Miles Bullough and Jesse Cleverly co-founded Wildseed Studios in 2013, combining a wealth of television-industry experience. Miles had previously spent 11 years as Head of Broadcast at Aardman, while Jesse held various roles at the BBC before starting his own creative media company. Their paths frequently crossed, and a shared passion for shaking things up prompted them to try something new.

“‘Let’s do something for the first time’ was the vision, so eventually we bit the bullet”

 

“We’d both become a little disillusioned and had often talked about doing things our way,” explains Miles. “‘Let’s do something for the first time’ was the vision, so eventually we bit the bullet.”

The idea was to create a platform where new and exciting projects could be trialled at low-cost, without the usual bureaucracy. Creating a YouTube channel was the obvious route, and Wildseed now focus on producing live action comedy (as opposed to stand-up), genre fiction (sci-fi, horror and fantasy), animation for adults (can they discover Britain’s answer to South Park?) and shows which are more appropriate for 6-11 year olds.

Breaking down the barriers: Got a great idea? Contact Wildseed!

Completed productions include school-based sitcom Staff Room, lifestyle advice guide The Marijana Method, animated sci-fi fest Ship of Eagles, and the video diary of ‘fairly normal’ vlogger Phillip Human. (PLEASE NOTE: Content is strictly NSFW. You have been warned!)

Miles continues: “The philosophy is: ‘Everyone’s got a right to fail’. We’re realistic and we know that the majority of projects won’t get picked up for further development by international broadcasters, but there’s also a chance that one day we’ll land a big hit.

“There’s a constant budgeting process and each production is limited to £10k, so we’re not risking huge amounts, and no individual project can destroy us. In telly-land, you could waste a year developing an idea that never actually sees the light of day, but we’re a lot more pragmatic; our creators have a lot of freedom to go out there and make exactly what they want, providing it’s on budget.

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Phillip Human: Living on the wild side 

“We license the underlying rights, but all rights go back to creators once our involvement ends. Sharing success is obviously the end goal, but it’s not all about making money; it’s about giving talented people a proper chance to showcase their work.”

Investment from the West

The commercial arm of S4C, the Welsh public broadcaster, was sufficiently impressed with the business model and subsequently invested in Wildseed, enabling rapid growth for the talent incubator. And while hopes of discovering future stars are high, Wildseed is also open to investing in apps, games and comic books.

“It’s the most fun, but it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done”

 

“It’s the most fun, but it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done,” admits Miles. “We produced Hungerford, our black comedy feature film on an extended budget of £20k, which was really tough, especially when you consider most movies have multi-million dollar backing, but the hard work paid off and we won Best Sci-Fi / Horror at the Berlin Independent Film Festival. It’s definitely a micro-buster; a blockbuster film on a micro budget!”

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Hungerford: Award-winning scare-fest

Future plans

The future looks bright for Wildseed, as they’ve recently won a big contract to develop a top secret animated series for children’s television, and they’re now recruiting new team members. But that won’t stop them investing in new projects.

“For us, it’s all about innovative ideas and interesting characters”

 

The Marijana Method: The pursuit of happiness

Miles confirms: “For us, it’s all about innovative ideas and interesting characters. We’re open to working with teams of people who just need a cash injection, or we’re equally happy to operate as the production company ourselves. We just want to see good ideas come to life. We’re open to approaches, and have a very simple submission guide on our site, so get in touch if you’ve got a great story waiting to be told.

“Bristol is much more interesting than London. There’s such a diverse talent pool”

 

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Jesse and Miles: Serious about comedy

“Bristol is much more interesting than London. There’s such a diverse talent pool, and we’ve got institutions like Aardman, Creative England and Icon Films on our doorstep. We’re really excited about the future and can’t wait to see the content we’re currently producing.

“Choosing a name is always a hellish experience, but I guess ‘Wildseed’ works because it’s an idea that we planted years ago, which has germinated over time, and now we’re growing quite quickly.”

Thanks to Miles for taking the time to talk to us. You can subscribe to Wildseed Comedy and Wildseed Sci-Fi on YouTube, and follow @WildseedStudios on Twitter. Hungerford is available to buy on iTunesGoogle Play and Amazon.

Chris Cahill