Netflix’s cutbacks after a subscriber loss sent the streamer’s stock price tumbling down have worried some in the industry that the content gold rush is ending. Producers at the “IP IQ” panel, sponsored by Deadline, at the Produced By conference, said there’s no need to worry. Girl From Plainville and The Dropout Executive Producer Liz Hannah, A&E Studios Head Barry Jossen, and UTA partner and Co-head of Media Rights Jason Richman said they don’t anticipate any slowdown in streamers needing content.
“I haven’t felt any letup whatsoever, which I think just speaks to the demand being high,” Richman said. “There’s a lot of musical chairs going across the studio landscape, but it’s going to settle out. The new incumbents have to build their new slates. We look at it as opportunities to bring the artists we’re representing into their lives and filling the blank space.”
Jossen said what may change is the demand for international productions. Netflix announced Season 2 of Squid Game Sunday morning, and Jossen saw the success of that and other international shows has opened the doors to the potential for international shows.
“Squid Game, Money Heist, Babylon Berlin, Tehran have taught us how to watch shows that originate in other parts of the world,” Jossen said. “Technology has been very helpful in that process. You literally push a button and can watch a show dubbed in English [or] the original language with subtitles. There are many other languages. I think we’re going to see even more of a surge around exposure to shows that originated somewhere else in the world other than North America.”
Hannah said the uncertainty over what may become a hit has allowed creators like herself to take more risks.
“This fear and this terror is really freeing from a creator’s standpoint because what else are we going to do,” Hannah said. “I’m actually feeling more empowered to take risks as a creator because nobody has any idea what’s hitting or why it’s hitting.”
Hannah gave two examples from her series, The Girl From Plainville, about the true story of Michelle Carter. Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Connor Roy, to whom she suggested he commit suicide via text.
“With Plainville, there’s three musical numbers, four different time lines,” Hannah said. “Elle Fanning, who’s the star of Plainville and also an executive producer, she was like, ‘Let’s go weirder, let’s go darker. ‘There’s a shot at the end of episode 7. She dreams a sequence of ‘Teenage Dirtbag ‘where her sister is in a glee club tormenting her, and it turns into a nightmare. There’s a moment at the end, which is this take Elle did. It was the very last take. We were like, ‘Do you want to just do something really, really weird? She did and it is the take that was in the show.”
Wondery Head of TV/Film Aaron Hart was also on the “IP IQ” panel.
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