Robot (1 x 60’) A warm-hearted ob-doc that gives a fascinating insight into a future of robotics as inventor and puppeteer David McGoran attempts to combat our cultural fear of robots, by making a new kind of machine that anyone would believe and trust and even let into their lives. A Tuesday’s Child production for Channel 4.


Portfolio Entertainment MIPCOM Booth No.: #P-1.A0 901 King Street West, Suite 301, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V3H5 TEL: +1.416.483.9773 E-MAIL: sales@portfolio-ent.com www.portfolioentertainment.com

Small Town, Big Mayor (10 x 30’) D’Lo, Mississippi is a small town that time has passed by and whose population has dwindled to 456 souls. Enter newly elected Mayor John Henry Berry. The white suit wearing, golf cart driving, passionate politician has big plans for D’Lo, as well as the personality and gumption to pull them off. Together with a motley crew of locals, he sets out to turn D’Lo into a tourist destination and a symbol of civic pride. Each episode sees the Mayor and the denizens of D’Lo accomplish an amazing feat from the Mayor’s plan to revitalize their home. Uplifting and inspirational, Small Town, Big Mayor is truly a series for modern reality television.

The Gig Guys (6 x 30’) A high-energy series chronicling the wild and unpredictable exploits of a road crew managing Asia’s largest electronic music festival on a cruise liner as they experience tropical storms, crazy guests antics, artist tantrums and personal clashes. Going non-stop during a week-long cruise from Singapore to Penang, Malaysia and back again, The Gig Guys is a no holds barred ride about the raw details of what it takes to put on a ‘festival that never sleeps’. With 3,800 guests and 90 artists on board the open seas, the risk of catastrophe is always in the air, but The Gig Guys are ready to take it on with little sleep but a whole lot of bravado. What happens on the ship, stays on the ship!

Café Maria (30 x 30’) 4K Television celebrity-turned-chef Maria Goretti creates eclectic culinary delights, inspired by brunch menus around the world. Whether it’s pistachio cookies with Moroccan coffee, or eggs Florentine with an unoaked chardonnay, Maria’s drool-worthy food and drink pairings are full of addictive, nutritious and unexpected flavours that elevate brunch to new gastronomic heights.

MIPCOM Listings available Contact realscreen 416.408.2300 sales@realscreen.com


BANFF WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL

PROGRAM COMPETITION C E L E B R AT I N G T H E B E S T I N T E L E V I S I O N A N D DIGITAL CONTENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD

READY, SET, ENTER! Hundreds of programs compete for a coveted Rockie Award across 23 categories, presented at an awards ceremony each year at BANFF. With participation from more than 40 countries annually, including industry juries of esteemed professionals working in entertainment across the globe, the Rockie Awards is one of the world’s largest program competitions of its kind. Congratulations to our 2017 Grand Jury Winner: PLANET EARTH II

ENTRIES OPEN OCTOBER 11, 2017

rockieawards.brunico.com


F O R M AT F O C U S

On Tilt, which currently airs in Finland on TV6, millennial celebs face off against one another in VR games.

Matt Kunitz, producer of the show and the creator and executive producer of other largerthan-life competitions series such as Fear Factor and Wipeout, believes the series could have legs similar to retro game show reboots as a sizeable audience is already familiar with the gameplay. The series premiere averaged 4.05 million viewers and won its time period in adults 18-49 (1.1) and adults 25-54 (1.3, tie). While it wrapped its first season on CBS in September, it has been picked up by Dubai-based producer-distributor Eagle Films, with plans to adapt the game to an Arabic language version for the Middle East and North Africa region. That 13 x 60-minute version is expected to head into production later this year.

KEEP IT SIMPLE But betting big also means big risks. One of the calling cards for the Candy Crush series is a set of Guinness World Record-setting, touch-sensitive screens that required a year of research and development. Endemol Shine’s Group and Universal Television Alternative Studio’s The Wall, which airs on NBC in the U.S. and boasts LeBron James as an EP, is another tech-heavy game show making a global impact, with versions airing in France, Germany and Spain, and adaptations set for Canada, Australia, Russia, Poland, Romania and Hungary. “There are always going to be those big shows in primetime that everybody wants to do — the hot shows for the moment that are big, splashy and expensive,” says Arabelle Pouliot-Di Crescenzo, MD of French distributor Kabo International. “But the producers that are really winning place emphasis on creativity and great ideas.”

