With broadcasters facing increased competition, filmmakers need to think about audiences more, and take public relations very seriously. And some are, arriving at nets with not just a tape and a one-sheet, but sleek packages that networks can sell to viewers.
Case in point: Legacy of China, a three-part series from Hong Kong’s MCG Mercuria that explores Chinese inventions that have shaped the world.
In an effort to help make that splash, director Jonathan Finnigan contacted Hellion SBR, a New Zealand/European company that markets multimedia projects at the early stages, and helps package them for potential broadcasters.
Samantha Witters, director of SBR Media (and umbrella Hellion SBR), says they were able to work with the China producers in planning for a number of platforms. They will have one-minute highlight moments they’re calling ‘China Magic Minutes’ which are behind-the-scenes info, as well as international PR events such as a possible photography exhibition. A suggested coffee table book would offer a look into the making of China, with photography, illustrations and commentary. The Web-based plans will include a YouTube spin-off series aimed at a younger demo and video commentary with the filmmakers and producers of China. ‘We have also produced premium marketing materials, artwork, ads, interviews and anecdotal information which are all available to the broadcaster to utilize.’
‘All the packaging and promotion helps broadcasters,’ notes Witters, ‘because it’s a way of bringing eyeballs back to viewing the actual series itself.’
Hellion also suggested affiliating with sponsors in order to help sell the program to broadcasters by making it more commercially appealing by bringing in revenue from the beginning. ‘We are exploring sponsorship for within China and for international. There is already great interest from premium brands in China looking for extensive coverage around the Beijing Olympics,’ says Witters.
Legacy of China will be available for international broadcast in May 2008.