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Crawfords taps Parkinson

New Zealander to lead int'l co-production efforts

SYDNEY — Bruce Gordon’s Crawfords Australia has hired one of New Zealand’s most experienced producers to spearhead its international co-productions.

Tom Parkinson, head of Auckland-based Isambard Prods., joins Crawfords Monday in the new post of head of co-production development.

Crawfords managing director David Rouse says Crawfords is looking to step up its co-productions after its successful collaboration with France’s Gaumont Television in the six-hour mini “The Violent Earth.”

Parkinson’s mission is to assemble miniseries and series that can be financed without an Australian pre-sale, Rouse says. Among the projects Parkinson is developing are “Warriors of Virtue,” a series spinoff from the eponymous MGM movie, and a family telepic.

Rouse says the aim to find international partners stems partly from the fact that the Australian webs all appear fully stocked with local drama series. Crawfords is making a second series of “State Coroner” for the Ten network and is prepping “Tribe,” a four-hour mini, for Seven.

A former head of entertainment programming at Television New Zealand and founder of private Kiwi web TV3, Parkinson launched Isambard eight years ago. Some 80% of its output has been geared to international markets.

Isambard’s studios are sublet to Pacific Renaissance, the producer of “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Young Hercules.”