Day 2 of Kidscreen and the Delegates Lounge, restaurants and bars at the hotel were a buzz with people talking about creative ideas and how to turn them into the next big hit, and, perhaps most importantly, how to finance them! Everyone is on the hunt for partnerships to make this happen- combining that "perfect storm" of a good business plan with a solid creative idea. I know of a few of co-production partnerships in the works that landed with hand-shake deals so it is definitely happening out there. When thinking of the deal structure, everyone looks at the co-production marketplace. What countries have what treaties with whom and how much money can they bring to the table? MDEC, the Malaysian government body that supports their animation producers with subsidy monies was noticeably missing this Kidscreen. It seems they are re-evaluating their treaty and deal making structure. As the Malaysian contribution to production budgets could bring as much as 30% of the budget to the table, lots of producers around the globe are watching closely as this progresses. Meanwhile, the Brazilian TV Producers association brought a sizable crew to the market in an effort to give their producers more opportunities to partner with international companies. Their government tax incentive schemes are just starting to get some buzz in the marketplace. Right now they treaties with a few key countries around the globe – notably Canada. The partnership between Brazil’s 2D Lab and Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment on My Big, Big Friend has worked very well and it looks like lots of Canadian companies are pow-wowing with Brazilian producers to see what else can be done together. And while the Canadians and the Brazilian are chatting, the French and the Australian governments are looking at ways to streamline their treaty agreement to make it more user friendly like the French- Canadian Treaty. There is a Memo of Understanding in the works right now and the hope is that this will lead to significant rule changes so that more co-productions between those two countries can be done. Lot’s of Aussies are already huddling with the French in the hope to jump in on the action once those changes have been made.
On a different topic, the subject of point of entry keeps coming up in meetings – what is the best way to launch a brand? With so fee slots on broadcast open to independent producers, is TV still the first place to go? How do we integrate all the “transmedia” elements into the mix? Do we start with a game? An app? Or should we try to launch with product at retail? What is that magical formula to success? And, equally important, how do you finance the development and production along the way? All of these questions have been circulating the industry for a number of years. But it seems like now is truly the time to start embracing these new points of entry because the reality is kids are already there. I will be digging into this topic more on Day 3 of the Summit.