Near the end of 2009 Peter Dale’s new company Rare Day announced the addition of Dan Brooke, former MD of Discovery UK as MD of the prodco. Brooke spoke with realscreen about his decision to make the move from cable to production and his plans for the company in 2010.
As I understand it, part of your goal at Rare Day includes working with new brands and distributors. Can you expand on your goals for the company?
We believe that television is changing. Television advertising is obviously under threat and is having an impact on the budgets of terrestrial broadcasters in the UK. But at the same time there are whole series of new organizations that are looking to get involved in television content that didn’t really exist before. From organizations to NGOs… advertisers have always been there to some extent, but they’ve been restricted by regulations. There’s quite a lot of talk in the market that regulations are going to be relaxed. That will give advertisers a lot more opportunities than they currently have to be involved in content as opposed to between content.
What kinds of programs are you hoping to make at Rare Day?
Our focus is on documentaries, factual entertainment and drama; that covers the expertise that we have in the company between Peter [Dale], myself and Emily Renshaw-Smith, our head of development and production.
For us, quality and innovation are two critical things and if you look at Peter [Dale]‘s CV and you look at my CV, that’s been at the heart of all the things we’ve been involved in.
What can we expect from Rare Day in its second year?
We want to make great content that is high quality and innovative and for really good clients. Some of it will be for conventional broadcasters and some of it will be from quite left field.
We just completed a coproduction with Princess [Productions] for the BBC called School of Saatchi which is basically a high end talent show in the contemporary art world. It has just gone out on the BBC to excellent reviews. That’s something that’s already in the bag and we’ve got a number of different projects in development.
What made you make the move from cable to production?
If you love television, which I do, what better place to be than creating it. That’s pretty much it.
During a recession it’s a bit of a scary time to join a production company, though, with many companies closing down or trimming their staff. What made you feel like this was a good time for you to make this move?
It’s not the best time in the world to be starting a business. There are some companies that are feeling the pinch and I’m sure there will be companies that have to close in the course of the next 12 months, and we don’t intend on being one of those. We figure if we can start up professionally at a time like this, the sky’s the limit.