TV: Sony invests in Bad Wolf to achieve its growth ambitions

Sony claims that its PS50m investment into the Welsh producers of His Dark Materials could help it become Europe's largest drama producer.

14 December 2021 Tuesday 13:00
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TV: Sony invests in Bad Wolf to achieve its growth ambitions

Bad Wolf, a Cardiff-based company, sold its majority stake to Sony Pictures. The deal will allow the company to grow.

Wayne Garvie, Sony, stated that Bad Wolf has yet to reach its "zenith", and would continue growing.

It is the UK's largest production company, outside of London. From 2023, it will be co-producing Doctor Who with BBC.

Sony Pictures has invested between PS50m to PS60m in the project.

As the president of Sony Pictures' international production, Garvie worked alongside Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, founders of Bad Wolf, at the BBC.

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Tranter, Gardner and the Cardiff production of Doctor Who were the ones responsible. They also cited this positive experience as the reason they founded Bad Wolf in Splott (2015).

Bad Wolf is the name of an entity that appeared in the first series of Doctor Who. It has also produced the Philip Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials and the drama Industry for BBC.

Mr Garvie stated that he had invested in a company which hasn't reached its zenith.

"We also have Left Bank Pictures, who make The Crown. This is Britain's largest drama company. We built it with the founders of this company in about eight years.

"We want to do the exact same thing with Bad Wolf. Bad Wolf could or should be Europe's biggest drama producer. There are no reasons why. That is our goal. "Mr Garvie stated that Wales's recent production of high-end TV and film was a major factor in the decision to invest.

He said, "One of the things that we found most attractive about Bad Wolf was their passion for Wales, the people in Wales, and their dedication to Wales."

Bad Wolf's chief executive officer Tranter stated that the productions of Bad Wolf are enormous. It's a frightening thing to do.

"We love it and want to do more shows. We have to recognize that to continue producing on a larger scale and with greater ambition we will need to bring a collaborator, investor, and partner along on this journey.

Ms. Tranter stated that Sony's experience would help "stabilize" the company. However, she wants the investment to propel the company into the "next stage of its journey." Tom Ware, director of production at the University of South Wales (USW), stated that Bad Wolf had helped the creative industries.

"The content they produce, big, high-end TV dramas that are easily distributed worldwide, has helped put the Welsh screen industries on top.

"It also has contributed greatly to the development talent across a wide variety of areas - obviously, production but also animation and visual effects. But Bad Wolf's presence kick-started them development."

Bad Wolf developed its own training to address the sometimes severe shortage of crew members and worked with educational providers to recruit new employees.

According to Mr Ware, more than 100 USW alumni have gone on to work for the production company. He added: "It's been great for all the educational institutions in Wales, but it's even more important for the Welsh economy.

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