Michael Rosenfeld, head of television and film for science specialist prodco Tangled Bank Studios, revealed more about the company’s aims during his keynote session at MIPDoc yesterday (April 6).
Tangled Bank Studios launched out of the philanthropical research organization The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) last November with the aim to produce science content for TV, digital, theatrical, and giant screen. Rosenfeld says the prodco’s content will fill what he regards as a gap in science programming in the U.S.
Currently there’s an emphasis on series at Tangled Bank Studios, but Rosenfeld said that he’s also looking at specials. He maintained that all forms of storytelling are fair game, as long as there’s science involved, and mentioned that one of the company’s two previously announced miniseries, Your Inner Fish, uses humor.
Currently with a development slate of 12 hours, Rosenfeld said that Tangled Bank is open to hearing pitches year-round, and he particularly noted that the company doesn’t have an earth sciences series at the moment, which he’s on the look-out for. However, producers who want to team with the prodco should note that the process will also involve editorial collaboration.
“We’re different from foundations who give grants and walk away. We’re in it to be involved editorially,” Rosenfeld added.
Because of the challenges of budget pressures, where producers can spend more time raising funds than making a series, Tangled Bank will fund development on a deeper level, with an aim towards allowing more time to dig into a subject.
For producers that get to work with Tangled Bank, expect to spend at least a few days with a board of advisors, who will provide key scientific expertise to help set the project on the right path.
As for the year ahead, he said,”We’re off the starting block, but in a year or two, I hope we’ve delivered two to three really good projects and [will] have them succeed on TV.”