ITEL and JWM Productions of Maryland, U.S. have inked a development agreement that is ‘close to six figures,’ according to JWM co-founder Jason Williams. Under the terms of the deal, ITEL gets first crack at negotiations for international distribution rights of all new factual programming produced by JWM over the next two years.
Says Williams, ‘They’re going to give us the sort of room in which we can breathe editorially, and think about shows that are not only going to do well out there in the international marketplace, but are going to be the kind of shows we really want to make.’
The first project in the works under the agreement is Treasure!, a 3 x 60-minute series exploring man’s long-time obsession with jewels, gold and greed. The US$465,000 copro with The Learning Channel and Atlanta-based Crawford Communications (scheduled to wrap by March 2000) will be shot in 16mm and transferred to high definition, says Williams.
Outside of the itel deal, JWM has another HD program on the go, called The Treasure Seekers (w/t). The 13 x 60-minute series for National Geographic Television looks at the lives of the great explorers through the ages.
The prodco recently picked up a News and Documentary Emmy for Saving JJ, a 30-minute one-off for Nat Geo Explorer.