044

September / October ‘17

Pouliot-Di Crescenzo points to Kabo’s Who’s Who, which has aired throughout Europe in various versions, and Tilt as examples of shows that have seen success without breaking the bank. Tilt, a revamped version of a Finnish game show format from 1997 that is entering its third season on Finland’s TV6, is a game showmeets- talk show format in which millennial celebs face off against each other in VR games. “The aim for this show was to hype the VR and high-tech components of the game, but create something that was accessible, because right now I’m working on deals with territories that don’t necessarily have those big budgets to pull off tech-heavy game shows,” she explains. “The production company figured how to do it in a way that’s accessible in any market. A business decision was made early on so the cost of producing the show wouldn’t be prohibitive.” Scott St. John, an exec producer behind such hits as Deal or No Deal, Celebrity Name Game and the recent Snap Decision, says ultimately, it’s the simple concepts that will outlast the high-tech game shows that come and go. “It’s about connecting with the viewer,” he says. “A game show is at its best when you take entertaining people and put them in extraordinary situations and see how they react.”

“Extraordinary” can begin at home. Game shows such as the syndicated Celebrity Name Game or Spike’s Lip Sync Battle have taken a simple premise — something you might do in the living room with your friends — and have blown it up for TV, generating sleeper hits in the process. Elsewhere, Apple recently launched Carpool Karaoke — another show that audiences were already familiar with thanks to James Corden’s CBS late-night show feature. “You’re seeing game everywhere — in Corden’s karaoke hit, in the games Jimmy Fallon plays on his show, and the number of games being played online,” says Introcaso-Davis. “There’s a huge appetite for it, because of their simplicity.” While the concepts are straightforward, their reach is increasing, with mobile play being more of a factor. Introcaso-Davis references Ellen Degeneres’ Heads Up! as an example of a game viewers have brought from the small screen into their homes and on their mobile devices. Candy Crush leans heavily on the play-along factor present in most game shows — the notion that a viewer has an all-seeing eye, finding combinations and matches before the contestant is able to. This concept is amplified with Candy Crush, given audiences not only play along with contestants, but can also use the phone app. Domination, a series being brought to market by Keshet International, sells itself as a TV event in which the entire country can play along (a nod to Who Wants to be a Millionaire?). While the series relies on a quiz show format audiences will be familiar with, viewers can play along at home by answering questions via the show’s app, with the best home players also eligible to win a cash prize. Technology aside, some things never change. Playability, familiarity and positivity stand out as the key components of game show success, both historically and today. “I think positive, fun programming is where the pendulum has swung right now,” says Lionsgate’s O’Connell. “There’s a lot of dark stuff out there to watch [...] and there’s definitely a place for more optimistic programming where you see regular people win and get to cheer them on.”

“The producers that are really winning place emphasis on creativity and great ideas.”


S C I E N C E & N AT U R A L H I S TO RY R E P O R T

Back in Blue By Selina Chignall

The original Blue Planet was a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and around the world. Will its sequel make a bigger splash?

W

hen BBC’s nature docuseries Blue Planet launched in 2001, it set out to probe the mysterious territory covering 70% of Earth’s surface — its oceans. In the nearly two decades since the series’ inception, advances in science and technology have progressed at breathtaking speed, making it the right time to take another look at the planet’s oceans. But the success of the original Blue Planet makes it a tough act to follow. When the original eight-part series first aired in September 2001, the BBC/Discovery Channel copro premiered to an audience of 9.7 million in the UK and 5 million in the U.S. The program averaged per episode 7.8 million viewers in Britain and 2.9 million in America. Picking up numerous BAFTA and Emmy awards, it sold to 240 territories globally and, even 15 years after its debut, is still drawing sizeable viewership. On Netflix, the series has garnered more than 50 million views. Thus, the sequel, Blue Planet II, aims to go the distance to both win new audiences and satisfy the curiosity of fans of the original. This time around, production partners include BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit,

Giant cuttlefish in the waters of South Australia as seen in Blue Planet II. (BBC/Hugh Miller)

