Exploration/adventure projects have assumed high priority on GA&A’s development slate, thanks to a recent co-venture deal between the Rome-based prodco and Italy’s La Venta Exploring Team. The two parties have committed to a three-year arrangement, in which La Venta will offer access to its expeditions, research skills and existing footage in exchange for GA&A’s production capabilities.
La Venta is known for its cave exploration projects be they on mountaintop or underwater. Founded in 1990, the exploration association is well-known in the doc community for its expertise and has been consulted by National Geographic and Nova among others. The impetus for the joint venture is simple, says La Venta’s Tono De Vivo, ‘If we are able to sell our image, we will probably obtain greater financial support.’
For GA&A, the partnership offers a way to expand. Gioia Avvantaggiato, president of GA&A, explains: ‘We are not known for adventure or science films. It’s going to open up a new section in the production company that will invest more money, energy and talent into the development and production of such films.’
The partners are already at work on a 6 x 26-minute series, La Venta Exploring Team Collection (w/t). Two of the six episodes are ready for MIPTV and draw on footage recently shot by La Venta – on the Tyndall Glacier in Chilean Patagonia, and on a high plateau in the southeastern corner of Venezuela. No broadcasters had been signed prior to MIPTV, but Avvantaggiato hopes to change that by the end of the Cannes market. The budget for the series is in the US$500,000 range.
Avvantaggiato says she expects La Venta and GA&A to begin work on another 6 x 26-minute series before the end of the year, as well as one or two one-hour specials.