Rainmaker Content may be one of the youngest indie distributors in the market but its founders are among the most experienced in the industry.
The high-end drama, factual and special event-focused sales outfit was launched in June 2020 by Greg Phillips, Graham Begg and Vicky Ryan, previously executives at Kew Media Distribution (KMD), which went into administration after financial troubles at parent company Kew Media.
Phillips, Rainmaker’s co-chief, who was president of KMD, says his new outfit has drawn from the defunct outfit: “What Kew did, until its sad demise, was to look after independent producers with great projects, get them out into the marketplace and help assemble the constituent parts of the financing.
“We felt there was room for a new company that could fulfil that mandate for independents who want to get their shows made and sold throughout the world.”
The fledgling firm has hit the ground running with around 300 hours of content, which includes the annual Emmy Awards (the rights to which were previously handled by KMD) and BBC comedy-drama series Staged, starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen.
“Having those two titles has been majorly important,” says Phillips. “Starting a company, if your first two projects are the annual Emmy Awards and a wildly successful drama series [Staged], that can only be a brilliant start. Our job is to make sure we continue at that level. That's the focus, that's the target.”
He says the company is now working to identify more “high-quality premium programming” to build its catalogue.
“Our initial priorities have been to focus on commercially resonant drama projects,” he says. “Thereafter, the non-scripted part of our offering is something we want to do, based on fewer but high-profile projects – singles or series. For that, we will be looking to work with producers in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.”
Rainmaker is also looking further afield and eyeing non-English language drama.
Launching during lockdown has been beneficial to ramping up the sales house’s activity, according to Phillips. “A lot of activity has ground to a halt so there hasn't been the pressure to jump in feet first, we've been able to take the time to do things that are sensible,” he says.
“Despite the fact that I would have liked to be travelling more – going directly to the customers and markets – we’ve been able to grow our business within that context. We’ve had a slightly longer ramp up time but now want to get back to nearer the way things were, to be where the action is physically as much as possible.”