Last year, for the first time ever, Warner Bros International TV Production (WBITVP) sponsored the MIPFormats International Pitch, offering up to €25,000 to help develop the winning project. The SVP, creative, format development and sales at Warner Bros International TV Production told MIPBlog how it went last year, what exactly has happened with winner Antica Productions, and what his hopes are for this year’s edition.
MIPBlog: What was your highlight of the 2012 MIPFormats International Pitch?
Andrew Zein: We were pleased with the number of submissions we received last year. Being our first year sponsoring the event, we weren’t sure what to expect. A number of these ideas were really unique and interesting and it was tough to choose our finalists. When it came to the actual pitching session in Cannes, we were impressed with the level of professionalism shown by our finalists, many of whom ad not pitched at such an event before. We are looking forward to seeing the projects which come in this year and working with the winning producer.
> How exactly did you work with the winner? How did they use the €25,000 development fund?
Looking For Love was the winning project last year, from Canada’s Antica Productions (watch our interview with them here). Based on a successful pitch and considerable buzz around the project at MIPFormats, “L4L” quickly landed a development deal with a major Canadian broadcaster.
This was an ideal situation as we were immediately able to workshop the format — get a real sense of what works and what doesn’t, whether it should live in a studio or in the field, how to scale it up or down — and then get instant feedback from a top broadcaster. This is all very valuable information as we work to develop local versions of L4L with our production companies and third parties.
Both Antica and WBITVP decided that the best use of the €25,000 development fund would be to split into two parts. The first portion was used to bolster the Canadian paid development to deliver even stronger creative materials like comprehensive show bibles, elaborate set-design, and exhaustive casting. This we felt gave the format the greatest chance for a first commission.
The next phase of development will pair Antica with one of WBITVP’s production entities in order to work out how we can adapt L4L for markets outside of Canada.
> What qualities do you hope to see in this year’s submissions?
As always, we are looking for innovative concepts for new, non-scripted entertainment formats. In particular we are interested in seeing ideas for well structured and tightly formatted shows with the potential to travel successfully around the globe.
The deadline to submit for the 2013 MIPFormats International Pitch is next Monday, February 11. Don’t miss out on your chance to win €25,000 in development funds: submit here!
You can also see our video interview with Andrew Zein here.