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C21 DIGITAL SCREENINGS

1-2-3 Production

Programming Profile

Easy as 1-2-3

28-08-2020

GPM Entertainment TV subsidiary 1-2-3 Production is one of the driving forces behind the burgeoning demand for Russian programming worldwide and is expanding its international coproduction efforts.

 

Moscow-based 1-2-3 Production, one of numerous companies operating under the umbrella of the GPM Entertainment TV Group, specialises in both commercially popular, director-driven feature films and premium, high-concept TV series.

 

It has ambitious plans in the international market as it seeks to grow the reputation of Russian drama abroad, aiming to bring its content to global platforms and reach audiences worldwide.

 

Its portfolio includes Dead Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass Incident (8×60′), based on the declassified files of the real-life case that had people spinning wild theories all over the world for more than 60 years, distributed by Germany’s Beta Film, and a feature film based on the popular video game Metro 2033.

 

Fedorovich
Valeriy Fedorovich,
1-2-3 Production

Producing for both Russia’s premium video streaming platforms as well as the country’s broadcast channels, 1-2-3 is a growing business. Last year it set up its own VFX arm and it will soon launch 1-2-3 Talents and 1-2-3 Casting, to focus on finding and developing new talent.

 

This comes as demand for content in both Russia and further afield continues to rise, according to Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov, founders and managing partners of 1-2-3 Production.

 
“Lately we are witnessing not only the rising demand for Russian content but a full-scale boom in interest in stories originating from both Russia and ex-USSR, for example, Chernobyl. Russian talent is learning to deliver not only content with high production values but to master stories that are relatable internationally,” according to the executive duo.

 

Upcoming 1-2-3 projects with international coproduction potential include The Horizon (8×48′), a VFX-packed, post-apocalyptic sci-fi series.

 

Nikishov
Evgeniy Nikishov,
1-2-3 Production

After a devastating catastrophe caused by a new, unknown virus, humanity has almost entirely died out, although 70 people miraculously survived while hiding in a military bunker. Years later, five volunteers leave the shelter on a mission to find out what really happened and, in a post-pandemic world, establish a new social order between existing colonies.

 

Also on the slate is The Big Game (12×60′), in which 16 contestants of a new survival show with a huge cash prize must spend winter in wild forest without the benefits of civilisation – though all is not as it seems.
 

The Big Game
The Big Game

Six Empty Seats (8×48′), a provocative drama about the diverse group of people who strive for happiness at the cost of family, morals or even human life; and Identification (8×45′), set after police find four naked female bodies in a refrigerator truck on the border of Finland.

 

So what is it about Russia that is allowing its production sector to make such great strides lately?

 

“Russia is an enormous country with the population of Germany and France combined, or 20% of all Europe. In terms of its media industry, we are talking about a highly developed advertising market, an active cluster of free-to-air, cutting-edge broadcasters and multiple OTT services with millions of users. Plus, the absence locally of leading global streamers like Netflix and Disney+,” says Fedorovich.

 

Six Empty Seats
Six Empty Seats

“Russia is a country with a vast cultural base and cinematic traditions, including the Stanislavski acting method, the films of Eisenstein, Tarkovsky, Zvyagintsev and endless creative potential for talent growth, considering its 150 million population.

 

“In terms of coproductions, we are equipped with cost-effective and competitive production costs, highly developed production infrastructure with unlimited location offerings, including seasides, oceans, deserts, valleys, endless and diversified forests, both cities and rural settings, with authentic period scenery,” adds Nikishov.

 

Furthermore, taking into consideration the pandemic and the inevitable complications of international travel these days, Fedorovich and Nikishov point to this all being possible within the borders of one state without restrictions on internal travel.

 

Identification
Identification

In terms of the pandemic, both the 1-2-3 execs say it offered the company the chance to innovate, with #StayHome, the first Russian show that was produced entirely during lockdown in just 10 days.

 

The lockdown period also saw it launch several screenplay incubators to find new stories and devote more time to developing existing projects, as well as launch a series of short online shows. Meanwhile, filming on certain projects was able to resume in June.