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
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
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 Onion, The 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
Experience. Our background lies in journalism, development, and production—worlds that traditionally don’t understand each other. We help them work together effectively.
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.
Talk to us, and we’ll walk you through them.
Freewater is happy to tailor our services to your needs as every project is unique and specific.
Freewater requires full payment for the services to be made prior to engaging in work.
First we discuss your content and your goals. Then we craft a plan based on that.
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.
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.
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.
Kyle Ryan, who runs Freewater for our team at Buffalo 8.
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.
Freewater Creative Services is part of BondIt Media Capital, a media financing company that also owns our sister companies Buffalo 8 and ABS Payroll.
We’re happy to offer the services of our sister companies should a project reach that point, but we won’t insist on it.