The director of television at SBS has called on production houses to involve the network early in program development rather than coming to him with fully worked up formats.
In a video interview first shot for the current edition of Encore, Tony Iffland said he was looking to hear from production companies that had “distinctly Australian stories” to tell. He said: “We like the production sector to talk to us early, we like to have a dialogue with people to create the distinctive content that SBS needs.”
He went on: “The program has to be slightly different so we encourage people to talk to us early, talk to us at ideas stage and my commissioning editors will help to shape that to ensure that it fits, so there’ll be much more of a creative dialogue rather than just come and pitch an idea that you’ve already worked up fully. See whether where we want that idea to be is somewhere that creatively you want to take that idea. It’s a two-way street.”
“It’s about representing the real Australia, the faces of Australia, the diversity that is Australia and it’s about looking at issues with the SBS lens – looking at provoing the debate, pushing the boundaries.”
Iffland joined SBS in January. The public broadcaster has since had a funding boost which will allow it to make more original commissions than previously.