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Dug James: How All3Media turned The Traitors into a global hit
 28 May 2024
Dug James, the international format consultant for The Traitors, shares his top five tips with CEETV's readers on how they took the format international, turning it into a global hit.

So far, The Traitors has been adapted in more than 20 countries, including CEE markets like Greece, Hungary and Poland.

All3Media International will be actively shopping the format at NEM Dubrovnik and NATPE Budapest.

"Identify the core of the format and focus on that: We have identified the core of the format and focus on that - The Traitors is a game that you can play at home with your family and friends. Adaptations depend on many factors: the territory, the network/platform, the budget and the audience the client is trying to reach. The core of the game is what makes the format work, although elaborate missions, sets and cinematic sequences are also important and impactful," James says.

"Understand your client: You have to really understand your client - expectations vary hugely from territory to territory when it comes to formats and no format travels without an adaptation of some kind. Traditional broadcasters like BBC or a streaming platform like Amazon have very different expectations so it is important to have a clear understanding from the outset of what the client and their audience are looking for," he adds.

"Learn from your own (and Everyone Else's’) Triumphs and Disasters: Learn from your and everyone's triumph and disasters - one of the most important jobs of consultancy is making sure knowledge and experience is shared throughout your network of producers. We have a huge range of countries now making The Traitors so ongoing consultancy is incredibly valuable, giving all partners the opportunity to learn through past experience of others," James notes.

"Never let "no" become your default answer: it is vital to keep the key essence of the format, but it is worth interrogating new ideas from our producing partners even if, at first, they seem outlandish they can prompt some completely new evolutions of the format. We've been accepting of these ideas and now we have daggers, death rows, traitor's dungeons and murders in plain sight and the format is all the richer for them," and also: "Know when to sit back and when to push back: local producers will know their market and their audience is much better than us, so we need them to make the creative decisions. Our job is to outline the options within a format that are available to them and let them make those decisions."


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