HRTS Member Profile: Philippe Maigret
Philippe Maigret is CEO of Endemol Studios. I recently had a chance to interview Philippe to discuss rapid change, international appeal and content ecosystems.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and what made you want to work in entertainment?
-I remember realizing, as I was in my last year at ESCP (the business school I attended growing up in France) back in 1989, that I had to find a job in media, that there was just no other option! Maybe because I had always been an avid consumer, maybe because I was fascinated by its impact on people’s lives around the world. Over the past 25 years, I have enjoyed building my experience in film, television and new media across production and distribution sides, and developing my management, strategy and business development skills.
Q: How did you first get involved with the HRTS?
-When we launched Endemol Studios in 2011, Endemol’s US scripted TV operation, my friend Kevin Beggs, President of HRTS at the time, convinced me that HRTS would be a valuable platform to help build our profile in the community. My prior experience as a guest at HRTS events coupled with Kevin’s invaluable insights on HRTS made the decision to become a corporate member a very easy one.
Q: What is a favorite memory from your career thus far?
-The vote and approval from the Endemol board to launch Endemol Studios, within minutes after our presentation. And getting ABC’s series order for RED WIDOW, only 9 months after we launched.
Q: What do you look for when developing a new show?
-We focus on projects with strong, distinctive writing; stories and characters that are original, multi-dimensional, timeless, accessible and relevant in the US and around the world; and on the right project-talent-network combination to maximize our chances to get on the air and stay on the air. Byron Balasco’s KINGDOM (launching soon on DirecTV) is a perfect example.
Q: How does the global audience factor into your decision-making?
-The international potential of a project is a key factor in our decision-making. We look at projects as “mini-businesses”, project costs and revenues to be generated from all sources. And the international component has become a huge piece of each of these businesses’ economics.
Q: What’s it like shooting HELL ON WHEELS on-location in Calgary?
-Producing HELL ON WHEELS in Calgary is a very productive and gratifying experience. Our terrific partners (Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev) at Nomadic Pictures have cultivated an A+ crew who have for the past 4 seasons delivered a richly cinematic and very ambitious series. Additionally, the multi-faceted Albertan landscape continues to deliver every environment needed to tell our complex and evolving story.
Q: How do you see the industry changing over the next few years?
-The full content creation and content exhibition ecosystem has changed so much over the past few years and will continue to change at an accelerated pace, driven by the relationship and (balance of power) between buyers and sellers and the need for our industry to adapt to new consumption patterns. I expect US TV programming to become even more polyglot, with an increasing number of international scripted formats, stories and characters, and international talent on US television.
Q: Anything you would like to add?
-It is a very exciting time to work in TV, with an ever-expanding group of talent; with TV viewers around the world watching more content than ever before and with new technologies (OTT services, connected TV sets, social media) making TV viewing more enjoyable and engaging. I feel fortunate to work with an amazingly talented and committed team, to have had the opportunity to launch and build Endemol Studios into a leading indie TV studio operation, with a great deal of support from the company.