WeMake, a thriving production company launched by Bouchra Réjani, Shine France’s former COO, is turning three with a bullish slate of upscale formats and ambitious scripted projects, including drama series “Image,” from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the directors of “Bad Boys for Life,” and the variety show “Morphing Singers.”
The Paris-based banner has so far developed an impressive catalog of more than 80 formats, 12 of which have been ordered or optioned in France and around the world. Out of those 12 formats, 10 of them are original creations, including “Roll the Dice” and “Big Crazy Game Night,” which was the first original format of France’s commercial network M6. “Big Crazy Game Night’s” format just sold to Italy, Finland, and in the U.S. to Spook Studio.
In the run up to MipTV, the company is now ready to launch its new original format, “Morphing Singers,” which follows six mystery singers who interpret covers of songs of legendary artists. But this cover will be done using morphing technology to make it possible for these current artists to actually become the original performers, and have their faces and expressions. On set, two panels of celebrities will try, just like the viewers, to guess which artists are hidden behind these great metamorphoses to win money for their charities.
“‘Morphing Singers’ will combine the best of creative ideas and new technologies; it will be made with artificial intelligence and created by topnotch tech companies,” said Rejani.
The executive, who is passionate and enthusiastic, said her company’s independence also allows it to be “faster, and deliver content that’s more disruptive, daring and inclusive than big groups in France.” WeMake is also a one-stop-shop, equipped to create, produce and distribute internationally.
“The first phase for us was ‘think local and act global,’ as I quickly identified that platforms were looking for ambitious and original formats,” said Rejani. “That’s why we are focused on original creations and are attached to our independence because it drives creativity.”
And the strategy worked. Right off the bat, WeMake produced Netflix’s first original unscripted format in France, “Until Dawn,” a comedy show series with 24 French comedians and rising actors. WeMake is currently producing for Prime Video “The Missing One,” a big adventure show in Australia.
WeMake then started to “think global but act local,” said Rejani, and enlisted strong international allies who are leaders in their respective markets. The company signed co-production and distribution deals with John de Mol’s Talpa TV in Europe, as well as Universal Television Alternative Studio (U.T.A.S) and MGM Studios (Metro Goldwyn Mayer).
The studio is now ready to move to the next phase of its growth and diversify, bowing scripted content and documentaries. Because diversity and inclusion is part of WeMake’s DNA, all of original series, films and documentaries will be created by talent from different backgrounds and from different countries, explained Rejani.
“Image,” is a series created and written by Carl Joos (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”), and co-produced by Nabil Ben Yadir’s (“The Barons”) 1080 Films and Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s banner Los Moros. El Arbi and Fallah, the hot director duo behind “Black” and “Bad Boys for Life,” will also direct “Image,” which will be a Romeo and Juliet drama set in Molenbeek, the crime-ridden suburb of Brussels.
“The Baker’s Son,” co-produced by MGM Studios and Beta Films’ Isolani, is penned by Ahsan Naeem; and “Le Clan” is a series created Rachid Benzine and written by Nicolas Peufaillit (“A Prophet”).