CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT

Content creation for the 21st century media landscape. No pivot necessary.
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Named after the water bottles provided at pitch meetings, Freewater Creative Development is the smart way for media companies to get into content development. We create custom development plans based on your goals and intellectual property, identifying potential ideas for further development—into web/social series, TV series, films, documentaries, docuseries, podcasts, and more—and bring them to fruition.
Our approach offers maximum flexibility and effectiveness—for a fraction of the cost of staffing a development team—and greater chances of success.

WHAT WE OFFER

Web & Social Video

Episodic TV

Film

Podcasting

Branded Content

Private OTT

Creative development done the smart way.

Media companies don’t need to spend a lot of money and hire a bunch of people to get into creative development. These days, resources are too scarce for that anyway. Yet it doesn’t make sense to leave that potential revenue on the table, either. There’s never been a greater need for content, and media companies have it—in some cases, decades and decades of it.

Freewater Creative Development is here to connect the newsroom to the pitch room. We spent years working for media companies who did development the hard way, throwing resources behind a process they didn’t understand. We created Freewater to do it the right way: flexible, efficient, and cost conscious.

Who We Are

Kyle Ryan
Head of Freewater Creative Development

Freewater Creative Development is led by Kyle Ryan, a veteran of both the media and development worlds. Kyle spent 20 years in the journalism one, much of it at Onion Inc., home of The OnionThe A.V. Club, and ClickHole. Kyle led The A.V. Club (the internet’s premier pop culture site) and served as managing editor of legendary satire site The Onion. He also worked at Entertainment Weekly before returning to Onion Inc. to build its development department from the ground up. He quickly established the company as a force and sold projects to Hulu, YouTube, AOL, Lionsgate, Fusion TV, Rooster Teeth, and more.

He has drunk complimentary water during pitch meetings at just about every network, streaming service, and OTT in existence.

BASIC

$2,500

flat
  • 5 business days of work (research, reporting, etc.)
  • 1-2 p. macro assessment of content and potential opportunities
  • 1 hour phone/video/in-person consult

View Delivery Schedule

7 business days: Report & consult

STARTER

$5,000-7,000

flat
  • 20-30 business days (1-1.5 months), depending on scope and requests
  • Report assessing existing IP, highlighting 1-3 potential items for development
    • Includes general creative outline for one of them (1 p.)
  • Road map forward
  • 2 hour phone/video/in-person consult

View Delivery Schedule

Week 2: Report
Week 3: Creative outline
Week 4: Road map, quote, consult

PREMIUM

$5,000-7,000 /mo

3-month minimum
  • 60-75 business days, depending on scope and requests
  • Report assessing existing IP, highlighting 5 potential items for development (3-7 p.)
  • General creative outline for 3 of them (1-2 p. each)
  • Specific milestones for moving forward with one of them (1 p.)
  • Full treatment for one idea (~2-5 pages)
  • Weekly progress report via email & biweekly catch-up calls
  • Road map forward (including pitch deck, packaging, pitching)
  • 3 x 1-hour phone/video/in-person consults
  • Consult with b8 Services & BondIt Media for other assistance
  • Introduction with our reps at CAA

View Delivery Schedule

Week 1: Progress report
Week 2: Catch-up call (takes place of progress report)
Week 3: Overview report, milestone timeline, progress report
Week 4: 1st consult (takes place of catch-up call)
Week 5: 1st creative outline, progress report
Week 6: 2nd creative outline, catch-up call, revisions to 1st creative outline
Week 7: 3rd creative outline, revisions to 2nd creative outline, progress report
Week 8: 2nd consult, revisions to 3rd creative outline
Week 9: Progress report
Week 10: Treatment, catch-up call
Week 11: Treatment revisions, progress report
Week 12: Road map, quote, final consult, B8 consult, intro with CAA

PRO

$8,500-10,000 /mo

6-month minimum
  • 120-140 business days, depending on scope and requests
  • Report assessing existing IP, highlighting 7-10 potential items for development (5-10 p.)
  • General creative outline for 5 of them (1-2 p. each)
  • Specific milestones for moving forward with 3 of them (1 p. each)
  • Treatments (~2-5 p. each) & pitch decks (~8 slides) for 3 ideas
  • Packaging exploration for one idea
  • 1 round of pitch meetings at networks/buyers
  • Weekly progress report via email & biweekly catch-up calls
  • Monthly 1-hour phone/video/in-person consults
  • 2-hour recap & strategy download at end of time period (in person)
  • Consult with b8 Services & BondIt Media for other assistance
  • Introduction with our reps at CAA

