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To advance my passions and my career, I graduated from Metro Screen’s Mutliplatfrom Screen Producer’s course in 2010 and have spent the last few years developing Transmedia projects. All only on paper at this stage unfortunately, as to properly develop and implement one of my Transmedia ideas we’ll need real budgets – scraping the bottom of the savings account to fund one of these just isn’t an option! As a result this leaves them largely untested therefore unlikely for a broadcaster to pick up. It’s the old catch 22 situation.

So when the opportunity arose for us (myself and my Writer/Director Ric Forster) to pitch on our projects to commissioners in Europe we got a little excited.

A few months ago, Ric was surfing the net and came across Cross Video Days, Europe’s 1st Content Market. It was free to enter a project, and so he did. All went quiet until about a month ago when he received an email letting him know that out of the 355 entries they’d received from 40 countries our webseries THIRD BASE was among 59 selected projects to be showcased on the market.

With the Market being held in Europe this seemed like a fantastic opportunity for us, but the cost of flying to Paris and staying there for the full two-day event had us hesitating as to whether to go. We decided that even though our project had been selected that alone wasn’t enough so we RSVP’d that we were going and agreed between us to wait until commissioners confirmed meetings before we booked anything.

Much to our surprise a week before the event we received an email from the organisers listing 5 commissioners who were keen to talk to us. Now we all know it’s a very rare opportunity to get in front of these people, so with less than 6 days before the event was due to start we did our background research on each person and decided to bite the bullet. I was going to Paris, and was going to try and present more than the one selected project!

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The event was appropriately held in a large building within a complex of studios and TV stations on the outskirts of Paris. Armed with my project ‘one pagers’ and pen drives I arrived nice and early on Thursday morning. Straight away I met a journalist from Cineuropa, Domenico La Porta outside the event building. He and I had a great conversation, and one I won’t try to transcribe but he does have an interesting interview with the founder of CVD here if you’re interested.

Once inside the market format consisted of pre-arranged one-to-one meetings (30 minutes in length) between Commissioners and selected projects, as well as presentation segments for live pitches and sessions on a large number of interesting topics with high level presenters.

I had 4 one-to-one meetings on the first day and another one on the second. The time frame seemed long until I actually sat down and started talking, before I knew it my time was up, and the meeting was over. It was a case of presenting our project pitches then and there and presenting any supporting materials while answering questions and taking in any comments and suggestions. At the end we agreed to customise our project and send it to the commissioners at a later stage for consideration.

THIRD BASE attracted meetings with commissioners from the Finnish National Broadcaster, Canal+, ARTE and Viewster and I came away with the opportunity to develop the project further and pitch it as a package to three of the five commissioners. Viewster was also keen to have a look at our finished projects, so it paid off taking more than one project to the market.

Overall the trip was a great success. On a personal level it gave me first-hand experience about the expectations of commissioners and the ins and outs of this new platform to sell your projects and concepts; and on a business level both Ric and I are now hard at work putting the project together into a fully developed transmedia property and customizing it for each broadcaster.

If you have a multiplatform project concept or something in development, I would suggest, and strongly recommend, that you enter it in next years Cross Video Days. You may find yourself heading over to Paris before you know it.

If you do head over make sure that you have everything developed and finalised for the project that they expect to see. If you get selected and present a complete Transmedia Bible you’ll have a very good chance at finding someone to commission your project.

Apart from speaking to commissioners during meetings there’s also great opportunities for you to network. This paid off for us as we found potential partners in Europe just by saying hello and having a chat. A production company in Munich/Berlin, Germany is keen to work on co-productions, so we have began discussions with them on possible future collaboration.

The only drawback was that a lot of the sessions were in French and some of the workshops as well. The sessions were translated, but it’s a little hard to follow, but some of the workshops weren’t. All in all a great event that will hopefully be bigger and better next year.

Might see you there.

Zoltan Deak

Creative Producer – The Delicatessen

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