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July 04, 2010
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Interview with Derry O'Brien - Managing Director of Network Ireland Television 2010-06-11 Check it out:
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How did you get involved in this industry?
I had 8 years sales and marketing experience with two multi nationals and 7 years with the Irish Trade Board working with the music, film and TV sectors. I thought that there was an opportunity to set up a film and TV programme distribution company to maximize the sales potential from the independent production sector in Ireland. In 1995, I set up NITV with Waddell Media, an established production company as our partner.


What would you say is the hardest part about sales and acquisitions?
Identifying and recruiting appropriate films and TV programmes that will appeal to a broad range of the international TV buyers with whom we work on a regular basis. It is a very competitive market out there. So many shorts, so little time.....

Since inception, 11 years ago, Network Ireland has established itself as the major Distributor of Irish programming. What would you say is the key to the company’s success?
NITV has established itself as a professional and dependable distribution company, which is responsive to the needs and concerns of both our producer and buyer clients.We spend time in selecting quality shorts and presenting them in good packaging with thought out flyers.

What are the easiest films to sell? Good films and particularly simple short comedies that are well made.

When acquiring content what do you look for?
A strong narrative film that has a beginning, a middle and an end. One that will connect with an audience. Not home made or experimental. Documentaries and series that have enough appeal to achieve international sales.

What is your relationship with the Irish Film Board in terms of representing some of the Shortz from there?
NITV was originally asked to tender for the distribution rights to the Irish Film Board's short film schemes in 1997, against Irish and international competition. We won the tender and have been distributing their short film schemes since then. We also have the contract from the Irish Film Board to submit their funded films to the major international festivals.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved in the Short Movie World and in the Short film festival world as well?
Get familiar with what the international market place regards as better quality short films, by looking at some of the classic short films of the last 5 - 8 years. Attend some of your country's better festivals and check out their short film screenings. Learn from the type of films you see that are selected and those to which the Jury actually give awards.

Anything else you’d like to add.
You only get one chance to make a first impression! Remember that good presentation, like a designed DVD cover with an intriguing photograph and a good tag line, is going to get you more notice than a white label, computer burnt copy of your film. With regard to film festivals, target those that might be more relevant to the genre of your film, i.e. comedy, kids, thriller or horror. Don't get disillusioned if you get rejections from your initial festival entries. There is no second guessing festival selections and perseverance will pay off eventually.
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