Beach House Pictures, IFA Media, Sitting In Pictures, Third Floor Pictures and Xtreme Media have been identified and commissioned to produce international content for FOX Networks Group’s flagship channel – National Geographic through FOX Formats Lab (FFL), an initiative between FOX Networks Group (FNG) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).
Executive Vice President and Head of International Content for NGC International, Hamish Mykura said, “Fox Formats Lab has been an excellent process, and the National Geographic teams have worked closely with a range of Singapore production companies to produce some very exciting new series for our channels, bringing the best of Singapore production to a worldwide audience.”
Keertan Adyanthaya, Executive Vice President – Content & Communications, FOX Networks Group Asia, said “We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to run a unique initiative like FOX Formats Lab with the MDA. FOX Networks Group is committed to developing local talent, particularly in Singapore which is rapidly becoming a media and production hub in Asia. National Geographic Channel was the perfect platform with which to kick off this initiative, given the cachet of the brand and its renowned reputation for trusted factual story-telling and high quality productions. FNG has a wide portfolio of channel brands and content genres so there is a lot of potential to grow this initiative. We look forward to continuing to work closely with MDA and support them in their endeavours in building up Singapore’s talent.”
Angeline Poh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Industry Group), MDA, said “It is exciting to see this collaboration between FNG and MDA take flight, with local production companies benefitting from the opportunity to build their track record producing content for a global platform like National Geographic. We hope that both local and international audiences will enjoy the programmes and develop an even greater appreciation for quality Singapore-made content.”
FFL is a developmental platform aimed at sharpening the skills and fostering a knowledge sharing practice from experienced professionals within FNG’s vast global network to aspiring local talents. Co-funded by both FNG and MDA, the production development funding for this initiative totals SGD$6million.
The initiative kicked off with a production workshop in May 2015 attended by Singapore registered production companies, where they were presented with a commissioning brief. Seven proposals were shortlisted from the pool of seventy proposals.
These shortlisted companies then attended a series of workshops aimed at helping them develop their ideas into full production proposals with experienced executives and producers from FNG followed by a private pitching cum consultation session where five production houses were ultimately chosen. Selection was based on unique access, strength and originality of idea, whether the topic is on-brand with National Geographic, its appeal to international viewers, and the production company’s ability to execute and deliver a quality production on-time and on-budget.
“It is an invaluable experience for the Beach House team to be part of FFL as we have been given real access to the key production and editorial decision makers. The scale of the scheme has enabled us to really produce an international standard piece for a truly global channel,” said Jocelyn Little, Managing Director of Beach House Pictures.
Sharing the same sentiments, Tan Chih Chong, Executive Producer from Sitting In Pictures echoed, “FFL has pushed us beyond our comfort zone and opened our eyes to what’s out there in the international market. It has enhanced our production skills and given us insights into the expectations of international broadcasters, enabling us to take on more of such projects in the future.”
Lastly, Frank Smith, partner at IFA Media cited, “The staff and company have benefited greatly from the channel workshops and constant feedback from the National Geographic execs during the production. It also gives us a chance to show that a Singaporean company can and does produce global content, which is ultimately what we and the MDA really want to demonstrate. “
These shows will premiere from July 2016 in Asia and roll out internationally from September 2016.
Source: Media Development Authority of Singapore.