Exclusive: OTF expands acquisitions with Syer-Willoughby

Global producer-distributor Off the Fence has expanded its acquisitions team with the hiring of former Indigo Film & Television sales exec Loren Syer-Willoughby (pictured).
January 28, 2015

Global producer-distributor Off the Fence has expanded its acquisitions team with the hiring of former Indigo Film & Television sales exec Loren Syer-Willoughby (pictured).

In her role as acquisitions executive, Syer-Willoughby will oversee the sourcing and acquisition of new content for the company’s catalog. She will be based in London and report to Off the Fence’s head of acquisitions Georgina Eyre.

Prior to joining the company, Syer-Willoughby served as a sales executive at Indigo Film & Television for two years, selling content across factual, fiction and children’s programming into territories such as Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Israel and Scandinavia, as well as associating with such nets and TV providers as MNET, Olympusat, Digiturk, ProSieben SAT1 and Viasat.

“Off the Fence has a great company culture and an extensive and varied range of factual and entertainment content,” said Syer-Willoughby. “With an increasing demand for lifestyle shows, I will be focusing a lot of my attention on finding new and exciting projects within this genre.”

Eyre added: “Loren has joined the company at a very exciting time and her extensive international knowledge will make her an invaluable asset, especially as we aim to increase our global output.”

Eyre – who is currently attending the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC – tells realscreen that the company is making a concerted push into the lifestyle space this year, and is also on the look-out for pop science and contemporary and ancient history, as well as social justice docs. In addition, the group is interested in natural history, though Eyre notes she is looking for “less blue-chip” and more content that is “slightly different.”

In other news, Off the Fence has launched a stock footage library of its wildlife footage. The initiative has about 60 hours at the moment, but Eyre says that more will be added in the future. The library presently holds five- to 30-second clips from productions such as Wildest Latin America and Wildest Africa,which are divided into 12 categories, including habitats, plants, time lapse, people and culture and underwater.

“Having recently celebrated our 20th anniversary, we have accumulated a vast amount of incredible footage from our productions over the years,” said Tom Osborn, archive manager at Off the Fence, in a statement.  “With an expansive footage library slowly gathering dust on shelves and a growing demand for high-quality wildlife imagery, it seemed the perfect time to make use of all the footage we have to offer.

“Since fresh footage is being shot all the time we are never short of exceptional images to offer to the market,” he added. “Particularly exciting is the modern evolution of footage quality, with the majority of productions now being shot in 4K. This means we will be able to make 4K footage available in our library very soon.”

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