Nohr originally accepted the role on a yearlong basis in September 2012 and has
been a consultant to Shine International since 2010, overseeing the relocation and
restructure of Shine Group’s global distribution company in 2011.
By Mansha Daswani – WorldScreen – August 27, 2013
Prior to joining Shine, Nohr had held a variety of roles within international distribution, including that of managing director of Granada International for 12 years. Nohr, the CEO of Shine International, recently spoke to TV Drama about the company’s drama series strategy.
TV DRAMA: Shine International has stepped up its drama offerings over the last year or so.
NOHR: Our scripted story is an incredibly positive one. Just a few years ago, [Shine International] was primarily focused on unscripted. We’re hugely diversified into scripted now and count The Bridge—on FX and sold to 122 countries worldwide—and Broadchurch, ITV’s biggest drama in the last ten years, as part of our portfolio.
The drama portfolio has grown significantly. We’re active at all points of the spectrum, from post-production selling right through to significant deficit funding.
Our production companies are actively co-producing. The Bridge was a coproduction between Shine America and FX. Co-production is one of those terms that is often misused. In [the case of The Bridge] it was a true co-production in every sense—a financial co-production, an editorial co-production, and it just happened to focus on subject matter that genuinely lent itself to co-production between two important countries. The narrative naturally featured a coming together of cultures without this being artificially engineered for financing purposes.
We’re actively discussing a number of co-productions at the moment, and that’s across both our in-house production slate and our third-party activity—we have In the Flesh from the BBC and Real Humans from Matador. One thing we’ve been quite active in is scripted changed-format deals. The Bridge was originally Swedish-Danish [as Bron], then it was made in the States and Mexico and now it’s being made in the U.K. and France [as The Tunnel]. Real Humans is a very strong scripted format.
Broadchurch is being sold all over the world and there’s a lot of interest in that from a format point of view.
TV DRAMA: The Bridge has been very well received by critics in the U.S.
NOHR: I have to say Bron, the Swedish-Danish version, is one of the best dramas I have ever, ever seen. It’s absolutely fantastic. You think, how do you remake that, and have something that stands on its own merit? The Bridge is fantastic and The Tunnel is fantastic. In a world where content is ubiquitous and you have all these different versions of the same story, you think, are people going to only follow one?
And as a fan of the original myself, I would and have quite happily sat and watched all of them. They all bring their own sensibility and their own different resonance and the cultural and political context is different. Look at how many times great works of literature have been adapted and you realize that a great story bears retelling.
TV DRAMA: What are some of the elements needed to create successful coproduction partnerships?
NOHR: Ultimately it has to be story driven. Then it’s about bringing together a limited number of like-minded partners. Realistically, there’s only room for so many people around a table. As a distributor, we’re not here to have a creative seat at the table. That’s not what we do. We’ll invest in productions that we believe have the right qualities to enable them to sell around the world. We’re not here to dilute a producer’s editorial integrity or editorial vision. We have to buy into their vision in order to support the project in the first place.
TV DRAMA: What have been the major changes in the business of making drama co-pros?
NOHR: Some of the principles haven’t changed; there has to be resonance for the various partners and they are often driven by financial necessity, which is where a distributor can help. What has emerged more recently is this trend toward more scripted changed-format productions. It’s a very different model to an (unscripted) entertainment format being rolled out around the world, which is all about creating multiple versions. That isn’t the issue when it comes to scripted. The funding model is very different, and that’s something you have to be a little more careful with. There are some markets, like the U.S. and the U.K., that are still deficit models and they are reliant on investment and support from a distributor to be able to complete the funding. The level of budget required to make these dramas enhances the uniqueness of certain properties and therefore in success makes them highly exportable.
TV DRAMA: What opportunities are you seeing with digital platforms?
NOHR: They have become very significant players and so they add to the roster of buyers you can be selling to. And they’re not just post-production buyers now but coproducers, and in some cases commissioners, of original drama. They’re people we’re talking to at the early development stage of a production.
By Mansha Daswani – WorldScreen – August 27, 2013