To attend or not to attend – that is the question this MIPCOM season, the first since last fall’s shell-shocked post-9/11 market. With the steady proliferation of doc-oriented events and a slow-to-recover global economy, the query is more relevant than ever for prodcos.
For Andrew Ogilvie of Fremantle, Australia’s Electric Pictures, MIPCOM no longer offers the same bang for the buck it once did for doc producers. ‘There are more choices now than there used to be. The result is we need to both increase our budget for market attendance and be more selective about where we go and why,’ says Ogilvie, who adds that he still plans to attend MIPTV next year.
Electric Pictures is one of two Aussie prodcos that told RealScreen they will skip MIPCOM in favor of more doc-specific markets like the World Congress of History Producers (October 20 to 23) and the World Congress of Science Producers (October 24 to 27), both in Berlin, Germany, this year. The other prodco is Bondi’s Hilton Cordell.
Company director Chris Hilton agrees that cost is a major factor, especially for a small prodco traveling from Australia. He says the Berlin congresses amount to a two-for-one deal when compared to MIPCOM’s registration cost. ‘You’ll have better access to commissioners – which is what prodcos want, not distribs – and MIPCOM is mostly about sales,’ he adds.
Telefactory of Toronto, Canada, hasn’t missed MIPCOM since the production company launched three years ago, and isn’t planning to this year. For this trip to MIP, Telefactory has entered into a marketing deal with Galafilms of Montreal, Canada. Galafilms, whose operations include kids and drama productions, is already a partner in Telefactory. ‘By working together at the market, the two companies can provide programming solutions to all the broadcasters for any part of their schedule,’ Fawcett says.
Portfolio Entertainment, also based in Toronto, agrees that this MIPCOM is a must-attend event, says spokesperson Margo Raport. Portfolio is gambling that its ‘unscripted, primetime entertainment’ series Taipei Diaries will prove a big hit.