The burgeoning ‘acquimissions’ model of co-productions was one of the points of discussion at Singapore’s Asia TV Forum and Market.
Conceptually, acquimissions blend the worlds of acquisitions and commissioning where independent producers and production studios engineer co-productions between themselves and platforms and commissioners across territories and windows.
“This is something that has happened because of the shrinking production budgets, something that is slowly, but surely, touching Asia,” said Justin Deimen, president, 108 Media, a global company that is actively pursuing the acquimissions model.
“If your businesses is entirely or solely dependent on full commissions to just keep going, I think you need to strike that balance, you need the diversity in your portfolio. It’s time to really shake it up,” said Donovan Chan, co-founder and creative director of Singapore’s Beach House Pictures. Earlier, Chan spoke at length with Variety on the changes facing producers in Asia.
Tenten Wei, head of EST Media Holdings, a company that serves as a bridge between the eastern and western media markets, pointed out that local content always performs best in its local markets. In terms of what works best as a global cultural mix, Wei said, “It will be something that you need time to be able to market to the audience, then you can have a global market to it. That’s how Korean dramas travel, that’s how Japanese anime travels, they have been marketed to the local audience for a long time. So, the local audience globally are used to watch them and they know what are expecting from the content.”
“For the cultural mix content, I think that you will mix in a way that the people are familiar to watch and also they have the local perspective to it,” Wei added.
Sometimes, with global acquimissions, there is the danger of being pulled in different directions, with different funds or markets requiring some local talent or culturally specific inputs. “As a producer you need to do a calculation and see if that’s something that’s worth it. If it isn’t, then it depends on the deal, then you can see if it’s worth it to to do it,” Wei said.
On the positive side, Deimen said that if done right, local inputs can add tremendous production value to projects choosing the acquimissions route. “The key is actually finding a middle ground between an acquisition budget and a commissioning budget,” Deimen said.
“It’s all down to content, there’s no point making something really cheap,” Chan said. “Focus on the concept instead of focusing on the money and you’ll be fine.”