Creating a global brand or Croatian Downton Abbey

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Creating a high-quality and long term television series is a difficult task that requires a lot of knowledge, a large budget and some luck. Creating a series that will make it on a global level is something completely different. The Managing Director of Antenna International, Pete Smith, has shared his considerable knowledge of creating a long-lasting brand which is capable of making it on a global level and facilitate the creation of similarly successful products in the future.

„In order to create a global brand you have to be able to make a hundred decisions. Of course, in this industry it is always necessary to make compromises and know that not everything will turn out the way you imagined it, but you could say that you can be extremely satisfied if 70% of the decisions you made will be right”, stated Smith.

Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of high-quality writers, of which there never seems to be enough of in the industry, since a high-quality script is the proper foundation for the creation of a global brand. Pete also highlighted how important it is to identify yourself with the audience for whom the program was intended, because, for example, foreign programs that are popular in the United States, can make an even greater success than the original program in another country if the script is adapted to that country’s target group.

„And so we come to the most important aspect of every industry, including this one, and that is money. Money is not an adequate replacement for a heart and soul that every successful project must have in order to be successful, but it opens many possibilities of improvement of the set, an extension of the preparation period as well as multiple scenario fixes. These aspects will not increase in quality of the project, but if something is quality-made it can create the next global hit, and that is our goal”, added Pete.

When asked what would it take to establish Croatia as a region that is capable of creating regionally and globally successful programs, Pete stated a couple of advantages, such as low production costs, acceptable tax rates and high-quality acting staff. The negative factors are a lack of necessary infrastructure such as studios for recording as well as the lack of talented writers, which is a mostly prevalent problem in the rest of the world.