Star power, scripts add up at Incendo

When shooting started this week on Wandering Eye, it marked not just another MOW for Incendo Productions. The murder mystery is the 40th production for the Montreal production house, one of Canada’s most prolific producers of TV movies.

‘It’s been a busy nine years,’ says Jean Bureau, co-president of Incendo and a producer of Wandering Eye. ‘When Stephen Greenberg and I started the company, we wanted to keep niche audiences in mind. We’ve made a lot of thrillers with female leads.’

Greenberg and Bureau say it’s been a winning formula, as they manage to make sales around the world with their distinctive brand of thriller aimed primarily at a female demographic. ‘TV movies are often made for about a million,’ notes Bureau. ‘But we’ve managed to continually increase our budgets, to around $3.5 million, improving our production values.’

‘We both had a lot of experience in film and TV when we started Incendo,’ says Greenberg, ‘and we wanted to avoid some of the pratfalls we’d seen other companies fall into. We make a quality product but we do it in a way that’s cost efficient.’

The Incendo team says they scout hard for intriguing scripts that they think will make for solid TV films. Wandering Eye tells the story of a married woman (The Mentalist‘s Amanda Righetti) who meets a man on a website for discreet philanderers, only to learn he’s a serial killer who uses the Internet to troll for victims. Exec produced by Bureau and Greenberg, it is coproduced by Josée Mauffette and Serge Denis and directed by François Dompierre (All the Days Before Tomorrow).

Bureau says another important factor is casting. They use actors, like Righetti, who have talent backed up by name recognition, translating to success in Europe as well as North America. He says they’re particularly proud of Wandering Eye‘s cast, which includes Krista Bridges (Durham County), Andrew Shaver (Orphan) and Tim Post (Mambo Italiano).

Wandering Eye will air on The Movie Network, Movie Central and Super Écran in 2011.