Recent talks of All3Media in [speculated] acquisition talks with FremantleMedia bring into question the values of staying independent for production Indies. While neither parties will confirm or deny, FremantleMedia are set to acquire All3Media, for a price in the region of £500million. Both ‘prodcos’ have many established companies underneath their corresponding umbrellas; i.e. Thames and Talkback, Lion TV, and Lime Pictures. Therefore, if such a deal does transpire, FremantleMedia are set to be one of the largest production companies spanning across the globe.
We could easily sift through the advantages and disadvantages of working under a mother-ship compared to those of an independent indie. Having personally worked for an indie, I think it is safe to say from a viewpoint, that I have had much freedom and cause for establishing long term working relationships with counterparts across the industry in comparison to having to fit into rigid uniformed guidelines passed down from ‘those’ above.
However, can I really say that Indies will lose their integrity/core values? I think not. Whilst working for an entity, the same risks on developments are taken as those when working independently. In fact, when having a group to fall back onto, there may be a bigger budget and a lot more creative input.
Unfortunately creativity is not simple, and cannot be put into rigid boxes; it is unstructured and sensitive, which is why many come into this line of business. From a personal perspective it is reasonable to respect the level of support provided whether being independent or part of a group – especially when creating that 48-minute hour ‘one-off special doc’.