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By Hammad Zaidi | April 8, 2014

Welcome to Going Bionic, #206. Having just finished day one at MIPTV 2014; today I’m sharing my “opening day” observations.  I was going to wait until next Tuesday to give you my overall report on this market, but I believe covering MIPTV’s most important day sooner as opposed to later is more beneficial to you. So, here’s how day one of MIPTV looked from the inside.

Many Sellers Enjoyed a Day Full of Buyer Meetings
One of the best ways to determine how good or bad a film and television sales market is going to be, is to see how many meetings the average small to mid-sized sales company has on opening day. If day one of MIPTV 2014 was any indication, we could be looking at a huge step forward in terms of the value and demand of television and other “small screen” product. In many cases, sales companies had meeting after meeting after meeting, pretty much all day long. Simply put, an army of buyers was meeting sellers big and small, injecting hope that the value of independently made product is on the rise.

However, don’t go celebrating just yet, because the flurry of buyers on day one could just be that, a flurry that melts away after causing a temporary commotion. This is because:

1)  Buyers may not be at MIPTV for the duration of the market, so they could be trying to cram in most of their meetings on the front end of the four-day event.

2)  A flurry of meetings will mean very little to any company, if those meetings don’t result in healthy sales.

3)  There’s energy in the air during day one of most markets, so basing a market’s worth on day one may project an unrealistic view of how things actually are. Of course, if the rest of the days are as optimistically fruitful as day one has been, then MIPTV 2014 will be seen as a landmark moment when the value of “small screen content” shot up significantly all over the world.

Both Really Big and Really Small Products are in Demand
Name brand projects with A-list actors, producers or hosts, are enjoying swift action by worldwide buyers. While that’s not at all surprising, what is raising eyebrows of interest here at MIPTV; is the amount of low-budget product that is also garnering interest. Just remember that by “low-budget,” I don’t mean “low scope.” While buyers are taking a look at lower budgeted material, those projects still have to have a high concept idea that appeals to the masses. Those projects also need to meet or exceed all “broadcast quality” standards.

Products with Multi-Platform Capabilities
Multi-platform products are what many buyers crave. Rather than banking on a project making the bulk of its money on TV, cable or VOD, buyers much prefer products that can generate alternate income streams. These include video games, apps merchandising, etc. Simply put, since the world economy is still fluttering, buyers are looking for properties that give them the most chances to find success.

There’s a Hell of a Lot of Animated Product out There
Far too much of it, and it doesn’t stand out in terms of originality. Thus, if you’re developing an animated series or film, please make sure your idea is fresh enough to rise to the top of the mountain of animated product looking for a home. In other words, it’s not enough to have great animation. Your “great animation” needs to be married to an even greater story with memorable and likable characters guiding it.

Okay, filmmakers. That’s what I have for you on this seemingly flawless sunny day in this beachside paradise tucked against Mediterranean. I thank you for lending me your eyes, and I’d be honored to borrow them again next Tuesday when I’m back on American soil. Until then, I wish you a tremendously productive week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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