Filmmakers link up to launch Bristol venture that puts new talent in the frame

June 20, 2013

The former head of broadcast at Bristol-based Aardman Animations, Miles Bullough, and former BBC creative executive Jesse Cleverly have teamed up to launch an entertainment content incubator to help creatives looking for funding and expertise.

The pair are calling on emerging and established creators to get in touch with a view to getting their ideas commissioned, developed, financed and distributed.

The new Bristol-based venture, Wildseed Studios, is adopting a portfolio approach to development – investing up to £10,000 in each of 50 new projects over the next three years with follow-on investment available for projects that make a connection with an audience.

Wildseed has recently completed its first round of funding and has already invested in two projects. The first is a animated show for young adults based on the work of underground UK comic artist Ralph Kidson and described as wickedly funny, and a live-action sci-fi/horror web series from 19-year-old creator Drew Casson – a 90-minute, special effects heavy horror sci-fi coming-of-age story, shot vlog style, about a small English Town being taken over by aliens.

Wildseed describes itself as being platform neutral – putting great characters at the heart of everything it does and then looking to distribute projects to the platforms that best suit the idea.

Managing director Miles Bullough said: “A YouTube Channel will be a big part of what we do but we are also working with creators who, for example, want to produce a mobile game first and that is really exciting for us where there is a great character at the heart of the game.”

Before setting up Wildseed Studios, Miles spent nine years at Aardman working on international and multi-platform brands such as Shaun The Sheep, Wallace and Gromit and Creature Comforts as well as setting up Aardman’s rights and digital divisions.

Prior to that he was managing director at comedy indie Absolutely which produced shows such as Trigger Happy TV, C4’s Armstrong & Miller, Stressed Eric and The Jack Docherty Show.

Jesse Cleverly has been running his own IP development company Connective Media for the past five years, working with a range of blue-chip clients.

Prior to this he spent 10 years at the BBC in a range of editorial positions. After training as a script editor at BBC Films he was asked to join the team setting up BBC Fictionlab as head of development exploring the new formats, new platforms and new technologies which would enable storytelling in the digital age.

He finished his time at the BBC working as head of co-productions and acquisitions at CBBC. Before joining the BBC he was head of marketing at the Royal Court Theatre for Stephen Daldry where he commissioned the world’s first theatre website and launched 90 new plays.

He said: “Miles and I have spent the last nine months working on our business plan and fund-raising and we have found that there are lots of incredible creators out there who are making original engaging content with huge potential, but who lack the resources and experience to take what they do to the next level.

“We aim to be the company that enables them to develop into the next generation of entertainment trail blazers.”

Wildseed is planning its public launch for this autumn once its content pipeline is in full flow.

Pictured: Jesse Cleverley, left, and Miles Bullough

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