CMJ expands, links with Spain's Medina

Canadian factual outfit CMJ Productions II has linked up with a Spanish company to develop 4K content and has also revealed it is doubling the size of its production facilities in Montreal.

CMJ, founded by John Kuyk in 2001, and Seville-based Medina Media are working together on high-definition shows and are taking their first programme, Lighthouses of the World (10×60), to Mipcom next week.

The Canuck prodco, which is behind A Stranger in my Home, Fatal Vows and Outrageous Final Wishes, has also expanded its production set-up in Montreal, adding an 11,000 sq ft casting and production facility following a series of commissions.

The move comes after A Stranger In My Home and Fatal Vows were extended into third and fourth seasons by Investigation Discovery (ID – US), Canal D and Investigation (French Canada). The prodco is also preparing Natural Born Outlaws for American Heroes Channel, which debuts on October 21.

The show, which was also sold to History in Canada and Discovery Channel in the UK and Ireland, uses animation to replicate scenes from history – a trend that Kuyk told C21 is making factual shows more cost-effective.

“Everybody knows the budgets in production are going lower but expectations are getting higher,” he said. “If you can’t access archives then you have to use re-enactments, but they are very costly so one way to get around that is via high-quality animation. That’s what we’ve done with Natural Born Outlaws.”

Kuyk revealed that CMJ is developing shows with History and Nat Geo Wild, although details remain under wraps, and is also taking its first science-focused show, As A Matter of Fact (13×30?), to Cannes following its link-up with German prodco Bilderfest during the summer.

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