Format Boot Camp Debuts / FRAPA heavyweights to host ‘live-learning’ sessions at MIPFormats 2012

FRAPA is launching The Format Boot Camp at MIPTV 2012, a series of four live-learning sessions focussing on the practical skills and knowledge needed to protect, produce, promote and trade formats in today’s complex global marketplace.

Held under the auspices of MIPTV’s MIPFormats showcase, The Boot Camp takes place on March 30 and March 31 in Cannes, France. The sessions will be hosted by some of the format industry’s best-known names, including National Geographic Channels’ David Lyle, The Gurin Company’s Phil Gurin, Absolutely Independent’s Patty Geneste, format lawyer Jonathan Coad, and Format People Michel Rodrigue and Justin Scroggie.

The Boot Camp programme kicks off at 12.00 on Friday, March 30 with How To Protect Your Format, hosted by Jonathan Coad, a partner at London-based law firm Lewis Silkin, and director and founder of the International Format Lawyers Association (IFLA). The session aims to help commercial creatives to protect their IP, from the ‘eureka!’ moment of conception to its emergence on screen. Coad said: “I want to help those that create new formats to get the proper return from them in the form of license fees and prestige. There are practical and tactical steps you can take to mark out your creative output as your own. My session will help you to establish your rights of ownership over the property that you have created.”

Friday afternoon at 16.00 will see Format People, CEO Michel Rodrigue and chief creative officer Justin Scroggie take to the stage. Their Boot Camp session — How To Make A Format Bible — will examine the art and science of creating the DIY production manual, style guide and tool for brand protection that is increasingly seen as a central element in the legal protection of formats. Michel Rodrigue said: “Format bibles come in many shapes and sizes and not all of them are as useful as they should be. Justin and I will be examining what a format bible is; how, when and by whom it should be prepared, and what the end result should look like.” The Format People will also unveil a template of an industry-standard bible in advance of the launch of FRAPA’s new website tool: The Bible Generator.

Saturday’s Boot Camp programme begins at 09.00 with How To Make a Sizzle Reel. In the workshop session, David Lyle and Phil Gurin will present a a selection of sizzles, identify sub-genres and introduce ripomatic concepts. Lyle said: “New creatives in love with their projects often lose sight of the purpose of a sizzle reel, better called a taster or teaser reel. It’s not an on-air promo. It does not demonstrate, fully explain or education. It does not, by itself, pitch the show. It teases, intrigues, sets up… The perfect response from a buyer to a sizzle reel is, ‘Wow! Tell me more…’.”

The final Boot Camp workshop — at 09.50 on Saturday — tackles the all-important question of How To Negotiate. Patty Geneste, CEO of Amsterdam-based Absolutely Independent, will present a one-hour master class in deal-making, including tips on how to negotiate with producers and broadcasters, how to protect your rights and how to think creatively at the bargaining table. Geneste said: “An hour isn’t nearly long enough to explain the mechanics of format deal-making. But I hope this session will give MIPFormat delegates some insight into what’s important, what isn’t, what you can do to help yourself — and what’s best left to the experts.”

The Boot Camp initiative is the next step in FRAPA’s journey from format protection association to “the global HQ” of the formats community. Ute Biernat, chair FRAPA and CEO of Grundy Light Entertainment, said: “We believe education and innovation are closely connected. What’s the point in coming up with the next ‘Idols’  if you don’t know how to protect it, market it or cut the best deal for it? The FRAPA Format Boot Camp goes back to basics, offering MIPFormat delegates the best advice about the business of creativity from some of the best in the industry.”

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