Derren Lawford, creative director of Woodcut Media, announced today that he will be departing the UK-based factual prodco to launch Dare Pictures, a new venture that will develop an ambitious slate of doc, drama, and podcast projects for the UK and international market.
In line with its stated commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and representation, the new prodco will draw on an international pool of contributors from widely variegated cultures. The initial slate of projects in development involves talent from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and North America, with titles to be announced in the coming months.
“Dare Pictures is primed as a new breed of production studio that takes a progressive and transnational approach in uncovering impactful ideas,” said Lawford in a statement. “As a company, we stand for diversity, allyship, representation and empowerment, and endeavor to reflect those values in everything we do.”
During his seven years as CD at Woodcut, Lawford — a former commissioning editor at the BBC, where he helped launch the broadcaster’s SVOD service BBC Global iPlayer — executive produced a number of notable doc projects, including the NatGeo commission Fiennes: Return to the Nile (starring Joseph and Sir Ranulph Fiennes), Football: A Brief History by Alfie Allen, and the theatrically released Generation Revolution, which also streamed on Netflix UK and Ireland.
He also served as EP on two doc projects coproduced by and featuring Idris Elba, 2015′s Mandela, My Dad and Me and 2017′s Cut from a Different Cloth (both acquired by Netflix), the latter of which follows the award-winning actor as he sets out to launch a clothing line in collaboration with UK fashion brand Superdry. This intersection with the fashion world, as well as Lawford’s previous experience creating and heading a content division at London-based marketing agency Livity, is reflected in Dare’s claims of broad-based access to the fashion, music, and advertising industries, intimating that the new venture will incorporate a multimedia approach within its multicultural lens.
“It’s both a bold and boutique approach to developing, producing and financing incredible stories,” said Lawford. “Dare is positioned as a unique hub where independent and commercial creators can come together united in a commitment to compelling and premium programming with purpose.”