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B7 MEDIA // Dramatising and Adapting Big Media Franchises

Andrew Mark Sewell and Helen Quigley from B7 MEDIA deliver an inspiring video session about dramatising IP at Beyond Games #2.

Founded in 2002, B7 Media is perhaps best known for the audiobook reboot of the cult sci-fi series Blake’s 7. But B7 Media is responsible for much more: it’s an award-winning indie film, TV, audio, theatre and comics production team with an impressive international line-up.

How do you adapt a much-loved intellectual property to new formats? How can you balance staying true to the source material with creating something new? How do you please both existing and new audiences? The team talk about the pitfalls of handling existing IPs, and also how to go about setting up a new franchise.

And you enjoy this free video session, you can meet them again at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2022 in February!

Managing dramatisation of IPs

At the online conference Beyond Games #2 (November 2021), founder and creative director Andrew Mark Sewell and production director Helen Quigley (B7 MEDIA) speak candidly about their experiences. They talk about the challenges of dramatising a big franchise across various mediums and discuss the finer points of what works for multiple media platforms.

They share valuable insights learned from their experience with Blake’s 7 and Dan Dare. How do you handle something with a strong cult following without crashing and burning? They talk about the perils of managing fan expectations, as well as respecting the fans’ sense of proprietary ownership over a franchise they’ve always known and loved.

Much of it boils down to balancing loyalty to the original format and to adapting something to modern platforms. It’s also important to retain characteristics of the characters that stay relevant to today’s standards.

The IP funnel

Sewell and Quigley also touch upon their own fresh transmedia projects such as Pilgrim, and also about bringing back classic comedian Hancock. They provide an interesting sneak peek at these graphic novels and audio series, as well as the ups and downs of production.

In summary, the IP funnel should serve as a guideline for developing your idea. Does it work in the original format it’s conceived for? Can you afford to acquire rights? What works for your medium and what doesn’t? The bottom line is this: understand your audience and don’t allow your vanity to drive your project. When moving IPs between platforms, how do you ensure fans are satisfied as it moves from one platform to another? Can you truly please everyone, or should you do everything you can to avoid that?

This half-hour session is a great introduction to the creative and business challenges of running a modern transmedia company. It includes genuine insight into the opportunities and pitfalls of adapting IPs from one medium to another.

Remember you can hear from Helen Quigley and Andrew Mark Sewell in February at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2022 too.

Written By

Catherine Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night. She constantly struggles between prying herself away from her PlayStation console and sniffing the comic books lined up in her bookshelf, to the dismay of her husband. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction.

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