Media investment and distribution company Great Point Media has been behind some of the biggest dramas to hit our screens over the past few years. Shipshape talked to commercial director Fergus Haycock to find out more.
Founded in 2013 by award winning producers Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve, Great Point Media specialises in the development, investment and exploitation of intellectual property in entertainment media.
“The majority of the founding team spun out of Ingenious Media, having spotted an opportunity in the buoyant market for high quality drama production, particularly with new market players such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu,” explains commercial director Fergus Haycock, who looks after a portfolio of development and production companies. “This was coupled with an opportunity for investors to participate in the nascent Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and invest in early stage development of intellectual property.”
“We cover the entire spectrum of production activity from development of new ideas, through to full production, and are becoming more involved in the international distribution of completed productions. We look to work with exciting production talent, and for projects with international appeal.”
From start-up to scale-up
Despite having a strong track record in the industry, Fergus explains that raising the first funds took time and persistence. “But once we had established our first few funds and proved the concept and business model we’ve been fortunate enough to increase our fund raising year-on-year.”
Based in Covent Garden the company had to scale up its team quickly to deal with the demand, and now has 22 employees, plus small teams in New York and Spain.
“We’ve worked with some great producers on exciting hit content, including the last two seasons of Line of Duty, and breakout features like Lady Macbeth, part of a programme in which we support new filmmakers. The film was produced on a small budget and was picked up for a wide release in all markets.” “We’ve also invested in a new band called Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. The first album was a hit and we’re releasing the second album later this year.”
“The production business is becoming increasingly competitive and the bar is being set ever higher and more expensive, with every episode of a TV drama now expected to look like a Hollywood feature,” says Fergus. “We’re constantly looking to find new ways and partners to put value on the screen and stand out in the marketplace. But our main focus is to continue to provide a great service to both our investor clients and our creative partners.”
Support from Shipleys
“Shipleys has supported us from the outset, particularly in advising on structure and accounting for film and TV projects that attract production tax credits in the UK,” says Fergus. “These credits are a vital way of putting more value on screen and bringing the best possible talent to UK shores. Steve Joberns is widely considered the ‘go-to’ adviser for production tax credits in the UK and we’re lucky to be able to tap into his wealth of experience.”
“We’ve grown quite quickly and transitioned from not needing an audit, to needing one. Tim Hardy and his team have been really helpful with that.”