Fremantle’s Andrea Scrosati on the company’s ambitious international vision | Features


Film and TV powerhouse Fremantle has had a busy year. He added British-Irish company Element Films and Italian Lux Vide, among others, to his growing portfolio of top-notch international production companies, and started shooting of 33 feature films, including that of Angelina Jolie without bloodwhich was based at Cinecitta studios in Rome.

Italy-based Andrea Scrosati, COO of Fremantle and CEO Continental Europe, interviews Filter about how the company works to bring all its partners together, the different way it invests in projects and companies, and why the company is very interested in Latin America.

What can we expect next?
All of the mergers and acquisitions we’ve done have always been focused on ensuring strategic cultural fit. To be clear, this does not mean that we have a unique cultural vision, quite the contrary since we cover 24 countries and in several languages. But it’s all about collaboration across our system. Our producers are very independent and also very enterprising, but we constantly collaborate, and it is precisely in this area that we add value. Otherwise, it simply becomes a financial transaction. We look for companies where we can add value, and at the same time they add value to our group.

The Lat Am territories are culturally fascinating. They are very different from each other and creatively dynamic. We already operate in the region through Fremantle Latam operations, and also have an investment in [Camila Jimenez and Silvana Aguirre’’s production outfit] The Immigrant which is based in Los Angeles but operates in Latin America. They just delivered a wonderful movie titled Adolfo that was shot in Mexico, and they also operate in Colombia.

How do you integrate all your acquisitions?
We understand that in a creative business, the classic “top-down integration” approach doesn’t work. The producer’s job is to form a creative exchange and add value with the talents we work with. All our projects are based on teamwork. Our job is to always bring people into the room who can add value. If there’s only one person in a creative group who really adds value and the others are just there to take notes, it just doesn’t work.

People need to engage in cultural and intellectual exchange. You want someone to say, “I understand your vision, but actually, I think there’s a better way to make that vision a reality.” That’s the role of the producer, and the talent we work with does exactly what Element’s Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney, Ufa’s Nico Hoffmann, The Apartment’s Lorenzo Mieli and Wildside’s Mario Gianani do, to name a few. cite just a few. Fremantle would be nothing without them.

Our work as a group is then to give them infrastructures, to facilitate relations with buyers, contacts with talents, scriptwriters, to share production ideas. We have writers who cover our entire system. For example the writer of The Immensity [Francesca Manieri] currently working on a drama with another of our labels.

We also provide funding, but that’s only part of the process. If we only did top-up financing, we would only be a distributor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fundamental part of our business, but as I say, it’s a part.

What are the different ways you work with companies?
We operate many different financial models. Some are similar. Some are cash flow based, some are gap finance, we’ve started doing studio funding where it makes sense, and some are partial funding. Each project is a project in itself. Each takes time, given the amount of intellectual thought that goes into each project. But that’s how you really add value.

For example the work of Raffaella De Angelis [literary acquisition lead in Fremantle’s drama business], who works on Christian Vesper’s global drama team, through her connections to writers, she accesses book manuscripts months before they’re even in print. She is able to tell before a book is actually published if there is IP value and then shares that information with our producers, based on her knowledge of each producer’s pain point.

RTL Group, owner of Fremantle, has indicated its intention to increase the company’s annual revenue target to €3 billion by 2025. Are you on track to achieve this?
“We are working in the direction indicated by our shareholder who has been incredibly supportive of Fremantle, and we are on the right track. Going from eight to 33 films is a good example of the direction in which we are heading.

What is your vision for the next three years?
Fremantle’s strategic direction is designed and led by our group CEO, Jennifer Mullin, and is the result of teamwork that starts with our shareholder vision, the management group and the input we receive. of our producers and leaders around the world. Without being a team, it just wouldn’t work.

Our vision as a team is to be where creatives call home. We don’t want to be where creatives want to register, but where they want to call home, and that makes a real difference in everything we do.

We’ve come a long way in recent years and have huge plans in the works for the years to come, but despite all these developments, it’s important to say that unscripted entertainment remains the foundation of our business. Not only because unscripted generates the majority of our revenue, but without our entertainment business, it would have been impossible for Fremantle to become such a big player in the scripted world.

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