Producer Ian Collie (Doctor Doctor, Jack Irish, Rake, Sunshine, The Principal) has departed Essential Media to establish his own production company, Easy Tiger Productions, which is majority owned by FremantleMedia.
Collie becomes Managing Director of the new indie, joined by Rachael Turk and Tanya Phegan, both formerly of Essential Media, as development executives.
Easy Tiger takes over Essential’s drama development slate plus Sunshine, Rake, Doctor Doctor and Jack Irish.
“The team at Easy Tiger is renowned for its high production values, creative rigour and talent friendliness,” said Collie. “Joining the vastly experienced FremantleMedia group provides Easy Tiger with the opportunity to build on its reputation as a boutique yet high-end production company, from the development phase right through to distribution. This means we can continue to do what we love: fresh stories done well and for an increasingly global market.”
Essential Media and Entertainment’s CEO Chris Hilton said: “We are extremely proud of the exceptional drama IP Essential Media has created and financed over the years and are pleased to see it find the additional resources it needs to prosper under FremantleMedia. We wish Ian Collie the very best in the new venture.”
Collie co-founded Essential Media in 2006 and rapidly built its drama division into one of Australia’s foremost creators and producers of scripted content, attracting some of the best writing, directing and acting talent in the country. Collie will be joined in the new company by the hugely talented development executives Rachael Turk and Tanya Phegan, formerly of Essential Media.
Easy Tiger Productions Board member will include FremantleMedia’s Sangeeta Desai, COO and CEO Emerging Markets; Sarah Doole, Director of Global Drama and Ian Hogg, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Australia & Asia Pacific.
Sarah Doole said: “Our ambition is to work with the best scripted talent in the world to tell bold and impactful stories, and Easy Tiger tick all of those boxes. Ian and his team have been responsible for a number of ambitious titles with global success, and their upcoming slate includes a range of storylines on the forefront of originality that will perfectly complement the series coming from FremantleMedia’s growing family of prime-time drama producers.”
Ian Collie’s production credits include the award-winning Rake, the comedy drama series for ABC starring Richard Roxburgh and guest starring Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Hugo Weaving and Sam Neill. The fifth season of Rake will go into production this year. In addition, Collie served as Executive Producer on the United States version of Rake for Fox.
Collie also produces the popular series Doctor Doctor (aka The Heart Guy) for Australia’s Nine Network, which is distributed internationally by FremantleMedia International (FMI). A second season recently premiered on Channel Nine to impressive ratings.