Special Report on Mip Asia: Distributor Profiles – Examples from distribs who’ve made the sale

Distributor: Beyond Distribution (Sydney, Australia)...
December 1, 1997

Distributor: Beyond Distribution (Sydney, Australia)

Sales Executive: Munia Kanna, international sales executive

Recent Accolades: Beyond’s Mini Beasts, produced by Silvergrass (Australia), won the Best Cinematography award at the prestigious Japan Wildlife Festival this year.

Last year’s big sellers: Adrenaline Junkies: a 48 x 1 hour series produced by Beyond (Sydney) and Liberty (Sydney).

-Next To Nothing/Nothing To Hide: a 2 x 1 hour doc about lingerie and bathing suits produced by Beyond and Mushroom Pictures (Sydney).

This year’s prospects: Tomorrow’s World: 40 x 30 minutes about the future of information technology, produced by the BBC (London, U.K.) .

-The Elegant Solution: a 13 x 30 minute series about engineering and how it affects our daily life, produced by Thought Films (Sydney).

Distributor: E! Entertainment (Los Angeles, U.S.)

Sales Executive: Chris Fager, senior vp, international development

Overview: E! has been selling into the market since 1990 and 40-50% of their total sales are made to the Asian market.

Observations on Mip Asia: ‘The market has always been good to us. We’ve become believers.’

Last year’s big seller: The E! True Hollywood Story, produced in-house as a one- or two-hour-per-episode series. Each episode is devoted to the life of a specific, usually tragic, celebrity figure.

This year’s prospects: Celebrity Profile: 13 x 1 hours, each episode being an in-depth celebrity biography.

-Mysteries and Scandal: a series of 13×30 minutes shot on film, about famous Hollywood scandals.

Future Plans: E! has a copro in the works with Japan’s TV Asahi, a once-weekly series called E! Hollywood Express. The half-hour episodes will feature a Japanese and an American host, but will be shot entirely in Japanese. There are also plans to launch an E! Entertainment Television service in Asia.

Advice: ‘Asia is not a short-term market. You have to really have a strategy, a brand and a presence, and be continuous in your commitment. It’s a difficult region because it is so diverse.’

Distributor: Fox Lorber Associates (New York, U.S.)

Sales Executive: Sheri Levine, executive vp, international

Overview: Fox Lorber does an estimated 25% of their business in Asia, where they have been doing business for over 15 years.

Last year’s big seller: Caught on Camera: a 6 x 1 hour, real-life ‘disastertainment’ show, showing people risking their lives to save strangers. California’s Barbour-Langley is the producer.

This year’s prospects: OOPS!: a 13 x 30 minute bloopers show by Peter Leone Productions (New York, U.S.).

-Primetime Fashion: 26 x 30 minutes produced by Sweden’s Clique Model Management which looks behind the scenes at the world of fashion.

Future Plans: Fox Lorber is in the early stages of hammering out a copro deal with nhk in Japan.

Advice: ‘The documentaries the Asian market is looking for aren’t the same as those sold to Europe and North America.’ Vendors should bring a wide range of programming, including a lot of eye-catching light entertainment that’s easily adaptable.

Distributor: Brite (London)

Sales Executive: Jayne Redpath, senior sales executive

Observations on Mip Asia: ‘It’s a good opportunity to have one-on-one time with representatives from the Far Eastern market who just don’t come to MIPCOM or the other markets.’

Last year’s big seller: Savage Skies: a 4 x 1 hour series produced by London-based Granada Productions, which explores weird and dangerous weather manifestations.

This year’s prospects: Savage Earth: the follow-up to Savage Skies, the 4 x 1 hour series, produced by Granada in association with wnet in New York, looks at earthquakes and land disruptions.

-Ibiza Uncovered: an 8 x 1 hour series from London’s LWT Productions chronicling a summer on the island referred to as the ‘Hedonist’s Paradise’.

Advice: A cross-section of programming is important. ‘The Asian markets have their own charm, and the way in which you deal with some of the customers is different. Very often it’s about establishing relationships. But, at the end of the day, perhaps that applies everywhere.’

In this report:

- Mip Market Maneuvers

-Country Profiles: From China to Thailand, what to expect

-Distributor Profiles: Examples from distribs who’ve made the sale

-The Buck Stops Here:: How low can you go?

-Bons Mots: Words to sell by in the Korean market

-Working in the Asian Market: Sport International sees Asia on the horizon

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.