BBC America, Germanys’ WDR, France Télévisions, and China’s Tencent and CCTV9, in partnership with BBC’s Open University. Once again, iconic naturalist and presenter Sir David Attenborough narrates. The project began in 2013, starting with a year of research prior to the beginning of filming in late 2014. The last shoot wrapped in fall 2017. The production team set out across 39 countries and their surrounding ocean habitats, ranging from the icy polar seas to the vibrant coral reefs, to capture rarely captured marine life behaviors. With the collaboration of marine scientists worldwide, BBC’s Natural History Unit was confident it could go further and deeper underwater to find new stories of life. Executive producer James Honeyborne relates a couple of examples, including capturing on camera an old fisherman’s tale of a fish that could leap out of the water and catch birds in mid-air. “We didn’t know that behavior happened,” he says of the giant trevally caught in action. Meanwhile, in warm coastal waters, an expedition team captured silky and blacktip sharks rubbing up against whale sharks, Honeyborne assumed, to clean themselves.

049


SM


Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to the judges and sponsors for their wonderful support BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN A HISTORY PRODUCTION

Winner: Hitler's Games - Berlin 1936 Roche Productions (France)

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN AN ARTS PRODUCTION

Winner: Eat That Question Frank Zappa in His Own Words Les Films Du Poisson, UFA Fiction / Sony Pictures Classics (France/USA)

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE ON OTHER PLATFORMS

Winner: Terence Donovan: Speed of Light Dog and Duck Films (UK)

THE JANE MERCER FOOTAGE RESEARCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Winner: Nina Krstic (USA) O.J.: Made in America

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN A HISTORY FEATURE

Winner: Letters From Baghdad Letters From Baghdad Ltd / Between the Rivers Productions LLC (USA/UK/France)

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN A MUSIC PRODUCTION

Winner: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment (USA/UK)

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN A CINEMA RELEASE

Winner: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment (USA/UK)

FOOTAGE EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Winner: Simon Wood & ITN Source team ITN Source - UK

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN A FACTUAL PRODUCTION

Winner: The War Show Fridthjof Film (Denmark)

BEST USE OF SPORTS FOOTAGE

Winner: O.J: Made in America ESPN Films and Laylow Films (USA)

BEST ARCHIVE RESTORATION / PRESERVATION TITLE

Winner: Napoleon (1927 Dir. Abel Gance) BFI National Archive (UK)

FOOTAGE LIBRARY OF THE YEAR

Winner: British Pathé UK

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE IN AN ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION

Winner: When Magic Goes Horribly Wrong Crackit Productions (UK)

BEST USE OF FOOTAGE ABOUT THE NATURAL WORLD

Winner: Zoo Quest in Colour BBC Natural History Unit (UK)

BEST ARCHIVE RESTORATION / PRESERVATION PROJECT

Winner: 1912-1992: 80 Years of Olympic Films Restored International Olympic Committee (Switzerland)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER

Winner: Serge Viallet

www.focalint.org

RS.28134.Focal.indd 1

2017-08-15 9:45 AM


LIFESTYLE REPORT Naked Entertainment’s My Hotter Half is tailor-made for the selfie set.

C

Looking for a good time, not a long time

ontrary to what we may see on certain reality series, the world of dating isn’t all roses. While audiences of a romantic persuasion may hope for fairy tale endings, most dates are just as likely to end in lust or loneliness as love. Unscripted relationshipbased stalwarts such as Next Entertainment’s The Bachelor, Thinkfactory’s Marriage Boot Camp or Twenty Twenty TV’s First Dates place an emphasis on traditional arrangements with the goal of finding “the one”, but incoming series are looking to show the ups and downs of first dates, without worrying about the “what next?” “The dating genre hasn’t really changed in 25 years,” says Dan Cesareo, founder and president of Big Fish Entertainment. “You could argue that The Bachelor is known as the crown jewel of the genre today. It’s a wellexecuted show, and I would kill to produce it, but to me the genre overall feels very stale.” Cesareo hopes a more accurate reflection of modern dating came via Date Night Live, an eight-episode series that aired on A+E’s Lifetime in July. Capitalizing on the success of Live PD, which allowed viewers to ride along in real time with police departments across the U.S., Date Night Live

