Melbourne based production company WTFN is expanding its slate from factual television to shiny floor after gaining Australian rights to one of the most recognised entertainment brands in the world: Guinness World Records.
In its 20th anniversary year, WTFN is now in discussions with Australian broadcasters for Guinness World Records: Australia vs The World.
The title marks a marked shift from its traditional output, largely in factual and lifestyle television.
The deal was brokered by WTFN’s Head of Development, Stephen Peters, who coincidentally produced the last Guinness World Records series in Australia in 2010.
“More and more, the company has been looking into different areas than traditionally what we’re known for right now: factual programming like Emergency, Paramedics, Code 1: Minute by Minute and those sorts of shows. So it’s exciting to be given the opportunity by Guinness, to trust us with their brand,” he tells TV Tonight.
“I produced a series back in 2010, which was the last time it was done in this country. It was very cheap and cheerful, if you like it, which was the brief at the time, of course. We still had some spectacular stunts of people running through doors, on fire and things like that, which was shot at Fox Studios at the time. But the bulk of it, we went to areas where there was a sort of built -an audience which back then was shopping centres and places like that.”
Over the years various incarnations of a GWR show have sold to over 150 territories including recent productions in Italy and China. Last year the GWR YouTube channel had over 370 million views plus more than 60 million followers on Facebook, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
WTFN is planning a series of event specials as Australians from all walks of life attempt spectacular stunts, endurance records;and even crazy eating challenges.
“This one’s very much shiny floor -or shiny stadium we’re calling it- because we’re aiming for it to be quite big. We would have multiple hosts, crossing from one record attempt happening out in the car park, to another back inside the stadium. And then at the other end of the stadium, there might be somebody who’s going to attempt another contest,” Peters explains.
“We’re aiming for in a 90 minute special we would have 15 World records. So there’ll be 15 different times in that show, where either a group of Australians or individuals, will be going for bonafide Guinness World Record, that we feel pretty confident we’re going to be able to break.
“There are over 60,000 records in the database to choose from, believe it or not. Some of those, are insane, bonkers eating contests, right through to more daring, quite dangerous attempts. So it’s a matter for us as television producers, to pick wisely, both what will work visually in the show, but also records that we’re pretty sure that we can break.”
WTFN’s current production slate includes returning series of Paramedics, Emergency, Code 1: Minute-By-Minute, Space Invaders, Bondi Vet – along with new US series First On Scene.
The company’s development slate has been broadened for greater international appeal with projects such as Secret Diet, Superyacht Sales Sydney, American Stringers and Meet The Dicks currently being pre-sold by WTFN’s distribution arm FRED Media.