The consensus between prodcos at MIPCOM is that one way to battle the tightening economy is to strike up coproductions. This is the plan for Japanese broadcaster NHK. At a MIPCOM dinner with its key partners, NHK announced it has put the wheels in motion to expand its coproduction slate in 2009. The Japanese broadcaster announced the company’s plan to boost its output after a few years of hard financial times.
NHK’s presentation included a series of docs in various stages of production that need producers and broadcasters to come onboard as partners. The projects included Tokyo Trials: Nuremberg Revisited an hour-long doc looking at the 1946 war crimes trial of the leaders of Japan; Megaquake, a 3 x 1-hour HD program examining the makeup of Tokyo and its potential for massive destruction in the event of a large earthquake; Tokyo Kawaii TV, a fashion infotainment program focusing on cute culture in Japan and The Miracle Body II, the second part to a series that uses HD, slow-motion sports cinematography to examine how Olympic athletes are able to perform amazing feats and how a single movement can make the difference between winning and losing.
Also announced was a coproduction between NHK and NHNZ entitled Weird Edens. Edens is a 6 x 1-hour blue chip natural history series that is also coproduced with France 5, Animal Planet and Science Channel. The over $1 million-per-hour series looks at different parts of the world where strange environments have set the stage for bizarre creatures, and is due to air at the end of 2010.
The Japanese broadcaster’s executive managing director, Hidemi Hyuga, said when he joined NHK in 1973 ‘TV was considered new media.’ This plan to boost production using the coproduction model is in an effort to ramp up funding, create new interactive models and deliver more programming on a number of platforms, he says.