Ann Phillips, former Film4, House Productions and RAY Pictures exec, is re-joining film and TV outfit See-Saw Films as head of development for film and executive producer for limited TV series, as part of an expansion drive by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman’s UK-Australian outfit.
Phillips previously worked at See-Saw as head of development before joining Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell’s House Productions in 2016. Prior to that Phillips had worked as a creative exec at Film4. She was named a Screen Future Leader in 2012.
She joins from Alexei Boltho and Rhodri Thomas’s RAY, where she has worked as head of development since May 2019.
See-Saw has further bolstered its TV production team with the appointment of Moss Barclay and Julian Stevens as executive producers. Each will be developing their own slates of projects, reporting to creative director Helen Gregory. Phillips will focus on creating limited or event series, using her expertise working in the film space, while straddling head of development for film projects. Barclay and Stevens will aim to create high-end returnable series.
Barclay joins from Pulse Films, where she led the company’s expansion into scripted film and TV, developing Gangs Of London for Sky AMC. She has previously worked at Sixteen Films, Big Talk Pictures and Working Title Films.
Ex-Artists Studio exec Stevens has produced several well-known dramas including Informer for BBC1 and Amazon and The Missing for BBC1 as well as Stephen Knight’s reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol for FX and BBC1. He most recently worked in a freelance capacity.
“Moss is experienced in robust storytelling at scale but working on series delivered in a very authored way, while Julian’s background is elevated thrillers, mystery and crime. They allow us to expand those areas of storytelling in returning TV in a very organic way,” Gregory told Screen’s sister publication Broadcast. “Ann joining to look after developments for film at the same time as developing limited TV series is about enhancing the relationship of the producers who talk to filmmakers and the producers who sit in returning TV.”
“See-Saw can be a place where filmmakers can explore telling their stories in a different form. We are very committed to both limited and returning series; it is intentional for us to own the limited.”
Gregroy described the “two lanes” of scripted programming See-Saw has carved out for itself. “Muscular, genre shows” such as Slow Horses, and “intimate series that lean into joy or relationships” like Heartstopper.
See-Saw’s film slate include Florian Zeller’s awards contender The Son, and James Hawes’ One LIfe, about UK humanitarian Nicholas Winton, which is now in production.
Gregory, who has been in her role for a year, said See-Saw is will not limit Barclay, Stevens and Phillips as they grow their slates, noting each will be “hungry to have at least one, maybe two projects” in production a year.
See-Saw’s independent status and firm financial footing, she added, helps all nine of the company’s exec producers across the UK and Australia be “ambitious” and autonomous in their scope, with “healthy development funds” available.
“We will look to partner with someone or with a buyer early if we think that we’ve got a shared ambition, but sometimes we will spend more time and money on developing in-house. We have flexibility in how we approach the marketplace,” she said. “It was quite deliberate to have EPs driving their slates with development executives and coordinators working with them, rather than one head of development servicing everything.
Our editorial team is full of people who are very uncynical about what they want to make. They’re sincere, committed and passionate in terms of bringing their stories to life. My role is to keep the creative conversation going across the whole company.”
See-Saw has also added Carnival’s Laura Mazzola as senior business and legal affairs executive.
A version of this story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast.