April 7, 2020
In this week's edition:
• Sid Gentle Films’ Sally Woodward Gentle
• Distributor Spotlight: MISTCO
Sid Gentle Films’ Sally Woodward Gentle
By Mansha Daswani
In 2018, BBC Studios picked up a majority stake in Sally Woodward Gentle’s Sid Gentle Films after having worked with the outfit on The Durrells and SS-GB. The relationship has given the well-respected indie a support system as it navigates the high-risk drama business, one in which Woodward Gentle has carved out a distinctive voice with shows like Killing Eve and the upcoming adaptation of Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change. Killing Eve is making an early return, with the season three premiere moved up by two weeks to this Sunday, April 12. All eight new episodes will be simulcast on BBC America and AMC.
TV DRAMA: How did Killing Eve come about?
WOODWARD GENTLE: That came together in the way things tend to, which is in a sort of random, ad-hoc type of way. A colleague had dinner with Luke Jennings, who had written the [Codename Villanelle e-book] novellas. She said, he’s given these to me, do you want to take a look? We all love a female assassin, and this was a great female assassin. They were lovely little short stories, designed for people to essentially read on their commute. At the center of it was this relationship between Eve and Villanelle. He also established this separate universe that Eve goes to work in. We loved all of it, but then also realized there were other projects like La Femme Nikita and Hanna out there, and I didn’t want to do another sexy male-gaze female assassin. I’d read Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman play Fleabag before it was on at the SoHo Playhouse and met her and liked her because she was just this wild, enthusiastic, extraordinary ball of charisma. I thought it would be good fun to see what it was like putting a piece that was essentially genre through a different kaleidoscope. That’s how I paired Phoebe up with the books. We got it developed by a different broadcaster than BBC America, and it got turned down by them. And then BBC America was over in the U.K. meeting people and popped in to see us. We gave Phoebe’s scripts to Melissa Wells [VP of international co-productions and development at BBC America]. At the time, they were looking for something that had more of a female skew. They fast-tracked its development and we ended up making it for BBC America. Because they are a hybrid between the U.K. and the U.S. models, they allowed us to operate in a way whereby we kept the IP and they licensed it, very much in the way the U.K. does. I have a longstanding relationship with Lorenzo De Maio [a partner at Endeavor Content], who was tracking the project before he was at Endeavor. They put up the deficit against [the rights for] the rest of the world. So it’s the U.K. model, except the primary broadcaster was in the U.S.
TV DRAMA: Can you tell me anything about the third season, which launches this month?
WOODWARD GENTLE: We know Eve is still alive, and we take all of our characters to a much deeper and darker emotional place than we have in the previous series. That includes Carolyn and Konstantin, who play quite major roles in it. Eve and Villanelle’s trajectory is quite different, and their exploration of who they are is something that we haven’t looked at in the way we do in season three.
This interview continues here.
This interview was conducted prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Media companies are currently shifting their strategies in the wake of production postponements.
Distributor Spotlight: MISTCO
ADDRESS: Murat Reis Mh. Yeniocak Sk. No: 45 Uskudar,
34664 Istanbul, Turkey
TELEPHONE: (90-216) 695-1300
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Aysegul Tuzun
HEAD, SALES: Maria Espino
PROGRAMS: Golden Cage: 100x45 min., romantic drama; Melek “A Mother’s Struggle”: 100x45 min., romantic drama; My Champion: 100x45 min., romantic drama; Hold My Hand: S1 151x45 min./S2, romantic drama; Family Honor: 200x45 min., family drama; Beloved: S1 66x45 min./S2, romantic drama; The Circle: 61x45 min., crime drama; Resurrection: Ertugrul: S1-5 448x45 min., epic drama; The Last Emperor: S1-2 189x45 min./S3 100x45 min./S4, epic drama; Surprise Marriage: 135x45 min., romantic drama.
TRAILERS: Please visit MISTCO’s Screening Room to view clips of Beloved, Hold My Hand, Melek “A Mother’s Struggle,” Resurrection: Ertugrul, The Circle and The Last Emperor.
“MISTCO is an international brand-management and content-distribution agency serving top titles, brands and channels with drama series. All of them, including library titles, are of high quality and [feature] successful plots.”
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