FNE at DISCOP Budapest 2011: Interview with Founder Patrick Jucaud

By Cathy Meils

FNE continues its special report on DISCOP Budapest 2011 (21-23 June, www.discop,com) with an interview with DISCOP founder Patrick Jucaud. In the FNE reports, we look at adapted content -- still a relatively new phenomenon in CEE. Last fall, Jucaud and his team responded by launching THE REMAKES MARKET, which will be held again in Los Angeles on 14-16 November 2011 (http://theremakesmarket.com). FNE asked Jucaud about the new market.

FNE: What was the inspiration for THE REMAKES MARKET?

JUCAUD: Remakes mania has always been very strong in Hollywood, and as business event organisers, we thought that there should be in event taking place in the heart of Hollywood that would bring together international movie producers, TV content producers, book and comic book publishers, newspapers, videogame developers, interested in selling their adaptation rights to the North American film and television creative communities.

FNE: What are some of the outstanding factors of THE REMAKES MARKET?

JUCAUD: We have dedicated a tremendous amount of resources to identify active North American adaptation rights buyers from the television and film worlds. We measure the quality of our events by the number of successful meetings taken by each of our participants and being able to qualify participants as early on as possible is very important.

What is also very important is the fact that our event is held in the entertainment capital of the world.

FNE: Why is THE REMAKES MARKET important for the CEE region?

JUCAUD: First of all, historically speaking, Hollywood owes its early successes to adaptations, and many plays and stories that were adapted in Hollywood came at the beginning of the 20th Century from Central and Eastern Europe. Sam Spiegel, who got five Oscars as a producer, started his rocky career by selling adaptation rights of Czech and Hungarian plays to Universal in the early twenties.

In today's economic environment, Hollywood is now motivated by good stories and story plots that can be cost-effectively produced, which is the case of most European films, including Central and Eastern European ones.

Furthermore, the adaptation business is not too far away from coproduction business, and CEE producers can also bring to the table interesting schemes to raise production funding.

For instance, Hungary has just set a new subsidy initiative that is pretty aggressive and I was told, masterminded by Andy Vajna, and shooting the adapted version of a book or an existing film on location in the CEE can be beneficial for the US producer buying the adaptation rights.

FNE: Are "remakes" the wave of the future? What will be their place in TV content in the next year or two?

JUCAUD: YES, we believe that the "adaptation business'" is going to grow exponentially in the future and for the first time ever, on television, there are more shows that have been adapted from other shows than finished programs such as TV series.

We feel that this is also a very interesting cultural phenomena as the tasks to "adapt" successful content, whether a movie, a book or a popular reality show, imply a lot of cross-cultural insights.

FNE: Does THE REMAKES MARKET function differently from other TV markets?

JUCAUD: THE REMAKES MARKET does indeed function differently from other markets. Here is the principle of the market:

Close to 250 remakes properties will be presented at the 3-day market and will include an eclectic mix of international movies, reality and lifestyle formats, TV series, books, comic books, video and social games, plays and musicals, newspaper and magazine stories that could potentially be adapted for the big and small screen.

These remake properties will be first showcased in a digital, interactive catalog mailed six weeks before THE REMAKES MARKET to a carefully researched group of adaptation rights buyers that includes creative, development and production executives from film and television production companies, agents as well programming executives representing broadcasters and cable networks.

The vast majority of them come from North America and all of them are currently looking to develop projects based on content that has already been used in one form or another.

Following the mailing, individual meetings will be organized by our staff, between participating adaptation rights sellers and buyers who will be invited to express their interest in advance of the market.

(A sample copy of the 2011 digital catalogue is online at: http://publicationsystem.secure-zone.net/v2/indexPop.jsp?id=1761/2172/6181&lng=en)

FNE: What territories are most active in the arena of remakes?

JUCAUD: The territories that sell film and TV remakes rights to North America in film are Asia (Korea, Hong-Kong), Northern Europe (big craze), France (the rights to French blockbusters are systematically bought), India, Israel, Switzerland and obviously the UK -- but this list is not exhaustive by all means.

FNE: How has THE REMAKES MARKET grown in its first year? And how have you measured its success?

JUCAUD: For its inaugural edition, THE REMAKES MARKET brought together 84 remakes properties from 34 international sources, primarily film and book properties.

This year, we are expecting to showcase 250 properties from 50/60 international sources and we are going to expand much more aggressively into unscripted and scripted television as there are massive adaptation opportunities in North America currently. We will put a special emphasis on (1) Films from Korea and on (2) television content that can be adapted for fast-growing Hispanic audiences in North America.

Following an internal survey that was undertaken four months after the first edition of THE REMAKES MARKET, half of our adaptation rights sellers who took part in the market were engaged in negotiations with adaptation rights buyers met during the market. We consider this as a good result.

For more information on THE REMAKES MARKET, contact: +1 323 782 1302.