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US TV producers get familiar with the capital

Date posted: 19.12.2016

Earlier this month we brought five top US East Coast TV drama producers to London on a familiarisation trip, to showcase the city's production offer and strengthen our industry relationships.

Our five delegates were:

  • Anne Carey, President of Production at Archer Gray
  • Peter Saraf, Co-Founder/Partner at Big Beach
  • Kathy Ciric, Freelance Producer
  • Alysse Bezahler, SVP Head of Production, Original Programming Sundance TV/BBCA at AMC Studios
  • Christina O’Shea-Daly, President of Dandelion Productions

Showcasing London

Over five days the producers were shown much of London’s top production infrastructure, including tours of Ealing Studios and VFX houses Milk, Double Negative and Molinare. The jam-packed week included visits to prominent locations such as Hampton Court Palace, and sessions from industry experts Creative Skillset and high-end TV tax relief exerts Lee & Thompson and Shipleys LLP.

C21 Content London

As part of the trip the delegates attended C21’s Content London International Drama Summit, where they networked with TV industry representatives from and presented a panel discussion session. This session was chaired by Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, and gave the delegates the chance to talk about the projects they are currently developing and discuss how they intend to work more closely with the international market.

The verdict

Beyond from the main attraction of the UK’s generous high-end TV tax relief, the delegates identified the VFX community in London as a significant draw for overseas investors. “One of the nice things we all experienced was when we had our tour with the post houses,” explained Christina O’Shea-Daly, “They all work together to make a production seamless for the producer.” Alysse Bezahler stressed that they were impressed with the wide range of top talent here in London: “Visual effects is better here than in New York. It’s really an industry that’s growing and the talent that’s here is really significant. New York doesn’t have visual effects at all to the level that’s here, and that’s a big draw.”

The delegates also noted the infrastructure surrounding production in London as a benefit for those looking to shoot here; in particular, the focus the London Boroughs, Film London and the Met Police have in creating a streamlined process for producers to navigate production in the city. “I think steps have been taken to try to simplify shooting here and there’s a lot of coordination between police and the city” said Kathy Ciric.

All the delegates felt they had identified business opportunities during their time in London, and made strong connections that they can take back to New York.  “I feel now we have resources to come here and talk to people and get the advice that we need” explained Anne Carey. Peter Saraf shared this enthusiasm, “It seems like endless potential. I met a lot of people and I’m sure all these relationships will bear fruit.”

Find out more about familiarisation trips

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