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TORONTO — Former American Zoetrope president Fred Fuchs has joined rising Canadian indie producer Berkshire Axis Media to make international TV dramas out of Canada.
The powerhouse TV producer is leaving his post as executive producer of Take 5 Productions (Vikings) to get into business with Berkshire Axis via a first-look deal.
“We have an exciting roster of projects already in development and will look forward to expanding that slate and working with talented Canadian writers and filmmakers to create some great programs,” Fuchs said of new projects he will bring to Berkshire Axis as possible global dramas.
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It’s the latest gig for Fuchs, who came to Canada nearly a decade ago and could write the handbook on international co-productions done out of the country.
He joined Take 5 in 2010 to help co-produce Camelot for Starz Entertainment after an executive stint at CBC just as the Canadian public broadcaster shifted to a more commercial primetime schedule using co-production financing and tax breaks.
“I championed these (co-productions), and worked hard to do a bunch of them: Diamonds, Iron Road and Pillars of the Earth,” he said of his CBC credits for mini-series and TV movies.
In recent years, Fuchs has continued to ride a wave with North American broadcasters and TV audiences, embracing European costume dramas with Canadian creative elements that can be sold worldwide.
His recent credits include Transporter: The Series for HBO Cinemax.
Fuchs has also fattened his Rolodex with players in London and Los Angeles ringing to ask just how multi-national series are done.
Enter John Carbone, CEO of Berkshire Axis, who made his money in commercial real estate and technology plays before in 2010 launching the Toronto-based film and TV production shingle with son John G. Carbone.
The production/distribution house ramped up with hires like business affairs exec Isaac Clements, formerly with Entertainment One and Telefilm Canada, and Paul Vella, executive in charge of production.
Now inking the first-look deal with Fuchs indicates Berkshire Axis is on the move.
Fuchs first approached Carbone when he was developing a Canadian-European co-production and needed to develop a script before attaching a network.
Carbone being able to write a check to fund script development without Fuchs needing to turn to Telefilm Canada or a broadcaster for coin, as is traditional in the Canadian market, is what turned a long conversation into a short one.
“Carbone wants to attract private equity, and he has wealthy partners,” Fuchs added as Berkshire Axis looks to make up for a long-standing shortfall in private equity dollars driving Canadian film and TV production.
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