Angela Lee, Managing Director of MAKE Production says the market for factual content has become fiercely competitive since she entered the market a few years ago. Commissioners expect better visual quality as the bars have been raised to ensure contents look visually beautiful to create high production value. The factual audiences have grown more sophisticated and astute over the years, with pressure coming not just from television, but now feature documentary in cinema and web formats. The storytelling in Asian documentary in particular is now rivaling international broadcasters.

Viewers now seek higher entertainment value in their factual programming, often are now employing more techniques that you may only have found in scripted drama.

However, it is essential to remember that with factual programming comes very serious responsibility to reflect the stories fairly and accurately, managing expectations of contributors and representing all involved in the production process with careful thought and diligence. There are often legal, ethical and moral issues that must remain at the heart of our storytelling.


What are some of your big projects for 2016? Angela: Currently we are working on our second and third series Brilliant Ideas for the U.S. Bloomberg Channel. Brilliant Ideas looks at the most exciting and acclaimed artists at work in the world today. We have already produced 13 half hours and have another 26 half hours scheduled to be delivered over the next 18 months.

We are also producing a series for Channel NewsAsia in Singapore titled, Undercover Asia. As it says in the title, it is an investigative strand – broadcast across Asia, but distributed internationally – that goes undercover to expose the secret underbelly of Asia. This in-depth documentary series explores stories of crime, injustice, human rights, poverty and every aspect of the dark side of life in Asia today. This is our third year producing these fascinating films, and we have been incredibly fortunate to win many international awards for our investigations.

Everyone is hungry for more ‘out-of-the- box’ creativity when it comes to factual entertainment; the audience expects a fresh look on well-trodden space. Somehow, you will still need big characters to stand out. The audiences are always looking for characters.


What are your growth plans in the Asia-Pacific region?