MIP blog by Argonon CEO James Burstall
MIP was sunny this year, in all senses of the word. The sun shone and the Mediterranean glittered. The mahogany ladies in Chanel were out in force on the Croisette, followed closely by their tripping primped pooches. The festival itself was not as busy as some years, but that was a plus because it meant there was more time to spend quality time with good people.
We started on the Friday, which was a change, with MipCube. This was its first outing, designed as a forum for people who are embracing new media, interactivity and transmedia story-telling. It could have been a nerds’ talking shop, but actually it was a series of powwows and debates about the opportunities of the multi-screen world. I spotted an innovative new interactive drama called Treasures from Shaftesbury, which I am looking forward to hearing more about. We’ve had Kate Modern on Bebo and now it’s time for an interactive drama that crosses both TV and online. MipCube was a fruitful event for British TV as Maverick was awarded Best International Emmy for their series Live from the Clinic, firmly placing Channel 4 at the forefront of interactive factual programming.
On Sunday, MIP proper kicked off and we launched into a round of meetings. I’m glad to say that Argonon International had their best slate ever. Leopard UK have been cooking with gas in recent months and won twelve commissions. Their best formats were the highlight of Argonon’s catalogue. Robbed Raided Reunited, a follow up to Cash in the Attic, puts the cops into collectibles. It created a lot of international interest and has been optioned for France. Cash is being made there for M6 by an excellent prodco called MediaFisher and is up to its 75th episode, rating well above slot average. The show is a natural for a country that has an incredible history. But then I am a Francophile.
AI had a lot of interest in Leopard UK’s new user generated formats. We can’t announce them yet, but they tap into a rich seam of documentary footage created by real people on their mobile phones. As the Arab Spring demonstrated, the mobile phone is the new democracy and I’m passionate about the way people can record events as they happen, and even change them, change their future. It’s very empowering.
Another trend that I noticed was a real appetite in the market for high end documentary. There are plenty of good entertainment formats out there (although they are getting expensive to license internationally, which means we must originate more!) but not very many high end docs. AI have John Bridcut’s 90 minute Rostropovich film, for example, which sold well. It’s encouraging that although budgets are tight all over the world, there is still very definitely a hunger for thoughtful quality films from top talented film-makers.
MIP is always good at throwing up a few unexpected gems. I met a talented new outfit from Singapore called Hurrah Productions. They are positioning themselves as a gateway into Asia and are being offered grants by the Singaporean government to get projects off the ground, in co-pro. I also had a great meeting with Jamie Kastner, Canada’s answer to Louis Theroux. He’s a very witty author documentarian who was writing a feature story for the Toronto Star and also showcasing some of his new projects. He had a funny set of sizzle reels on his ubiquitous iPad. Everyone has their hot new project to sell at MIP, and that’s the point.
I went to various parties, of course, the best this year being the DRG party on the Carlton Beach. It was a big crowd of commissioners from the UK and US, a lot of producers and various distributors. I met up with Rob and John from Force Four in Vancouver. They have an excellent new format called Million Dollar Neighbourhood, which has been commissioned for a second season in Canada and optioned by OWN, Oprah’s US channel. It does not have a home in the UK yet and we are considering whether we can place it. It’s a clever idea as a whole crowd of people are challenged to raise a million dollars in one month by working together. A timely idea in these cash-challenged times.
Apart from that, I had a breakfast meeting with Leopard US agent Rob Miller, who is doing a great job pushing our US development into new territories, and ICM’s Pippa Lambert to talk about various co-productions we have on the slate. We sat by the pool at the Majestic hotel, surrounded by the industry’s great and the good. It was a fun atmosphere.
On my last afternoon, there was a giant strike by French air traffic control (yeurch) so I managed a quick swim in the sea. It was a brisk 14 degrees Centigrade and crystal clear. It felt like the start of the new season. Bring it on!
- Leopard Films UK new series for SKY PICK TV airs April 20 #BRITCAM
- Hollywood reporter; CNBC orders a new series from Leopard Films USA
- Windfall Films win 2014 Digital Emmy Award for D-Day As It Happens
- Broadcast Magazine reports: Leopard lifts lid on British builders for BBC Two
- Remedy's 15to1 classic quiz show returns
- The Radio Times takes you behind the scenes of Remedy Productions' all new Fifteen to One
- Windfall Films nominated for two Bafta Craft Awards
- TBI Mag reports; Leopard Films UK's a major animation project as BBC commits to more arts programming
- Transparent Television's #BotchedUpBrides premieres on Channel 5
- Grant Thornton comms reports on Argonon's deal with Windfall Films
- Transparent Television's hit show Botched up Bodies returns for a special on Channel 5
- Britespark Films' Yorkshire Ripper doc - LEFT FOR DEAD premieres on Channel 5
- Radio Times: Darcey's Ballerina Heroines
- Darcey's Ballerina Heroines
- Leopard Films UK's Darcey Bussell Film airs on March 1st on BBC Two
- Televisual reports; BriteSpark first UK order is a special Ripper doc for Channel 5.
