news 5 months ago

Constantin’s Martin Moszkowicz Talks Industry Change, Netflix, Future of Film, TV

Variety — Christopher Vourlias

Constantin CEO Martin Moszkowicz called the fast and far-reaching changes sweeping across the film and TV industries an “El Dorado” for producers, as increasing competition from new and established players creates soaring demand for fresh content.

“There’s going to be more competition from the buyers’ side. There’s going to be more product needed,” he said. “In today’s environment, there are plenty of opportunities. I’ve never seen so many opportunities in our business.”

Moszkowicz spoke Monday at the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, where he appeared in conversation with Cattleya co-CEO Marco Chimenz at a European Producers Club event to discuss the future of film and TV production.

While reflecting on how the landscape of film sales and distribution has changed dramatically in recent years, with the business model of pre-sales across different territories “very much under pressure, if at all existing these days,” the Constantin topper said that the producers who succeed in a rapidly changing environment will be those who learn to adapt.

“One has to stay very flexible. I think that’s the core…to the Constantin business model,” he said. “We always remained very flexible. We were never a big aircraft carrier. We were always a small speed boat.”

He continued: “You have to remain vigilant, and you have to remain alert, and do deals that are profitable, so that you don’t give away all your rights. We want to keep rights to what we’re doing, no matter what. I don’t say that this is always the case, but this is our goal. We’re not producers for hire, we don’t work for a fee. We would like to keep some upside. Having said that, you have to negotiate that, and it’s always hard.”

The producer behind such Netflix titles as the supernatural series “Shadowhunters” and the thriller “Polar,” a big recent hit for the streaming service, also weighed in on the streamer’s impact on the industry, admitting that he was puzzled by the skepticism many players have for the company, while noting that last year Constantin sold more to Netflix than to all the German broadcasters combined. “This is an outstanding enrichment of our business,” he said. “It’s a new platform and a new distribution model.”

He continued: “Most of the local series that are made for Netflix out of Germany, they wouldn’t have been made for a public broadcaster or for a private broadcaster. It’s additional work for producers, for actors, for directors. I don’t know where the negative impact comes from. There’s always a negative connotation when you discuss Netflix, or Amazon, or so on….I must say I can’t really see that. I think it’s an opportunity.”

As competition heats up with the entry of new streaming platforms like Disney Plus, and the upcoming OTT initiatives from the likes of NBC Universal and WarnerMedia, Moszkowicz said producers will have more leverage than ever before.

“I’ve never had that. It used to be five studios. And now it’s over 90 different places for various products,” he said. “I think it’s a huge opportunity, and I can only say to producers: grab it. If you don’t do it, somebody else is going to do it.”