50/50 Co-productions are Like Marriage
"Think of a co-production as a business you are doing with a partner for a limited period of time," said Graeme Stanley, Chief Commercial Officer of Insight TV at a panel about co- production and financing. Decisions would be made by whoever has the most money.
"5o/5o co-productions are like going into business and getting married at the same time," was his extended metaphor, with the obvious pitfall being a 'divorce'.
The session was moderated by Abhi Rastogi, 108 Media's Founder & CEO, who pointed out that "there hadn't been a lot of big co-productions in Asia, but many service productions." Quark Henares, Head of Globe Studios, noted this could be attributed to cultural and governmental factors, such as foreign investment in mass media productions. However, co- production is still nascent in this region, so people are "feeling their way around things."
The good news is that the European co-financing and co-production model is slowly becoming a reality here, with countries like Singapore and the Philippnes providing grants for productions shot in their respective Countries, and other Asian territories following suit.
But it can be difficult to create believable stories for scripted co-productions. Quark gave the example of how forced a show can feel, when it has one character from a certain country and another character from somewhere else. Hence, it is sometimes easier to do unscripted co-productions, like those which have participants from different countries competing against each other. The millennial audience is a boon, however. "Millennials are far less biased about where content comes from, as long as it deals with issues relevant to them," said Graeme.