Karla Burt and Paul Walton.
Paul Walton and Karla Burt, co-founders of production company 720 Creative, have struck a first-look development, formats and international sales deal with Fremantle.
The plan is to jointly create projects across a range of genres and platforms including children’s series, light entertainment and documentary.
Formerly colleagues at Princess Pictures, Walton and Burt launched 720 Creative (the name meaning projects must rotate through 720 degrees to move from dream to reality) earlier this year.
Their first commission, Tanya Hennessy Gets A Real Job, a 6 x 3’ comedy in which the comedian and radio personality tries her hand at working on a farm, a wellness centre and as a barista and tour guide, will premiere next month on IGTV (InstagramTV).
Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor contacted Walton soon after he departed Princess Pictures after seven years as a producer and partner in the production company founded by Laura Waters.
Walton had no specific plan when he quit and was working on Straight to the Plate, a cooking show which celebrates Torres Strait Islanders cuisine, for NITV.
On that production Walton enlisted the help of Burt, the former head of unscripted at Princess Pictures, and they decided to team up, with Burt as the MD and Walton as creative director.
“As a start-up indie it made sense to partner with Fremantle,” Walton tells IF. “They like our nimbleness and our ability to incubate talent like Tanya Hennessy. We are co-developing some shows with Fremantle, they will represent our formats and sell our shows internationally.”
Oliver-Taylor says: “I have known Paul and Karla for a number of years and I am thrilled that we finally get to work together. The international reach and creative drive of Fremantle, coupled with the cleverness, nimbleness and digital connections of 720 Creative will allow us to develop a standout slate of projects.”
Burt adds: “The relationship with Fremantle will enable us to be hands-on with creators and the creative community knowing we have the support of the Fremantle engine room behind us.”
The 720 Creative development slate includes two series for the ABC, one based on a novel, the other an unscripted format revolving around peer-to-peer advice, a light entertainment series and a documentary reality series that will follow people in remote communities in Australia’s north as they pursue their hopes and dreams.
At Princess Pictures Walton’s credits included It’s A Date seasons 1 and 2, Open Slather, The Divorce, I Love You Too, The Slot, Koala Man, The Drop Off, Wine and Stand Up @ Bella Union.
Burt’s CV includes casting producer and associate producer on Fremantle’s Farmer Wants a Wife and casting producer on Endemol Shine Australia’s The Great Australian Spelling Bee and The Bachelorette.