What happens after pitching at Sunny Side of the Doc?

To answer the question, we interviewed Tristan Chytroscheck (a&o buero filmproduktion), producer of the documentary Gambling on Extinction, pitched at Sunny Side of the Doc 2013.

The wonderful atmosphere of La Rochelle seems to make everybody just a little easier and happier [...] We at a&o buero love going to Sunny Side – especially after we won the prize for Best Current Affairs & Investigation Project last year…

Gambling on Extinction, tracks the illegal trade in elephants, rhinos and tigers. From the killing fields to the ivory carving factories to the consumers, award-winning director Jakob Kneser uncovers the major players in this deadly business of wildlife crime.

Tristan_ChytroschekQuestion: What have been the follow-up to your pitch of Gambling on Extinction at Sunny Side of the Doc 2013?

Answer: We won the award for the Best Current Affairs & Investigation project which was a very positive start also for our marketing/distribution strategy. During the pitch and the following one-to-one meetings, we managed to attract interest from the following: Radio Canada, GMT Philipines, KCTS Seattle USA, 24 TV Turkey, NRK Norway, NHK Japan; RTBF Belgium, YLE Finland, PTS Taiwan, Spiegel TV Germany.

Our conclusion here was that the ones-to-ones are really helpful and should be continued.

Q: Who remained partners in the end?

A: The remaining partners from the one-to-ones at Sunny Side are Radio (SRC/CBC/RDI) Canada, GMT Philipines maybe acquisition, NRK Norway,  YLE Finland, PTS Taiwan – maybe acquisition.

Otherwise attached final partners are ZDF/Arte, TG4 Ireland, SBS Australia, SVT Sweden, YES Israel, VRT Belgium, TV Poland, TVI Portugal, CT Czech Republic, DR Denmark, ORF Austria, Discovery/Animal Planet Canada.

Q: One year after, at what stage of production is Gambling on Extinction?

A: We have started production. Filming in Asia has begun and is well underway. Filming in Africa is scheduled to start in late Summer. We are on track for delivery by the end of this year. We have also begun to accumulate contacts for our outreach campaign, which will start a couple of months before the release of our film.

Q: Have you considered including a transmedia/interactive experience to your documentary? If yes, what will it consist in? (If not) According to you, what are the main challenges in writing and producing transmedia documentary?

A: Gambling on Extinction already has its own website at www.gamblingonextinction.net. We publish regular updates on the issue and on the status of our project. Additionally, the production team runs Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. Gambling on Extinction will also have an online presence on the ARTE Future website. Producing transmedia content is very different from producing a documentary, as it involves different actors, such as designers and programmers who need to work alongside the content producers. Producing films is a linear process. Producing transmedia is not.

Q: What advice would you share with producers looking for partners at this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc?

A: Prepare well. Look who’s coming and make a list of people you want to meet. Don’t send mass emails to everybody, this just annoys people. Send tailored, polite messages to your contacts and follow up. Fix appointments and note down mobile numbers in case things go wrong. Be punctual. And don’t jam-pack your days. Sunnyside is an easy-going event and you should be focussed – but also relaxed.

Q: The 2014 edition of Sunny Side of the Doc marks the 25th anniversary of the event. What has been your best surprise attending the market?

A: The wonderful atmosphere of La Rochelle seems to make everybody just a little easier and happier. I always feel a bit like I’m on holiday. We at a&o buero love going to Sunnyside – especially after we won the prize for Current Affairs & Investigation Project last year… :)