MipTV: How the Rise of Premium Scripted Increases Talent Competition

Variety | 4/8/2019 | Leo Barraclough
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As the demand for premium TV drama amps up the competition for top talent, independent producers have been battling with deep-pocketed global groups for access to the best actors, writers and directors. But it is often the strength of the creative relationships that matters more than commercial affiliations.

One example is Fable Pictures’ “Saint Mazie,” which creative directors Faye Ward and Hannah Farrell are developing alongside Helena Bonham Carter. Ward got to know the actress, who will star in and be a producer on the limited series, on the films “Toast” and “Suffragette” while Ward was at Ruby Films. Fable is working with two other actors in a similar vein, developing characters they’d like to portray and stories they’d love to tell.

Passion - Story - Character - Farrell

“To have such passion entrenched in a story or a character from early on is hugely beneficial,” Farrell says.

At See-Saw Films, relationship drama “State of the Union,” starring Chris O’Dowd and Rosamund Pike, was borne out of “a creative conversation that we had been having with [writer Nick Hornby] over a few years,” says head of TV Jamie Laurenson. They first worked together on “An Education,” when Laurenson was a commissioning executive at BBC Films, and at See-Saw they partnered again on miniseries “Love, Nina.”

Ties - Producers - Relationships - Material - People

As well as maintaining existing ties, it is important for indie producers to forge new talent relationships. “It is about finding material that you think might speak to people you admire, and finding a point of creative connection, and hopefully you can continue that relationship into new projects,” Laurenson says.

However, sometimes contractual bonds with the larger companies restrict the scope for extending a creative relationship. Ward and Farrell worked with writer Jeff Pope on the movie “Stan & Ollie,” but face an obstacle to building on that in the TV field due to his exclusive deal...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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