Amazon Studios looking for Italy, Spain head of scripted posts

Georgia Brown gave insights into Amazon’s European ambitions during her Mipcom keynote

By Melanie Goodfellow 17 Oct 2019

Amazon Studios looking for Italy, Spain head of scripted posts
Georgia Brown. Credit: Amazon Studios

Georgia Brown, the London-based director of European originals for Amazon Studios, made an unusual recruitment call during a keynote at Mipcom on Monday (October 14) in a sign of Amazon Studios’ expanding European ambitions.

Brown revealed the platform is looking for heads of scripted in both Italy and Spain as it expands its operations in both territories. 

“We’re hiring, email me if you’re interested or know anyone who is looking”, she said. 

The development and production executive made the impromptu job announcement during a joint keynote presentation alongside Amazon Studios’ head of international originals James Farrell on the opening day of the Mipcom TV market in Cannes. 

She also revealed the company is in the throes of recruiting junior development executives to support headed executive and production chiefs Lydia Hampson and Dan Grabiner in London. 

Her announcements point to the platform’s ongoing push into Europe which has seen the company steadily grow its staff and infrastructure in the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. Brown herself joined the company in early 2017. 

Outlining the platform’s strategy for original content outside the US, Farrell said the company was focusing its efforts on the territories where its Prime Video service was up and running. 

He said in Europe the focus remained on “the big five” territories of UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France but added the platform would be expanding its content production efforts to other European territories in the near future. 

“We don’t do a tonne in every country, five, 10, maybe 15 at the most shows, films, scripted, unscripted. The key is that those are our five, 10 best chances a year to reach customers, to attract new customers and to engage with our customers. It’s not about quantity, but quality,” said Farrell.

In addition to the recruitment drive, Brown teased new slates of scripted and unscripted shows were due to be announced out of Germany and France by the end of the year.  

Filling the white space 

Farrell said the company was looking for content that filled the “white space”, or the gap in what is offered by other broadcasters and platforms across any format, in what seems to the company’s strategy under chief Jennifer Salke. 

Talking specifically about the UK, Brown said Amazon Studios was keen to get involved in co-productions with local players and produce its own original titles. 

“In the co-production space, we’ve had a really fantastic couple of years, with shows like Fleabag, Informer and A Very English Scandal. It’s something we’re keen to continue to do and that’s not exclusive to the UK. We co-produce with broadcasters across the whole of Europe, including shows like Deutschland 89 with RTL,” she said. 

She and her team in the UK were seeking shows that had a “beating heart in the UK” and “very British” DNA but which tackled universal themes.

“People are often surprised in the things we back in terms of Fleabag and A Very English Scandal because they’re very British shows, with very British talent but we know we’ve got a great customer base for those shows around the world,” she said. 

Brown also gave more details on a recent deal with Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge under which she will produce TV content exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. She confirmed Hampson, who produced Fleabag, will be overseeing the slate. Hampson joined Amazon in February 2019. 

“It’s a global deal. Lydia will be working very closely with Phoebe as she sets up her company in the UK, going through the slates, but of course like all our big shows the leverage that we have is that we have an incredible US audience and there’s a lot of power out there,” said Brown. “To be able to leverage the power of Jen and her team in the US is [also] a huge advantage.”

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