Former Comic Relief Creative Director and Executive Producer Mel Crawford has launched a new independent production company, Goat Films, and secured its first major primetime commission from ITV.

The entertainment and comedy indie aims to “disrupt the standard working policies of the industry as much as possible and shape Goat Films as a new model.”

Alongside the company’s zero tolerance policy for bullying, discrimination and harassment, Goat Films has introduced a unique, “Kindness policy” into to all contracts for freelancers and staff alike, that outlines the behaviours that are expected of its employees.

Goat Films will also offer an option deal to all creatives, regardless of their experience, by actively accepting unsolicited ideas via Submissions Portal. Anyone whose idea is successful will be offered the same option policy of 25% equity of the whole, which equates to 25% of the production fee and 25% of the back end. This will apply to any format idea which sits within Goat’s long-term goals of entertainment, studio entertainment and entertainment comedy.

There will also be a Scripted Portal whereby people can pay for feedback and a report of their scripts from a range of experienced script editors and comedy writers who have worked across a range of award-winning series from Fortitude to Britannia. Goat Films will offer options to the writers of any scripts that it wishes to pursue.

Goat Films also offers a profit-sharing scheme to its staff which will run on a points-based system according to how long they work with Goat. All colleagues’ points translate to a share of the profits and all points are worth exactly the same amount – so employees will be rewarded for time served at the company and not according to what their job title is.

Crawford has four founding partners in Goat Films – Ivor Baddiel, Rob Gillies, Anna-Marie Henderson and Stephen Parnell. The founding partners will not be part of the profit-sharing scheme.

Mel Crawford, Founder of Goat Films said: “Launching Goat Films is incredibly important to me, it is a production company like no other. I want to support the creative community with kindness, fairness, transparency and inclusivity and part of this ambition is to ensure there is profit share to support freelancers and equity incentives for any developments. I want our team to feel empowered, have fun and thrive whilst working for us. Top quality entertainment is what we strive for, and I am thrilled to have our first commission to set us on our path.”

The company has secured its first commission – a seven-part, primetime studio entertainment series for ITV.

The new singing and dating format (Title: Romeo & Duet – 7×60), will see potential suitors, hidden from view who must use their voice, and voice alone to serenade singletons (pickers) who reside high on a bespoke balcony, hidden from the performance area, in the hope of bagging themselves a coveted date.

Alongside production of the ITV series, Goat Films is also developing a slate of entertainment ideas for the BBC, and has optioned three scripted comedies. Goat has already secured US development investment for one of the optioned scripts “Philippa” (w/t) written by comedian Naomi Cooper.

Crawford’s credits include Executive Produceing Red Nose Day 2019 and she has developed and piloted a number of global franchises such as First Dates, plus multiple returning series including 24 Hours in A&E, Deal or No Deal, Secret Eaters, several stand-up comedy specials and One Born Every Minute.

Jon Creamer

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