Discovery’s ‘U.K. Producers Open Day’ attracts 400 indies

Discovery says that what America really wants is to be entertained.
March 14, 2001

Approximately 400 members of the U.K.’s independent factual production community congregated at the National Film Theatre in London on March 1 to find out what Discovery’s U.S. outlets are interested in for the 2001-02 season. The UK Producers Open Day is the evolution of last year’s half-day event that focused only on Discovery’s regional networks.

‘That event went well, but people were asking how to get commissions from the American networks,’ explains Peter Weil, VP of programming for Discovery Networks, Europe. ‘The reality is, as with any network, for regional commissions the budgets are a bit more modest. But, the people who can best answer what the American networks are up to is the Americans themselves.’

According to Weil, the workshop was designed to help U.K. producers – who supply 20% of the output on Discovery’s U.S. networks – figure out the who, what, where and how of getting global commissions from Discovery. The itinerary reflected this and focused on disseminating information rather than providing opportunities for producers to meet execs from across the pond.

(For more on Discovery’s U.K. Producers Open Day, see RealScreen‘s April issue.)

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