Unscripted

Viceland greenlights Antenna Pictures’ docu-drama “How to Rob a Bank”

International youth-skewing channel Viceland has commissioned Antenna Pictures, a factual division of Blue Ant Media, to produce a true crime docu-drama examining how and why everyday Americans become seasoned bank ...
April 24, 2019

International youth-skewing channel Viceland has commissioned Antenna Pictures, a factual division of Blue Ant Media, to produce a true crime docu-drama examining how and why everyday Americans become seasoned bank robbers.

The 8 x 60-minute How to Rob a Bank (pictured) is to explore the stories of ordinary citizens – teachers, lawyers, college students and soldiers – who turn to a life of crime by robbing banks. Each episode will meld together dramatic reconstruction with first-person testimonials with real-life convicts and those involved with the heist in an attempt to uncover how and why each perpetrator robbed the bank.

How to Rob a Bank is scheduled to premiere on Viceland’s linear and streaming platforms later this year.

Elsewhere, Antenna Pictures has bolstered its executive ranks with two senior appointments.

Joining the British production outfit is Debbie London as director of operations. She will be responsible for overseeing the operations, business affairs and co-production negotiations from the studio’s London office.

Prior to Antenna Pictures, London served as director of business affairs and rights management at Al Jazeera Television. The seasoned exec has also held senior management roles at UK pubcaster Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery.

Tom Keeling, meanwhile, boards as executive producer and will fortify the company’s U.S. development and production capabilities.

Keeling arrives at Antenna Pictures after spending the past decade creating a number of successful U.S. documentaries and docu-dramas, including National Geographic’s Banged Up Abroad, Discovery’s Bodycam, and two seasons of See No Evil and The Devil Speaks for Investigation Discovery.

The two hires follow the November appointment of Jonathan Levi as creative director.

Founded in 2016, Antenna Pictures develops and produces series, specials and formats for primarily youth-orientated networks. Recent productions include The Sidemen Show for YouTube Premium (co-produced with Blue Ant Digital Studios), Orangutan Jungle School for Channel 4 (a copro with NHNZ) and Is Love Racist? for Channel 4.

In other Vice-related news, the global youth media company has penned a major content series deal with China’s Tencent Video.

Produced by Vice Studios, the as-yet untitled premium series (8 x 25 minutes) will explore a decentralized global youth culture hyper-focused on continuously finding the next big thing. The series will also embed itself with various young tribes as they navigate the “ever-shifting ways of defining and reflecting identity.”

Production will take place in China, Japan, India, the UK, Germany, the U.S., Russia, Nigeria and Jamaica.

The series is earmarked for a late 2019 release through Tencent Video.

“Growing up amid the booming of the Internet, young Chinese are boldly showing their own personality, and growing into a young generation with unique values,” said Lexian Zhu, deputy director of documentary content management center at Tencent Video, in a statement. “Tencent Video is looking forward to tracking the global trends shaping this, searching for the creative sources of inspiration and bringing it to our audience so that they can better engage with the wave of globalization and their place in the world.”

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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