Deadline’s Diana Lodderhose sat down with Creativity Capital’s Patrick Fischer and Richard Kondal with the pair explaining the strategy behind their multi-company expansion over the past two years.
Staying alive in the UK independent film world is no easy feat these days but Richard Kondal and Patrick Fischer are two execs who have been quietly thriving in the space for a number of years. The two veterans, who first founded post-production outfit Creativity Media in 2010 before selling it to UK production house Fulwell 73 in 2019, are the co-founders of London-based financier Creativity Capital, which has invested in titles such as BAFTA winner Under the Shadow, Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen and horror 47 Meters Down.
Additionally, they have entered the international sales arena with UK outfit Architect, which they launched before Berlin last year and, more recently, the VFX sector after taking a minority investment in UK company Koala FX in 2023. They recently announced their entry into the UK co-production space with the launch of its newest outfit Big Safari.
Industry veterans Richard Kondal and Patrick Fischer announce their new co-production company Big Safari. The company marks the latest addition to the duo’s entrepreneurial activities which also compromise shareholdings in sales agent Architect, financier Creativity Capital and VFX house Koala FX.
Big Safari was born out of the success of the 2022 Simon West directed television series “Boundless”, which Patrick and Richard co-produced whilst at Fulwell 73 together with Mono Films and Amazon.
The company’s strategy is setting up co-productions that help close finance for international producers. This can mean placing a US project in the UK to maximise soft money through a European co-production (“Svalta”) or finding a cost effective co-producer in the Philippines for a British film (“The Bayou”). It also helps European films access UK talent and locations to bring their productions firmly into a global market place (“Stargazer”).
Since it’s launch in early 2023 Big Safari has already gone into production with three projects:
Svalta – the Steffen Haars directed Nick Frost and Aisling Bea Thriller currently in post-production in the UK, having shot in Finland in the summer of 2023. The film is produced by Wayward Entertainment, Resolute Films, Film Service Finland, XYZ Films and Frost, with Big Safari co-producing.
Stargazer – a Psychic Thriller starring Rosalind Halstead and Poppy Delevigne, directed by Christian Neuman and produced by Luxembourg-based Deal Productions in co-production with Caviar and Big Safari.
The Bayou – a Survival Thriller directed by Taneli Mustonen starring Athena Strates and Andonis Anthony, produced by Tea Shop Productions, Cowboy Cosmonaut Films and co-produced by Big Sarai and Epicmedia Productions.
Big Safari’s Managing Director Richard Kondal explains: “We tailor our services to each project. For instance, US producers can come to us to structure European co-productions and access European and UK soft money. Setting this up from the UK ensures a safe home for their IP and we help to find the right shooting locations, co-producers and incentives for their budget and finance plans. We see co-production is a powerful tool of cooperation and believe success is best when it’s shared.”
Patrick Fischer adds: “With a deep understanding of finance and sales embedded in Big Safari, we are very much a partner to producers to help greenlight their films and series. We provide producers with the co-production know-how from where and who to work with, which all stems from our experience having produced/executive produced over 85 projects from arthouse to horror, film to series and everything in between.”
Tea Shop Productions’ James Harris who is producing “The Bayou” with Big Safari explains: “Working with Richard and Patrick has been extremely additive; we would simply not have been able to close finance without setting this up as a co-production with Epicmedia in the Philippines. Not to mention the post and VFX deals we got back in the UK.”
Big Safari is all about empowering producers and kick-starting projects, especially for the UK. It’s not been an easy 2023 for the industry and we believe co-production is the key to reduce risk, raise budgets and grow our production sector.
Link to the Deadline article
In the Baltic Event co-production market, multiple attendees highlighted Hannes Vartiainen and Joonas Berghall’s Finnish project The Elf, a festive family feature which is currently at script stage. “They managed to hit the holy grail of making a commercial project, with the potential to sell in every territory around the world; all whilst still crafting a unique and touching story that attracted support from national film institutions,” said Richard Kondal, co-founder and director at UK-based financier Creativity Capital, and a regular POFF attendee. “In today’s market seeing filmmakers producing meaningful IP that they retain ownership in such as this, should be championed and an example to all other producers.”