View Delivery Schedule

Week 1: Progress report
Week 2: Catch-up call
Week 3: Progress report
Week 4: Overview report, milestone timeline, 1st consult (replaces catch-up call)
Week 5: Progress report
Week 6: Catch-up call
Week 7: Progress report
Week 8: 1st creative outline, 2nd consult, catch-up call
Week 9: 2nd creative outline, revisions to 1st, progress report
Week 10: 3rd creative outline, revisions to 2nd, catch-up call
Week 11: 4th creative outline, revisions to 3rd, progress report
Week 12: 5th creative outline, revisions to 4th, 3rd consult
Week 13: 1st treatment, packaging outline, progress report
Week 14: 2nd treatment, 1st treatment revisions, catch-up call
Week 15: 3rd treatment, 2nd treatment revisions, progress report
Week 16: 1st deck, catch-up call
Week 17: 1st deck revisions, progress report
Week 18: 2nd deck, catch-up call
Week 19: 2nd deck revisions, progress report
Week 20: 3rd deck, catch-up call
Week 21: 3rd deck revisions, progress report
Week 22: Packaging update, book pitch meetings, catch-up call
Week 23: Progress report, final consult, practice pitches
Week 24: Pitch meetings (will likely go beyond Week 24, depending on availability of buyers)

CONTINUATION PACKAGES

$1,500-3,000 /mo

depending on scope and client needs
Should a project need assistance beyond the contracted timeframe—more pitching, further revisions,
staffing up, production—we offer continuation packages ranging from $1,500-$3,000 per month, which
we tailor to your needs.

FAQ

What does “development” mean?

Development is the process of taking an idea (whether an existing piece of intellectual property or something new) and turning it into a film, television series, podcast—anything that falls under the umbrella term of “content.”

What exactly does Freewater do?

Freewater takes ideas and turn them into content. We specialize in helping media companies—websites, magazines, newspapers, broadcasters, book publishers, etc.—find ideas from their own intellectual property to adapt into other types of content.

Why pay for development? Couldn’t Freewater just take a percentage once a project sells?

Yes and no. First, Freewater is a business and has the usual costs that come with that. Our services entail a considerable amount of work, which we cannot provide without payment.

Second, payment creates accountability and ensures results. Hollywood is full of joint production agreements built on theoretical future revenue, but only a fraction of them deliver. That’s because they usually start out full of excitement and anticipation, then lose momentum because no one is focusing on them.

That doesn’t happen with Freewater. Each of our plans includes a list of deliverables to ensure your money is put to work, and doesn’t fall into a development abyss. Even better, you retain ownership of the IP and development materials, which you can continue to refine and pitch on your after our agreement concludes.

What kind of content is suitable for development?

That depends on a variety of factors—medium, scripted/unscripted, format—but in the most general terms, you need strong story and/or perspective. A connection to current events helps as well. But if the story and point of view are strong enough, chances are we can build something with it

What makes Freewater qualified to do this?

Experience. Our background lies in journalism, development, and production—worlds that traditionally don’t understand each other. We help them work together effectively.

How long does it take something to go from idea to pitch to getting produced?

Timelines vary by medium, buyer, and idea. A web series sponsored by a brand has fewer hurdles than a feature film, for example. One could be weeks, and the other could take years. The key is to make the process work for you by ensuring top-notch creative, having a smart strategy, and maximizing the revenue opportunities that present themselves along the way.

Is it possible to pick and choose à la carte from the packages?

Freewater is happy to tailor our services to your needs as every project is unique and specific.

When is payment required?

Freewater requires full payment for the services to be made prior to engaging in work.

What are the next steps in getting started with Freewater Creative Development?

First we discuss your content and your goals. Then we craft a plan based on that.

Does Freewater take ownership in what it develops?

Generally Freewater will take a producer’s credit and fee if a project we helped develop sells, while the underlying ownership will remain with the rights holder.

Can you guarantee what you develop will sell?

No one can guarantee that. We can promise to foster the best possible conditions for a project to sell by crafting excellent creative, effective strategy, and getting it front of the right people.

What happens if a project Freewater has developed doesn’t sell?

You retain ownership of all ideas we develop together (reserving our producer credit), so you are free to continue developing and pitching it. We’re happy to be part of that process, as projects often endure several iterations before selling. We will give you as much support as you need.

Who will be my point person from Freewater?

Kyle Ryan, who runs Freewater for our team at Buffalo 8.

What are some recent projects that you’ve worked on?

Freewater itself is brand new, but our team has worked in development and content production for years. We have a docuseries currently in development with Hulu, produced Netflix and Amazon original film projects, we structured  a three-picture deal with Lionsgate, produced a TV special for the Fusion cable network, created a record-setting web series for TechCrunch, sold a documentary to Rooster Teeth, had a script deal with YouTube Premium, and more.

What does “A BondIt Company” mean?

Freewater Creative Services is part of BondIt Media Capital, a media financing company that also owns our sister companies Buffalo 8 and ABS Payroll.

Will BondIt or B8 Services be involved after Freewater develops a project?

We’re happy to offer the services of our sister companies should a project reach that point, but we won’t insist on it.

Transform your content now.

Send us an email, and let’s get started.