Independent studio eOne signaled its intention to align TV and film earlier this year and the sales teams have already come together under Stuart Baxter, who has proceeded to bring in Dan Gopal and Joyce Yeung, both of whom have studio experience.
Uniting production and development was a natural next step, Morayniss told Variety. “As we put that sales structure together we asked why stop there,” he said. “There was an ‘a-ha moment’ for us a while ago when we did ‘Sharp Objects.’ We optioned Gillian Flynn’s book to develop as a feature, but after we started developing, it occurred to us that this is a very complicated story and to do it justice it made more sense as a series, so we pivoted very quickly on that.”
The series, which has been penned by “UnReal” writer Marti Noxon and stars Amy Adams (“Arrival”), was ordered by HBO and is now in post-production.
The kids and family business, which controls the “Peppa Pig” brand, and music division will remain separate operations and there will still be separate film and TV development teams, but the restructure is designed to change the mindset to new projects, and film and TV are not now considered separate operations.
“There are differences with TV and releasing something theatrically [and on TV], and the development process can be different, but when looking at IP, or meeting producers, or talking to someone like Mark Gordon, it became more and more apparent the sourcing of content is becoming more agnostic,” Morayniss said. “We thought if we consolidate film, TV and digital under one strategic oversight we can think more holistically about content.”
The combined approach to content will allow eOne to do overall deals with creatives who want to work across both areas, and there is at least one conversation underway about a deal spanning both. The company already has a deal with movie producer Brad Weston (“Gone Girl”) and has backed his new Makeready banner as he moves into TV.
“You’re seeing for more and more film producers who have not been involved in television, or have maybe dabbled in TV, it is becoming a big part of what they do. Primarily because demand for TV content and especially limited series – where the mindset from development, to how the story is told involves a skillset that is very transferable from film.
Several staff have moved into new roles as a result of the restructure, which is effective immediately, and a small number have left, but Morayniss said the rejig will likely see eOne add to, not trim, its headcount.
Bertram who joined eOne in 2014 started his career in TV, but built his career in film. Morayniss started in film at Alliance, but then came up through the TV industry.
“We did this because we saw that’s what the market was telling us to do, now it’s about how we take advantage of a consolidated content structure as a studio,” Morayniss said.