- TBI reports; Argonon Group joint venture prodco BriteSpark Films' first British commission for Channel Five
- Gourmet Trains Premieres Tonight on The Travel Channel
- Radio Times: Transparent Television's Gourmet Trains premieres on The Travel Channel UK
- Variety reports; Argonon Acquires Windfall with Eye to North American Growth
- The Hollywood Reporter; Indie TV Giant Argonon Acquires Windfall Films
- Televisual Reports; Argonon acquires Windfall Films
- Realscreen reports; Argonon acquires Windfall Films
- Argonon snaps up Windfall Films (Broadcast)
- Leopard Films UK new doc #SNOWTRAPPED premieres on Channel Five
- Televisual Reports: C5 orders two plastic surgery specials from Transparent
- BroadcastNow reports; Leopard Films beefs up US division
- C21 reports; Leopard Films US appoints new VP of Development
- Broadcast Magazine reports; Argonon backs new drama indie, Blacklisted Films
- C21 reports: Channel 5 commissions Leopard Films doc, I'm Snowtrapped.
- Broadcast reports: Britespark's Ancient Special Forces named as a Hot Pick for Realscreen 2014.
- Broadcast reports: Leopard Films UK commission with C5 and Group M
- Broadcast Mag reports: Leopard Films' BodyCam series is commissioned via deal with SKY and GroupM Ents
- Daily Mail talks to #BotchedUpBodies contributors before the new series airs tonight, Jan 9th, Channel 5.
- ITV's This Morning link: Meet three contributors from Transparent Television's returning Channel 5 series Botched Up Bodies
- Leopard Films' production of Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty aired on Christmas Day
- BBC News Online: Fifteen to One returns to Channel 4
- Radio Times reports on the return of Fifteen to One
- Remedy' s Fifteen to One to return for full series and celebrity specials
- The Evening Standard on the Cash in the Attic Memorabilia Sale
- TBI reports on BriteSpark Films and Canada's Saloon Media commission for Investigation Discovery and Slice.
- Hollywood Reporter on BriteSpark Films' US Docu-Drama commission for Investigation Discovery and Slice in Canada.
- The Daily Mail online reports on Argonon's interactive live auction attached to global hit show.
- Broadcast talks to Argonon CEO on Pact deal with China's CCTV
- Munificus reviews the Cash In The Attic App
- Televisual reports; Remedy on producing the Radio 1 Teen Awards
- Home and Antiques Magazine reports on the new Cash in the Attic App.
- Remedy's CCO, Tom Blakeson speaks to Gameshow Central on reviving 15 to 1 and more.
- Televisual Media reports; Argonon Group launches first app
- Leopard Films wins prestigious Czech Crystal for Bach: A Passionate Life
- TBI Magazine reports on Remedy's deal with TRACE
- MIPCOM News: Trace Sport Stars appoints Remedy Productions
- Grab a Gromit!
- Televisual reports; Leopard win at Prix Italia
- Leopard Films Wins the Prestigious Prix Italia Award for Channel 4’s Matthew Bourne’s Christmas
- Broadcast Reports: Leopardrama wins first childrens show for CBBC
- Broadcast reports: Transparent Television secures landmark Orient Express commission for Scripps Network
- It's back! It's Fifteen to One!
- Frankie says 'WATCH' as Remedy Productions and Channel 4 head back to the 80's with the return of Fifteen to One.
- Leopard Films 'Street Patrol UK' airs today, BBC One 11am.
- Remedy Productions to remake Fifteen to One for Channel 4.
- Leopard Films UK are shortlisted for the prestigious Best Doc Award
- Argonon CEO James Burstall comments on how 'The Indie sector is flourishing.'
- Remedy bolsters Trace rebrand
- Transparent Television's hit TV series returns to Channel 5
- Transparent TV delivers another fascinating Channel 5 documentary
- C21 reports on; Argonon finds body-shock buyers
- Tonight Leopard films Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice Live for Sky Arts 2
- Remedy Productions Juliet Borges has the last word!
- Argonon CEO James Burstall on Eyeing indie opportunities in the US.
- Leopard produce live opera for Sky
- Cash in the Attic visits Gardeners' World Live.
- James Burstall speaks to C21 on the super success of Transparent joining the Argonon Group.
- Leopard UK to make Virgin Records 40th Anniversary celebration film.
- MTV announces Remedy's new production deal
- Cash in the Attic discover new talent on the Argonon doorstep!
- Leopard US debuts new show on HGTV
- C5 re-commissions TTV's hit show, Botched Up Bodies
- Argonon buys popular factual indie Transparent TV - Televisual
- The new super groups: Argonon - TBI reports
- Hollywood Reporter on Transparent TV/Argonon deal
- Transparent TV join the Argonon Group
- MIPTV 50th: Argonon CEO shares fond MIP memory
- Global television format goes digital as Argonon launches CashInTheAttic.com
- Leopard Films USA names SVP
- Leopard hires Endemol exec in formats push
- Leopard US set to pounce on AFP
- Exciting new Leopard Films USA project in collaboration with Bombay Sapphire
- Remedy Productions has hired former BBC executive Simon Horne as its head of development.
- BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® GIN AND LEOPARD FILMS USA ENLIST CELEBRITY FILMMAKERS TO PROFILE THE FRESH FACES IN AMERICA’S ART SCENE
- Argonon appoints Laura Bessell-Martin as COO to spearhead next phase of international growth
- Argonon eyes next acquisitions as profits rise
- Argonon welcomes internationally-acclaimed industry talent Nick Godwin to the group in new joint venture, BriteSpark Films
- BBC One tonight 10.35pm...A Beauty is Born
- The War On Britain's Roads 9pm BBC One.
- Leopard Films USA signs Jordan Harman as Vice President of Development
- Veteran Producer Ruth Caleb to Be Honored At U.K.'s Women In Film And Television Awards
- Leopard Films' The War on Britain’s Roads premieres at 9pm on Wednesday 5th December on BBC One.
- Exclusive: HGTV Orders 91 More Episodes of House Hunters International