gave audiences a fly-on-the-wall perspective as they followed couples hitting the dating circuit across New York, Atlanta, Dallas and San Diego. Cesareo calls it the anti-Bachelor — a series that, by virtue of its spontaneous nature, presented an unvarnished look inside first dates. “By design, we’re not using the magic of editing to manipulate a date or to show the viewers what we want them to see — we’re not handing out roses,” he says of the process behind the show. “We’re trying to be completely unobtrusive and let these dates unfold the way they would if the cameras weren’t there.” With Live PD having taken off, Big Fish is taking a deeper look at different genres where live content can play a part, citing a more sophisticated audience with an appetite for authenticity in unscripted programming. “We saw the pendulum swing really far in one direction a handful of years ago where everything felt fake — soft scripted and all of that nonsense,” says Cesareo. “We’re really playing on the total opposite end of the spectrum.” While it remains to be seen if Big Fish’s new series gets a second date via another season, Cesareo says the genre will still benefit from a refresh. “The dating world has changed tremendously, and I think dating shows need to evolve to reflect that,” he

B y M ea g an K as h ty

Just a couple of years ago, when it came to matters of romance, unscripted programming played the long game, with series focused on courtship and marriage. But in a post-Tinder world, “playing the field” is making for spicier programming.

057


LIFESTYLE REPORT

Gobstopper TV’s Single AF first launched via MTV’s social media accounts.

says, adding that technology such as dating apps have changed how people connect. To that end, MTV International is experimenting with cross-platform original programming in an attempt to reflect not only dating culture, but audience viewing habits. Single AF, from London-based Gobstopper TV, launched in June on MTV’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, with a linear series to follow this November. It chronicles two weeks of dating adventures among young celebrities, giving viewers the opportunity to weigh in on the participants’ dates in real time and influence which romantic hopefuls will make it into the November series. “Because we’ve already put out all our storylines on social, including celebrity reactions to dates, we can’t veer much from that edit because the audience would call us out for overproducing,” says Ross McCarthy, managing director with Gobstopper. “We have to be very honest and transparent about delivering a show that actually happened.” He says Single AF takes its production cues from series such as First Dates and Love Island when it comes to creating a glossy, visually-stunning show. The difference, he says, is maintaining that high-production value while stripping away any

sense of editing, so it doesn’t feel like the couples are interacting in a fantasy land. To show an authentic version of dating, other producers are looking to strip down their dating series in a more literal way. Viacom’s MTV began airing Undressed in August. The Bunim/Murray Production-made series, which was originally created and produced by Magnolia Italy for Nove, has two strangers undress each other and get into bed during a first date. And of course there was VH1’s Dating Naked, which ran for three seasons before being canceled in April. Elsewhere, Naked Attraction is entering its second season. The dating game shows a clothed person select two contestants from six naked people whose bodies, and then faces, are revealed in stages from the neck up. “With online dating, we swipe left and right, and the reality is we choose partners and do a lot of gambling based on what they look like,” says series editor Vivienne Molokwu. “But those photos have been filtered, and could be someone else for all we know.” Naked Attraction, says Molokwu, is a reflection of the modern era of dating, showing what happens if you choose a mate entirely based on attraction, without the worry that a potential partner is presenting themselves as something they’re not.

“The dating world has changed tremendously, and dating shows need to evolve to reflect that.”

