Discover more from Film Specific presents≫ The ReFrame
Finding Partners For Your Series
how to do it, where to find them, and what to look for
In my previous newsletter on TIFF Take-Away’s and Insights I mentioned it’s all about partnerships in pursuing a co-production strategy for your film or series.
I received a few questions and comments about that so I want to dive a little deeper on the topic…
For features you would pursue a co-production partnership especially if you’re shooting in another state or country where you need ‘boots on ground’ producers who can help get your project in the can, as well as access local tax incentives and soft money.
For series it’s a bit different in that if you are a newcomer to the series world, you almost always need a partner with established commercial relationships to the networks and streamers - in other words, they are regular suppliers to them. One of the major downfalls I see when filmmakers transition from film to series is they think they can pitch directly to commissioners (aka the financiers) but in fact, you need to be concerned with pitching to production companies as an intermediary.
How To Find Partners
Let’s focus more on series for a second since several of you have reached out about getting help with submitting to production companies in the lead up to MIP.
In short, what you’re looking for is equitable partnerships with companies who have established trust with the network and streaming commissioners.
One of the things I’m focused on currently with my Series Submissions clients is working on shaping the series pitches to what I know production companies and commissioners will respond to, and then engaging in outreach to the specific companies who I think have aligned sensibilities with the projects.
You can absolutely do this on your own but something you want to be mindful of with the companies you’re approaching is making sure you heavily research their slates, their output, the networks/streamers they are in business with, where their funding comes from, the types of deals they do, etc….. all before approaching them so you can tailor your approach specifically to each one.
This is not the time to take a mass email aka ‘spray and pray’ approach! This is very much bespoke work to be done by hand, each email tailored to the recipient.
As an example, on my client series slate I have everything from experimental dating formats to low cost scripted series and pretty much everything in between. And you better believe each one of these projects has it’s own strategy, list of prospects, and outreach strategy to match the content.
I keep track of everything in a spreadsheet so I recommend doing something similar to build out your database of contacts as you go. And if and when you can, show up at a conference like MIP or Series Fest to meet the actual companies and people you hope to partner with one day.
That’s my short-ish recipe for finding the right partners to approach with your series concept. I have more to say on actually what to expect from a deal and how to work with them, which I’ll save for another day.
In the mean time, hit me up in the comments below with any questions!
Get In Touch?
And if you want to get in touch about your own series project (scripted or unscripted) if you think you’d like some help getting in front of the right partner prospects, email me at email@example.com.
On that note I’ll wrap things up for today. I hope you have a wonderful day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon!