Instavision to produce 'Trauma Team'

Medical drama format based on Nintendo Wii hit

PARIS -- It's all fun and gaming until someone gets hurt on "Trauma Team," a new medical drama format set for global release via digital distribution and production company Instavision based on Japanese game developer Atlus' Nintendo Wii hit format "Trauma Team," Instavision confirmed Monday.

Producers describe the new series as "Grey's Anatomy" meets "the A-Team." The show follows a group of last-year residents at a rough L.A. hospital who form a group of life-saving vigilantes at an underground treatment facility.

"They're like medical Batmen," Instavision's founder and CEO Joshua Long said of the medical prodigy heroes.

The "Trauma Team" game will be released in May in the U.S. and in the fall in Europe. The game's producer Atlus Co. Ltd and INdiGO, a joint venture between Atlus' parent company Index Holdings and GONZO animation studio, are co-producing the series.
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The independently financed 30-minute pilot is in post-production after recently wrapping shooting in Los Angeles. Instavision is busy selling the format to international broadcasters for a TV and digital combo and is setting its sights on France, Spain, the U.K. and Canada for the moment, before attacking other markets. Gavin Reardon of Montreal-based Canadian producer and distributor Incendo is working with Instavision on arranging global distribution and coproduction partners.

"Trauma Team" is the first Japanese format to be adapted for the unique, non-studio format financed independently by Instavision and their international TV partners with a 50-50 capital and pre-sales budget.

"The crossover between Japan's strength in game and animation content from INdiGO and world class production by Instavision opens up a totally new horizon for next generation content creation on a global scale," INdiGO's Shinichiro Ishikawa said.

"We're taking advantage of the flexibility of release. The idea is to get it in front of as many people as possible," Long said in an interview. "It's an alternative to the studio method. We can independently finance and produce a format that we deliver directly to our fans and still have creative ownership of the rights."

Instavision's vp Legal and Business Affairs Roberto Grande added: "It's a true cross-platform format. We're taking fans from their video game to a TV series with an entire media ecosystem around it."

The video gaming market is also the source of financial incentives. "We'll get our first 2-3 million viewers just by reaching out to the existing fan base," Grande said. He added: "Then, it's our job to keep them there."

Next up for the ubiquitous Instavision is another cross-platform project titled "The Modern." The pure international co-production follows six international students at a fashion school in Paris that will shoot on location during Fashion Week. The fast-paced teen drama will bridge the gap between reality and fiction and encourage trans-platform interactions for fans during and in between seasons.

The new format, shot in HD digital and in real time, will have more commercial and brand appeal and will access a broad social media aggregate including social networks, blogs, twitter and video networks, plus an original online fashion magazine to coincide with the show.

Pre-production will begin in June and the series will shoot in September and October in Paris with an expected delivery date in November. Instavision will distribute the show through their own digital platforms in addition to deals with local broadcasters in multiple languages.

"Our audiences won't go back to appointment consumption or linear storytelling. We need to give them a much broader experience," Long said of the younger generation of viewers.

Team Instavision plan to extend "The Modern" to all formats -- VOD, mobile, social networks, video networks, e-commerce, search engines and communications.

Plus, with easier access to digitalized versions of the show, international fans won't need to resort to piracy to watch. "After all, pirates are just underserved fans," Grande said.
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