Magazine article Variety

Breaking Down Screen Boundaries

Magazine article Variety

Breaking Down Screen Boundaries

Article excerpt

Movie world folks are increasingly migrating into high-end television drama, and many of the new series on offer at MipTV are the progeny of this cross-pollination.

"Babylon Berlin," which is screening at the market, is produced by X Filme and creatively led by filmmaker Tom Tykwer X Filme's Stefan Arndt says the same production team that created the $100 million "Cloud Atlas" put together "Babylon Berlin," and he'd be happy to screen it in theaters because the quality of the performances and the production values are as high as their films. At the end of the day, he adds, viewers don't care whether it's a movie or a TV show they are watching as long as they are entertained and "surprised."

"Riviera," which also screens at MipTV, is the creation of Neil Jordan, who nabbed an Oscar for "The Crying Game," and an Emmy nomination for TV series "The Borgias," and is produced by Kris Thykier's Archery Pictures. Thykier, whose movies include "KickAss" and "Woman in Gold," says changes in the TV market have made it a more attractive place for filmmakers. "Broadcasters have become more ambitious and viewers are expecting more," he says. "We have the opportunity to tell smart adult stories through TV and broadcasters are supporting that, and pushing at the boundaries."

Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films is producing "Top of the Lake: China Girl," the second season of Jane Campion's mystery miniseries. For a creatively ambitious filmmaker, television offers an opportunity to take a novelistic approach. "I can see for storytellers like Jane that's really attractive because you have a bigger tableau on which to explore stories, the world and what interests you," Sherman says.

Although television has traditionally been seen as a writer's medium, that is changing, says Steve November, creative director of U.K. television at Lionsgate U.K. "It is becoming increasingly important to get a really strong directorial vision and authorship to complement the writer's vision and authorship," he says.

One such example is helmer Susanne Bier, who won an Emmy for "The Night Manager." The thriller was produced by the Ink Factory, whose co-head Simon Cornwell says producing both TV and film allows it to choose the best route to adapt source material. With John le Carré's novel, which "sprawls across the world and has got big characters who leap off the page, you need six hours to get to grips with those things," he says. …

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