BORDER CROSSING Since arriving at Strix Holland Roy Aalderink has gotten seven new productions off the ground and some of them are already sold into other territories. How does he do it – and what advice does he have for the rest of us?
Ever since he was a child Roy Aalderink, CEO of Strix Holland, has wanted to work in television. If you’re thinking that’s a bit of hyperbole think again: by the time he was eight Roy had already written dozens of letters to broadcasters asking for a job. While the powers that be didn’t hire young Roy it wasn’t long before he made his dreams come true.
While completing his final thesis at university, Roy wrote yet another letter, this time to Reinout Oerlemans, which led to an internship and eventually Roy becoming employee number five and the first Format Developer at the rapidly growing Eyeworks. Three years later there were 500 Eyeworks employees and Roy decided it was time to move on.
“I think it’s the story of my life: Eyeworks was small company when I started and then it became huge, which was really rewarding to be a part of but I wanted to go to something that was growing, which was Palm Plus. When that became part of Zodiak I came to Strix Holland. The buzz of helping a company move forward and grow gives a lot of adrenaline and drive to my work,” says Roy.
Since joining the Nice Group in June 2014, Roy’s drive and adrenaline have helped make Strix Holland a model for cross border cooperations, including bringing Super Nanny’s Jo Frost back to television screens in a completely new format, NANNY ON TOUR.
“I approached Jo after noticing that parenting was again becoming a hot topic. Together we created a new format, ‘JO FROST – NANNY ON TOUR’,” says Roy. “She travels in an RV and works with families for the main storyline, but also brings her mobile office to town squares, where she meets with local people. The success here helped sell the show into the States because Holland is something of a ‘greenhouse’ for concepts: We think internationally from the beginning and have lower budgets, which gives us the chance to test new things without a huge risk. Once it catches on here it’s easy enough to scale it up for other markets.”
So how can the Nice Group be more successful with cross border cooperations? Keeping your finger on the pulse and capturing the zeitgeist is key.
“I created a new format, DRACULA, based on the Escape Room trend. I was brainstorming with Paprika about what we could do in Hungary or Romania and Dracula kept coming up. After going on a recce to Romania to look at castles that were associated with Vladimir the Impaler we ended up taking an entire castle and turning it into the world’s biggest Escape Room. It’s now being produced in English for Insight TV.”
DRACULA is a great example of an idea that is international from the start. It’s easy to turn the castle into a hub and fly in contestants from countries around the world. Creating hubs and sharing costs allows the best use of talent and resources, and makes a concept that much more attractive on the international market.
Roy says, “If you have the location ready and can schedule back-to-back filming it’s win-win for everyone. When we think about a new show we look at its potential and how we can use everything that is available within the Nice Group. We have fantastic resources and when we put our heads together across borders we do amazing things.”
DRACULA and NANNY ON TOUR are just two of Strix Holland’s cross-border successes. Another example is the brand new adventure reality show SPARTAN X, which was produced in close cooperation with Paprika Hungary.
Curious to learn more?
Contact Roy Aalderink
CEO at Strix Holland
Internal publication – Baluba/Nice Entertainment Group