London lowdown: Granada International

Nadine Nohr, managing director
October 1, 2007

Nadine Nohr, managing director
Emmanuelle Namiech, director of acquisitions and coproductions

What has changed in the non-fiction industry over the past 10 years?
Nohr: The idea of having an in-vision presenter. Going back 10 years, it was very much a case of not having that… Now we’re again in the position of having an authored piece with somebody in vision giving a particular view or presenting a story.

Also, the science genre. It’s an interesting combination of some of the reality pieces, but with a scientific basis. Shows like Perfect Disaster, which are about weather or scientific phenomena, but demonstrate it in terms of how people actually experience it.

Lastly, fragmentation of the marketplace has affected the way we license programs because we have to be very careful with segmenting the rights, that they’re used on very specific platforms. We’ve had to come up with new rights definitions.

Namiech: CGI has really taken documentary to a different level. It’s made it much more accessible and dramatic.

How do you think the industry will change over the next 10 years?
Nohr: You have to make sure you’re future-proofing your inventory so that as new platforms come on stream, you’re in a position to exploit the rights. Equally, you’ll have to ensure material is digitized, so you can roll onto new platforms.

Another issue is user-generated content. I think it’s about trying to find a way to use those platforms ourselves in terms of marketing programs and working out how to – I hate this word – monetize those forms of accessing content.

What does the term ‘viewership trust’ mean to you and why is it important?
Namiech: [When working with producers] we expect the editorial integrity to be there. Certainly we do ensure they use the right methodology, particularly with science programs; certain programs need a rigorous approach.

Nohr: [With entertainment shows] I think some of the recent controversy has been exaggerated. Unless you’re going to do everything in real-time and the world turns into Big Brother, there has to be a certain editorial judgment about what you show and the order you show it in. And as long as the result of that is good programs and good entertainment and you’re not misrepresenting or twisting, that’s what entertainment has always been about. There are certain subjects that you have to treat very sensitively; I wouldn’t dismiss any of that.

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