Krempelwood extends its reach across the pond

Mark Wood and Blair Krempel, Krempelwood - credit Karl Attard
The U.K.-based program financier plans to invest $17 million towards Canadian projects that have the potential to run for multiple seasons and sell internationally.

U.K.-based independent program financier Krempelwood is open for business in Canada.

Co-founded by Mark Wood and Blair Krempel (pictured left and right) in 2008, the company is allocating $17 million towards the financing of projects with funding shortfalls across all genres from both Canadian broadcasters and producers within the next 12 to 18 months.

Krempelwood began as a branded content agency but has evolved to work with leading media buyers to provide revenue to fund advertiser-funded projects like TV series that have the potential to return for multiple seasons, and sell internationally via a distribution deal or format agreement. The company has helped fund projects like October Films’ Eight Days That Made Rome for Channel 5 as well as Twofour’s Jo Frost On Britain’s Killer Kids for Crime + Investigation.

“We like to see ourselves as a solution to a problem,” Krempelwood director Krempel told Playback Daily. “And the problem is that the channel wants a show that they haven’t got enough money to pay for.”

Once a broadcaster identifies the shows it wants to finance, Krempel explains, the company then works with the show’s producer to fully finance it, receiving a co-producer credit and sharing 50% of the profit received from the sale of a show.

Speaking about the decision to enter the market, director Wood said that several of the media buying companies Krempelwood works with operate in Canada, noting that they would like to see if their company’s U.K. financing model can be replicated. “We think that the conditions are right in order for us to do so,” Wood said, who declined to disclose which companies Krempelwood receives financing from.

Although its past work primarily falls into the factual TV series space, Krempel says the company will look at projects on a case-by-case basis. “The No. 1 consideration when we look at projects we want to finance is that they must be on an advertiser-supported channel because we’re backed by people who need advertising time, and so we need advertising time or inventory to be included as part of the deal,” he adds.

As well, he says, the financier does not interfere with projects editorially or budget-wise. The production levels the company works with vary, with the minimum level of investment in a series coming in at about $700,000.

While discussions in the Canadian marketplace are in their infancy, Krempel says one reason that’s driven the financier to identify Canada as an opportunity is the successful sale of Canadian series internationally, both format and distribution-wise.

Canada marks Krempelwood’s second market expansion this month. Most recently, the company unveiled it had allocated AUD$19 million towards Australian projects.

Image of Mark Wood and Blair Krempel courtesy of Karl Attard