Global content studio The Story Collective has made its first investments into scripted production companies, Artis Pictures, led by established drama producer Kate Croft, and Maia Pictures, helmed by ex-Channel 4 commissioner Rachel Springett (pictured).
Artis Pictures was established by Croft to produce premium drama series in partnership with show-runner executive producers, originating content out of the UK for the international market. Artis previously had a first look deal with Lookout Point and BBC Worldwide, followed by a co-development/production deal with BBC Studios where they produced new talent strand The Break for the BBC.
Artis’ first longform series was period fashion saga The Collection, created by Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars, School Spirits) and directed by Emmy award winning Dearbhla Walsh (Bad Sisters, Little Dorrit), produced for Amazon Prime and France Television. Current originals on the company slate include returning series from Emmy award winning showrunners based in the US, BAFTA award winning executive producers in the UK and a Golden Globe nominee based in Australia.
Springett’s Maia Pictures is a comedy and drama production company focused on developing projects with a new generation of original, authored, bold voices telling authentic stories that impact the world today. Rachel has a track record of being ahead of the curve in spotting the next generation of writers and performers, having commissioned first time writers and launched the careers of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Crashing), Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum), Mae Martin (Feel Good) and Nida Manzoor (We Are Lady Parts), amongst others. Before her time at Channel 4, she also produced BAFTA winning shows Toast of London, written by Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews, and Peep Show, written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. During her six years as a comedy commissioner at Channel 4, Springett won multiple BAFTA’s, Rose D’Or, RTS and Broadcast Awards.
The Story Collective will provide strategic, commercial, and operational support, as well as development funding, to both companies.
CEO Damian Keogh said: “We are excited to partner with Kate’s and Rachel’s brilliantly creative and distinctive companies, and look forward to working with them to bring their carefully curated shows to life. Both are passionate about the material they develop, and work in a hugely nurturing and supportive way with their writers.
Rachel Springett said: “I am thrilled to join forces with The Story Collective, a truly exciting global content studio whose founders are some of the most talented creatives and commercially experienced executives in the industry. I look forward to making some incredible shows together.”
Kate Croft said: “When it comes to curating shows and supporting creatives through production, it’s all about vision, tenacity and passion, something The Story Collective fully understands. Simon and Damian are longstanding colleagues, creative, fearless, and powerful advocates in the business of entertainment. I am excited to be collaborating with them again.”
Backed to make expansive moves by Fifth Season (formerly Endeavor Content), The Story Collective is making equity investments into content businesses, ranging from start-ups to more established producers.
The investment comes as The Story Collective ramps up on its first scripted commission, the Steven Knight twelve-part series A Thousand Blows (w/t), starring and executive produced by Stephen Graham for Disney +. The 12-parter, about the illegal boxing world of 1880s London, is a co-production with Water & Power Productions and Graham’s Matriarch Productions.
The Story Collective is a UK-based global content studio set up to back both script development and new production company start-ups in scripted television. Led by CEO Damian Keogh, The Story Collective is working with ambitious creatives to help acquire rights, commission scripts, package projects and manage the sales process.
The executive management of The Story Collective includes Keogh (former Managing Director of Lookout Point) as CEO, Helen Jackson (former Content Chief of BBC Worldwide) and Simon Vaughan (drama production veteran and founder of Lookout Point) as Co-Chairs. Also on the board are CFO Natasha Neill and Non-Executive Directors Jonathan Norman (MD at global investment bank Houlihan Lokey) and Chris Rice (Co-CEO of Fifth Season).
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