Since Brenda Wooding left business partner John Adams and Adams Wooding Television in 1999, she has worked to grow her consulting business. Her company, B. Wooding Media, officially formed last year and focuses on the areas Wooding knows best: docs, wildlife and kids. Having recently partnered with Hoggard Films in Alexandria, U.S., to develop and distribute its docs, and with their series Dirt Detectives now in the works for National Geographic, Wooding is defying the doom and gloom prophecies of the distribution business.
Why was Adams Wooding Television dissolved?
We just didn’t have enough product. A lot of the stuff we were developing wasn’t ready and our catalog wasn’t strong enough to carry the business.
What are you doing now?
I help people develop concepts, secure financing, and handle distribution. I have two producers based out of New York whose programs I’m distributing internationally – Randall Productions (To Brother with Love – about living organ donor transplant surgery) and Joe Weintraub (Ron Haviv: Freelance In A World At Risk – about the award-winning photo journalist). I’m also the U.S. consultant for Dorling Kindersley.
How has the distribution business changed recently?
It’s consolidated. To run a full-time, big distribution company is a very expensive prospect.
How would you respond to people who say distribution companies will have to diversify to survive?
It’s not impossible [to only do distribution], because I’m doing it. My strategy is to keep my overheads low, stick to what I know and work with talented companies. You don’t need the big stand at the mip markets. You need some presence and you need to be able to get yourself down there, but if you have the contacts in place, you don’t need to have the big overheads.
How does distributing kids films differ from docs?
Kids programming is a little tougher. For documentary film programming there are certain formulas that work – you don’t have to jump through as many hurdles to get a doc programmer to look at your project.