For the full article please visit Screendaily.com
Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones) has stepped back from the XYZ Films, Wayward Entertainment, and Resolute Filmshorror pic Svalta due to what has been described as scheduling conflicts. She was replaced by This Way Up actor Aisling Bea.
The pic, written and starring Nick Frost, has just wrapped production in Tampere, Finland, with post-production currently underway in the UK. Plot follows a family on their summer vacation to a remote island where they discover a serial killer is on the loose. Unfortunately for them, the locals have no interest in helping the stranded family. The title is taken from the name of the fictional island. Directing is Steffen Haars (New Kids Turbo). Cast is rounded out by Sebastian Croft (Heartstopper) and newcomer Maisie Ayres.
Svalta is produced by Lee Kim for Resolute Films, John Hegeman for Wayward Entertainment, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian for XYZ alongside Frost. Co-producer is Richard Kondal for Big Safari, with executive producers Vince Totino of Wayward Entertainment and Patrick Fischer of Creativity Capital.
View the full article on Deadline.
The Queen Mary will be released in cinemas in the United States on the 3rd of August 2023.
We’re pleased to announce the Hapless Season 2 is now available on Amazon Prime in the UK. Season 2 of Hapless will see lots of famous faces cropping up including comedienne Ronni Ancona, Saturday Kitchen chef Matt Tebbutt, Loose Women’s Linda Robson and comic Sally Phillips, among others.
Creativity Capital is proud to announce the launch of its sister company, Architect. Focusing on film and television sales, Architect will bring the same level of expertise and commitment to this new venture. Helmed by former Embankment executives Max Pirkis and Calum Gray, Architect comes with a proven track record in pre-sales, packaging and closing finance. The company will launch at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival and has announced it’s first film Lollipop the new film by ‘Polite Society’ Producers Cecilia Frugiuele and Olivier Kaempfer of Parkville Pictures.
Check out the teaser trailer to Season 2 of “Hapless” which has been completed and will be coming to a UK streaming platform later this year. The show stars Tim Downie (Paul Green), Josh Howie (Simon), Jeany Spark (Naomi Isaacs) and Michael Fenton Stevens (Ronnie Green). Produced by Magnet Films and financed by Creativity Capital.
Once again we’re excited to join filmmakers from all over the world in Tallinn this year from the 21st until the 25th of November at the Black Nights Film Festival. If you’re attending, come and say Tere!
Patrick Fischer is the managing director of Creativity Capital. He is based in the United Kingdom and is a fan of Australian filmmakers.
About three years ago Fischer’s company lent more than $US1 million to a Queensland production company, headed by Steve Jaggi, which was the first local company to resume production after the pandemic lockdowns.
Over this period The Steve Jaggi Company was responsible for more than $30 million in production expenditure, on titles for Netflix, Disney and Network Ten.
Fischer lent The Steve Jaggi Company the money in the expectation that the project would receive the producer offset – a legislated tax incentive for screen production that rebates producers between 30 and 40 per cent of their production costs.
Based on the scheme’s 15 years of operation, both producer and financier had an expectation that the loan would be repaid within two or three months of the application being lodged.
“We were waiting to be paid out and then we start hearing from Steve that Screen Australia are short-staffed, and we said ‘Well, these things happen in the film industry’,” Fischer says.
“But then it became chronic. All of a sudden, we heard it could be six months, or another year, and when this is sprung on you as a financier this is going to wreak havoc on your deals.”
As a result of the time taken by Screen Australia to process Jaggi’s offset application, the loan from Fischer’s company was so late in being repaid that under the contract it triggered penalty conditions where default interest kicked in.
“We were trying to be nice because we could see it was beyond Steve’s control,” Fischer says, “but he was faced with the prospect of paying more money to keep the money out there for longer, and this was money that he didn’t need to pay.”