Factors of successful format creation

18 September 2018, 16:31

“Original formats from Central and Eastern European countries: to be or not to be?” panel which took place on September 18 at  KYIV MEDIA WEEK 2018 international media forum gathered at one table Ivan Vlatkovic, vice president at Pink Media Group; Olga Slisarenko, head producer of entertainment programs at 1+1; Dominykas Kubilius and Laura Paukste, producers at TymDrym; Irma Ekstite, In the Dark TV show host at LNK (Lithuania); and Masha Vujovic, head of PR department at  Pink International. The discussion was moderated by Stanislav Kimchev, senior vice president for sales at CEETV.

The main question discussed by the speakers was the challenges format developers face. The participants singled out four of them: high risk of ranking and share drop; big investments; chances for payoff; and international potential. As for the risk, all speakers agreed it is very high but still worth it, because an old, tried and tested project gradually “fades” but the new one may turn out to be way more popular. Significant amount of investments can be reduced by producing in-house and using own resources which does not require a license as a result and also allows to produce spin-offs and sell branded merchandise (e.g., toys and school supplies). Creation of universal sets that can later be used for other projects also helps. Finally, the international potential is a factor saying it all – the format must be focused on a universal story and it should be easily adaptable to the reality of at least neighboring countries. For example, if you can’t manage to sell the format at once, at least you can get your neighbors interested in the finished project. 

When Stanislav Kimchev asked about successful format formula, Ivan Vlatkovic and Dominykas Kubilius agreed that the main pre-requisite is an emotional story the audience can relate to. In her turn, Olga Slisarenko leans more to the importance of the plot itself. In any case, it doesn’t matter how much money is invested in the project; it should arouse empathy.