Paula Dinan, founder of Premise Pictures
Premise Pictures is an independent creative studio based in the UK that aim to promote the development of intelligent and engaging single and multi-platform commercial franchises. Señal News spoke with its founder, Paula Dinan, who explained the importance of the stories with a "Premise".
How would you define Premise Pictures?
"The focus of the studio is to develop IP that has fresh and diverse story worlds that offer broad international appeal. Each project has, at its core, a clear genre, unique characters and a thought-provoking 'Premise'. As an independent content creation studio, Premise Pictures is looking to work collaboratively with co-production partners and investors. As founder and Creative Producer, I am not looking to sell the studio’s concepts and walk away, but rather to remain involved in the shows throughout their lifetimes. My interest is in devising international multiplatform projects as creator driven shows. As an IP creator with 25 years industry experience in story, I want to engage fully with the projects, not only in their development but throughout their production. The key ultimately is to maintain engagement with the projects’ audience. I believe that’s the best way to retain the focus and unique voice of the multiplatform content."
What kind of IP do you create?
"Premise Pictures creates fresh and diverse ‘story worlds’ which are broad reaching and offer multiplatform opportunities, across scripted and non-scripted, TV series, feature length films, - both live action and animation, - web series, online games and apps. Regardless of genre or target audience, the IP devised within the studio is created to encourage its audience to sit up and actively engage. Whilst each platform will offer stand-alone content delivery, additional content will be hidden across the animated series, web series and its online games and apps. This way, the more content and platforms the audience engages with, the more additional content they will gain access to. Having worked in story throughout my career, I am keen to play with narrative structures and encourages active engagement from its audience. ‘Ocean Resue Battalion’, an animated TV series for the 9-12 audience on Premise’s debut slate, has been devised so that the name of a guest character will become a codeword in to unlock unique content in the online game or mobile. The animated TV series also offers a live action ‘..making of..’ web series in which the guest character, chosen on the strength of their own environmental interests and activities, will be afforded the opportunity to share their personal experiences, whilst presenting a behind the scenes insight into the real world story on which the animated episode is based. These guest characters will also drop additional codewords that can be entered in the interactive elements across the multiplatform concept. This way we take the traditionally passive engagement of a TV audience and provide them with additional content when they engage across the platforms. The more the audience puts in, the more they get out!"
Which are the main values you expect in an IP?
"The main value areas Premise Pictures incorporates within its multiplatform IPs are: 1) their unique worlds - as this will provide the home to the entire project. The worlds need to be vast and believable; they need to be well detailed so that they lend depth and breadth to the experience. 2) The second area we consider when devising the IP is to provide each of the projects a value system, so that as well as being entertaining they offer social and/or environmental take out. The content needs to resonate with its audience, in a way that they can empathise, engage or experience for themselves in some way or other. 3) The third area is to populate the worlds with fresh and diverse characters. It’s all about character development! You need a healthy and diverse mix of characters to find the best way to tell the story. 4) On a business front, the IP must be able to offer international reach and offer commercial return for its investors. 5) And finally, whether the content offers multiplatform potential or is a stand-alone Film or TV series, each IP that Premise develops needs to offer value by way of a clear and defined USP. Be that how the story narrative is structured or how the characters are portrayed, It's hard to go into too much detail on this here, but we have a couple of projects on the first slate which are very exciting in their USP of character portrayal and story structure."
What is your opinion about the current audiovisual landscape?
"These are exciting times, with so many channels, streamers and content platforms for the audience to choose from, the opportunity for independent studios and producers to create unique and fascinating story worlds and identifying the best means to which to share their story content is huge. The most important aspect of any IP is the ‘Premise of the story’ and now we have a vast toolbox to play with, in terms of VR, AR and gaming opportunities, in deciding how best to encourage engagement with our audience. As storytellers, it’s our job to determine which story we want to tell, identify the correct audience and ultimately find a fresh, exciting and suitable way to present them. Certain IPs lend themselves to multiplatform experiences, whilst others are better on a single platform. Long gone is our dependence on passive linear story worlds, our choice as to the mode of storytelling is as exciting as the stories themselves."
What kind of changes have you observed in the last few years?
"Over the last few years, we are seeing ever broadening opportunities for sharing stories and ‘second screen and beyond content sourcing’ offers new and evolving opportunities. Interactive technologies and the collaborative nature of online communities offers really exciting challenges for bold and brave story telling studios. This is what I’m most excited about and why I believe maintaining engagement with an IPs audience is key to its success."
By Romina Rodríguez
The most important aspect of any IP is the ‘Premise of the story’ and now we have a vast toolbox to play with, in terms of VR, AR and gaming opportunities, in deciding how best to encourage engagement with our audience” Paula Dinan Founder of Premise Pictures