Illuminating moment from Flame

Flame started small but is growing quickly by following the oldest and most profitable adage of all: follow the money.
Illuminating moment from Flame

Image: Scrap Kings.

Flame Media grew from the relationship between John Caldon and presenter and food fiend Lyndey Milan, who was ensconced in the volume market of entertaining cooking shows, for which there is a substantial appetite around the world. 

While other parts of the sector grieve over ratings or push exhibitors to run their features, many of the most financially sound businesses sell into the insatiable market of minor cable stroke daytime television stroke specialist exhibitors like airlines. 

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Flame Media has done very well in that space, growing into Flame Distribution, a production arm based in Sydney, a London base called Wildflame Productions, a studio business serving the production work and Flame Advisory, which helps to finance other producers and broadcasters. It is looking like an eco system, though it is about back yards rather than garden parties. 

Their latest press release is a sign of the times. Flame has a substantial catalogue to sell on its own behalf, and has done a deal which engages the prior experience and reputation of US based Janson Media, a New York company, 'specializing in Worldwide Digital, VOD, Television, and Non-Theatrical distribution. The company has licensed content to virtually every country in the world, and its clients include major digital video platforms, broadcasters, and home-entertainment companies,' to quote the release.

The list of clients it quotes mostly did not exist ten years ago, but are exploding now - 'Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, iTunes, Twitch, Hulu, Facebook, and others'.

The factual sales space depends on relationships, of course, and these are attractive new players. Hence Flame's arrangement. 

The initial deal is the juicy bit. It brings 'a package of factual titles to Amazon Prime Video viewers in North America, the UK, Australia and India.' 

Amazon Prime is the membership based walled garden that provides subscribers with access to a variety of different services, including music and screen entertainment. 

We are used to Amazon Studios, for which indy guru Ted Hope is the Head of Motion Picture Production, through the lens of competition with Netflix. Can Amazon contribute to the budgets of major Australian films and TV series? Maybe even something a little indy? This is all about the way in which Netflix and Amazon have decided to differentiate themselves from conventional cable and broadcast TV - they are going for high level tentpole TV and sold, conventional entertainment.

Round the block and up the back stairs is Amazon Prime, which is doing just the opposite. When you look at the list of shows that Flame has just sold via Jansen, you may wonder which kind of programming will emerge from the current chaos. Of course, the prices are not high and both Jansen and Flame will take their sips of nectar from the flower before the busy producer bee gets to feed. 

The 290 hours package includes varied content ranging from Lifestyle & Reality, Science & Technology, Health & Medical, Crime & Justice, History, Arts, Food to Travel & Adventure.

Some of the titles made available on Amazon Prime SVOD platform include Scrap Kings, Back2Back's explosive series that follows demolition teams as they blast, crush and smash their way through structures that have had their day; RTE art series Designing Ireland(Newgrange Pictures), which celebrates the best of Irish design; Bike World (Bike Channel), a series made for people passionate about motorbikes and Europe's most popular bike series; BBC crime series Neighbourhood Blues (Rawcut) which follows the work of ground-breaking special Neighbourhood Policing teams across the UK; wildlife title Under The Sea: The Great Barrier Reef (Wildflame Productions) follows adventurer Iolo Williams as he’s living his lifetime dream of diving on the reef and finding out how healthy the reef is at a critical time in its history; Italy’s favourite television travel series Overland (Overland Network); adventure series The Hunters Club showcasing the very best hunting and most jaw dropping scenery New Zealand has to offer; SBS long running food series Food Safari (Kismet Productions) exploring the endless possibilities of cuisines across various cultures; slow TV The Ghan which follows Australian famous passenger train on its 3,000km trip from Adelaide to Darwin.

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David Tiley

Friday 25 May, 2018

About the author

David Tiley is the editor of Screen Hub. He is a writer in screen media with a long mostly freelance career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.

Twitter: @DavidTiley1