TVNZ Anthology Series Two - Call for Pitches

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Te Reo Tātaki, in partnership with NZ On Air, is thrilled to announce a second 6 x 22-minute episode, cultural anthology series for TVNZ 2 and OnDemand.

In 2020, we put a call out for pitches for a supernatural anthology. The resulting series “Beyond the Veil”, funded by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho, with development funding from NZ On Air, TMP, TVNZ and NZ Film Commission, will be broadcast on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ OnDemand in 2022. We’re extremely pleased with the calibre of these first six episodes.

For this subsequent series, the kaupapa remains the same. First, we want to tell stories that are unique to Aotearoa and our place in the Pacific. Second, it is our intention to create an excellence driven capacity building pathway for Māori, Pasifika and other Tauiwi writers, producers, directors and to further develop talent both on and off screen.

We are calling for pitches from which we will initially select a short list of eight stand-alone stories for further development.

Six of those stories will be selected to progress to a production funding application for a second anthology series that will entertain New Zealanders at scale.

We expect at least three of the productions will be Māori and aim to have a mix of Pasifika and other Tauiwi teams to bring a diverse flavour to the strand through a distinctly Aotearoa lens.

WHAT IS THE THEME FOR ANTHOLOGY SERIES 2?

Series 1 of the anthology titled “Beyond the Veil” showcases six spiritual / supernatural stories of varying genre, linked to specific cultures from Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, based in Aotearoa.

In Series 2 we want to explore the rich story world of motherhood in ways that are unique to this land and the specific cultures within it. We want to see bold and entertaining stories that push and subvert the narrative around mothering, motherhood, and being mothered.

Your story must:

• Be grounded in or inspired by the cultural landscapes and storytelling of your team.

• Understand the genre of whatever type of story you are telling (for example it may be a horror, drama, comedy, sci fi or thriller).

• Evoke a strong emotional response.

• Have a fresh style and tone.

• Be a self-contained story suitable for a commercial half hour of prime-time television.

THE DURATION

The episodes will be commercial half-hours for linear broadcast. That’s 22.5 minutes of content, split into three sections of 6-8 minutes, separated by commercials.

APPLICANTS

We are looking for mid-career practitioners who already have significant screen credits. Experience in screen storytelling outside of television does apply.

At least two of the key creatives of each story must be from the cultural landscape and storytelling that inspired the narrative.

If you gather your own team, that’s great. If you have a great story but no team, send it in and if it’s short-listed, we can assist to team you up.

At this stage weighting will be given to the strength of the idea.

Previous applicants (both successful and not) are welcome to apply for this second series initiative.

TARGET AUDIENCE

We are motivated to provide our key target demo of all people aged 18-49 with a uniquely local lens on this universal theme. The stories must conform to BSA standards and be appropriate to screen from 8:30pm.

GENRE

The genre options are wide open for this series. Don’t feel limited to a straight drama narrative simply based on the theme. From “Bad Moms” to “Psycho” to “Raised by Wolves” – the subject of motherhood can be treated in any number of ways. Thriller, horror, drama, comedy, romance? Some combination of those? Some other genre that’s entertaining and emotionally powerful? Whichever genre you choose, be clear in its interpretation even if you decide to subvert it and above all, make sure it is evocative.

IDEAS SHOULD...

• Express the anthology’s content proposition (outlined above).

• Consider representing a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

• Consider representing a variety of settings (ie not all be urban-based).

• Be audacious – dare to hit nerves, tell secrets, be vulnerable, take the leap.

• Pass the billboard test – is it big enough to be on billboards around the country?

• Be targeted toward the desired audience we have outlined.

• Be able to contain enough story beats for a prime-time half hour scripted episode.

WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR...

• Niche concepts or ideas targeting niche audiences. The story should be about people of a specific cultural identity or cultural mix, but the storytelling should provide enough context that the story will appeal to a broad New Zealand audience.

• Proposals that don’t meet the requirements of this RFP.

• Multi-platform or transmedia ideas; ideas that rely on immersive social media components etc.

• Incomplete stories, or ‘pilots in disguise’.

BUDGET

The budget for each episode at production will be in the vicinity of $500,000. We’re looking for top-of-the-line production value that justifies that level of expense.

YOUR TONO

Please fill in the required information on the next page. We will accept a document up to two additional pages to be uploaded; one page for the narrative itself, another page for the vision and team. You can include images if you like, but that's not required.

We are happy to accept up to three proposals from the same content creators/production team.

THE PROCESS

There are two tranches of development – storyline/treatment, and script/cultural responsibility strategy/production funding application.

We’re looking for the strongest ideas. We’ll assess all the pitches and select a shortlist of eight projects to move to the first development stage.

If you are one of the eight pitches selected, you will be offered a fee to write and submit a storyline and treatment for your episode. These storylines will be assessed and six will be selected to proceed to full development with the goal of submitting of a production funding application in a future NZ On Air funding round.

In the second tranche of development, each of the successful six teams will be partnered with a Consulting Executive Producer and will receive further development funds (in staged milestones) to commence script drafting; treatment refinement and a cultural responsibility strategy ultimately building a complete production funding application complete with budget and schedule.

It is important to note that throughout this process, your intellectual property remains with your production team. TVNZ will be licensing your intellectual property, not buying it.

TIMINGS AND DEADLINES

Monday 1 November - RFP is released

Monday 29 November - Two-page pitch deadline

Week commencing 13 December - Eight stories selected, commence story-lining and treatments

All applicants notified if they have been successful or not.

Monday 10 January 2022 - Eight storylines and treatments due to TVNZ

Wednesday 26 January - TVNZ & NZ On Air select 6 successful teams, commence Executive Consultant work and script development

Wednesday 16 March - Draft scripts and cultural strategy due

Wednesday 13 April - Full production props due to TVNZ

Thursday 28 April - NZ On Air production funding deadline

DEADLINE

All applications for this RFP need to be uploaded via the portal by 5pm on Monday 29 November.

QUESTIONS?

If you have a question about the portal or the technical requirements please contact our Assistant Commissioner, Sondiyp Singh – Sondiyp.Singh@tvnz.co.nz

If you have any pātai around your idea, please contact one of the Local Content team:

Summer Wharekawa – Māori & Pasifika Commissioner Summer.Wharekawa@tvnz.co.nz

Britta Hawkins – Shortland Street & Scripted Commissioner Britta.Hawkins@tvnz.co.nz

Steve Barr – Scripted Comedy & Drama Commissioner Steve.Barr@tvnz.co.nz

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui.

Apply Here

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