Shrek studio sets up licensing team in the UK

DreamWorks has appointed Tim Collins to be Head of Consumer Products, Europe, Middle East and Africa with Jonathan Bonnett as his assistant. The purpose of the new role is to manage the business in these territories more closely and to seek strategic partnerships, particularly with promotional and retail partners. In this, Tim will work closely with DreamWork's existing licensing agency CPLG.

Tim's vision is to create projects that will bring the characters and the film experience to the consumer at every opportunity, a process he says that starts at retail and may include advertising, promotions and other communications. He stresses that partnerships that help drive people into the cinema to see the film (the priority for film studios) aren't necessarily the ones that bring in the most revenue.

DreamWorks is one of a number of studios that have established licensing units of their own in Europe. Although only a few hours in time difference, they acknowledge that there is only so much a US office can understand about the European markets without being there. The tougher domestic market is probably also encouraging a review of overseas opportunities.

As Tim reminded us, with a film you control its release date, the number of cinemas it plays in, the marketing budget and so on. He hopes this control will help enable a total focus on achieving meaningful promotions and retail impact in these shorter film windows. DreamWorks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is released in the UK this summer. Shrek 2 and Sharkslayer follow in 2004.