2008 will see the annual MediaXchange (SA/Hollywood Exchange) taking place in Los Angeles and New York from 14 -19 April - commencing directly after the Annual Association of Film Commissioners International ‘Locations Expo’ in Los Angeles.

The Exchange involves a delegation of South African media professionals meeting with the leading decision makers in Hollywood to procure business (facilitation or co-production) for South Africa, as well as learning trend updates. Typically there are ten places available in a group.

An internationally recognised media consultancy, Katrina Wood’s LA and London-based company “MediaXchange” partners with the SA film marketing entity, Johannesburg-based Metal Moon – run by Dezi Rorich. The first (in-bound) South African Exchange, a run-away success, took place in 1995, bringing seventeen broadcasters and producers from fourteen territories in Europe.

In Focus spoke to Rorich: “This year the first five places were penciled in before we even commenced marketing the exchange, we have had an incredible response and this is obviously due to the fact that the Writers Strike has brought production in Hollywood to a virtual standstill, providing the chance to reflect on all the opportunities available in what is now a global marketplace and the USA is very much more open to collaboration as new creative as well as business models are formed.

A marketing exercise of this nature in no way resembles a generic marketing platform that trade fairs and festivals (such as Cannes) can offer. It is a very personal, strategic arrangement that enables Delegates to access leading players in the industry capital, Los Angeles. It costs a delegate ten times less than attending an international festival does, and the fee includes accommodation in an upmarket hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

These are heavyweights, studio bosses and show runners who are impossible to access at festivals and markets. They participate in these programmes because the meetings are in their boardroom, and they make the time.  We try to make the Group a mix of delegates who bring a range of production knowledge – ranging from finance, facilitation, facilities (including studios, post and equipment) as well as officials who are charged with the remit to promote filming in South Africa”.

The Programme involves a series of back-to-back meetings over five days, and will hook the South Africans up with some of the world’s most powerful producers and heads of production in the entertainment capital: Hollywood.

Among those who will be pitched (in Television) to host meetings include the networks and show runners of shows such as ER, Lost, 24, Dirty, Sexy Money, Desperate Housewives, Law & Order, Will & Grace and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In the Motion Picture format all the major studios, as well as producers with studio deals and who have been involved in projects such as Ray, Lost in Translation, Godfather II, The Titanic, The Perfect Score, and The Aviator.

For further information contact:
Dezi Rorich at Metal Moon (082) 578 1456
Tel + 27 11 442 4790 / Fax+ 27 11 447 2111
Email:  metalmoon@ion.co.za