058

September / October ‘17

Naked Entertainment’s My Hotter Half, which E4 has commissioned for a 20-episode run, also uses the “swipe left” trope viewers will be familiar with. The 20 x 30-minute format has couples presenting selfies to online daters in order to reveal which half of that couple is hotter. Simon Andreae, chief executive with the London-based prodco, says that when he’s pitching and producing dating shows, there are four notes that he can choose to hit: relatability, sex, stakes and love. Secret Admirer, which has been commissioned by Channel 5, hits the relatability button, having groups of people from different ages and backgrounds confess their love to people they’ve secretly admired for months, years, and sometimes decades. The third dating show Naked has on the docket, Threesome Dating, is a series looking to explore the burgeoning trend of three-way dating. “They’re all quintessentially contemporary — Threesome capitalizes on the fact that fewer people are interested in long-term binary relationships, and My Hotter Half plays on the culture of dating apps in order to get instant feedback,” explains Andreae. “Secret Admirer is a bit more traditional, but it’s just not culturally acceptable to meet someone and tell them you’re interested in a straightforward and candid way.” Andreae says that ultimately dating shows can be broken up into two categories: love or lust. But Cesareo disagrees, saying romantic or awkward would be a more apt description of the shows he finds viewers gravitate towards. “It’s very different than years ago when I was dating. Today, it’s expected that you Google someone before a date so that you know everything about them, whether it’s how they look or what their dog is named,” he says. “In this series, we take it back to the original blind date, which I think has become a novelty.” The same is true of series such as Naked Attraction and First Dates — despite the involvement of a production or editing crew, it’s really all down to chance as to whether a contestant will find a spark with a total stranger. “When we were making Single AF, I told the crew to imagine they were shooting The Office — we wanted cringe-worthy things that made viewers hide because it’s so traumatizing, but at the end, we wanted there to be heart and warmth,” says McCarthy. “The world is a shitty enough place as it is to come home to fighting on your TV.”


LIFESTYLE REPORT

Good things come to those who wait Sometimes, in pursuit of a truly authentic story, there’s a gestation period. Here, Red Arrow International nonscripted VP Harry Gamsu discusses the emergence of the pregnancy docuseries trend, and why that lifestyle content has the potential to resonate with viewers.

M

any of the standout formats that have garnered audience attention over the past few years are ones that follow real people and real events over a meaningful amount of time. Shows like this, with often a whole year’s filming investment playing out before the audience’s eyes, carry real weight and feel like a substantial event that immerses the viewer in the participant’s journey. Formats such as This Time Next Year and Give it a Year (both from Twofour), and perhaps the greatest example of all – ITV’s Up series, use a more ‘soft formatted’ documentary style, allowing stories to develop at their own pace, while drawing the viewer in. In contrast to the shock and awe of some shows, it seems that audiences still want honest, brave, unobtrusive storytelling with a feel-good factor. It’s all about creating unique shows which feel event-like, keeping audiences engaged and tuned in, and elevating the content above the ‘click-bait’ culture we are surrounded by.

060

September / October ‘17

One subject which requires a longer production period (as demanded by biology!) is that of pregnancy and childbirth; particularly when we look into rapidly changing ideas on what constitutes a ‘modern family’ and the ever progressive definitions of what it means to have a child in the 21st century. More people than ever are opting to have children without being in a romantic relationship, and we are seeing a number of shows that are tackling this emerging trend, including Labor of Love — in development for Fox by Propagate Content; the Israeli format Pregnant & Platonic; and a new format from Red Arrow International called Pregnant with a Stranger. Created and produced by Red Arrow’s Snowman Productions for Kanal 4 in Denmark, Pregnant with a Stranger may have a noisy title that draws people in, but the show itself is a genuine and heartfelt format that sees single women, all of whom have already decided to have a baby, given help and support to find the right father for their child. The show shares the journey of these women and men as they choose each other as co-parents, while offering them expert support and guidance; and delves into the intricacies of a phenomenon that is rapidly becoming more commonplace — single people who are desperate to be parents, but circumstances require them to take a more unconventional route to having a family.

Crucially all of the participants are in the show for the right reasons, and believe that it’s better for the child if both mother and father actively share the responsibilities of parenting, even if they are not romantically involved. The women and men vary in age, and each comes with their own unique story and reasons for wanting to have a baby — from the time pressure of middle-age to younger women with serious health issues. In the format, a team of experts — from family counselors to fertility doctors and sociologists — embark on a search to find suitable fathers, based on each of the women’s criteria. Testing the male participants physically and mentally, the experts then introduce a number of prospective fathers to the mothers. We follow their progress: from the women testing the men to ensure that they are committed to playing an active role in parenting; through to choosing the father and starting the process of insemination; agreeing on the terms of co-parenting and the involvement of the father during the pregnancy; and expectations for after the child is born. We all know that TV has the power to break down social taboos; and we hope that positive and life-affirming shows which celebrate people who choose to go down a different path, contribute to this. •


Come see us at MIPCOM stand R7. B16 www.beyonddistribution.com

Profile for Brunico Communications

Realscreen - Sept/Oct 2017  

Realscreen - Sept/Oct 2017