Jonnydepony’s Helen Perquy

At the start of 2023, Banijay Benelux acquired a majority stake in jonnydepony, specialized in the development and production of high-end drama series such as Blackout, Arcadia and Transport. The outfit was founded by showrunner and producer Philippe De Schepper and experienced financing expert and producer Helen Perquy. Perquy tells TV Drama about the Banijay Benelux investment and the types of stories jonnydepony wants to bring to the international marketplace.

TV DRAMA: Tell me about the creative ethos at jonnydepony.
PERQUY: At jonnydepony, creativity and efficiency go hand in hand. Founded by a writer and showrunner, our organization has a unique culture rooted in original series development. Creative freedom is held in high regard. We recognize that the best ideas come from an environment where people have the space to experiment and take risks. It is a mindset we share that inspires us to innovate and take on challenges. We embrace the challenges of a small language market and see it as an opportunity to excel. We use constraints as fuel for our creativity and don’t let the size of our budgets limit us. At jonnydepony, every project is an adventure, an opportunity.

TV DRAMA: What led to the Banijay Benelux investment?
PERQUY: Banijay Benelux was tickled by our efficiency, entrepreneurial spirit and vibrant creative output, despite our modest size. They wanted to expand their scripted domain in Belgium and found in jonnydepony the perfect partner to fill that gap with our fiction series.

We embrace every challenge, and our goal-oriented approach and smart strategies allow us to achieve more than many a company of our size. Banijay Benelux recognized our true potential and saw the possible match in our DNA. Banijay Benelux’s investment is not only a recognition of our talents but also a belief in the possibilities ahead.

TV DRAMA: How will jonnydepony benefit from the Banijay support?
PERQUY: Jonnydepony benefits from Banijay’s support in many ways, but the most important aspect is that both parties are ardent supporters of creative freedom and the preservation of intellectual property. In negotiations, preserving IP is often a challenging aspect, but with Banijay’s support, jonnydepony can enter the world of creative freedom with confidence.

In addition, Banijay’s support will enable jonnydepony to tell stories more widely and reach a wider audience. Banijay has an extensive global network of distributors and media platforms, allowing jonnydepony’s creative works to gain global reach. This opens the doors to new opportunities and possibilities, where jonnydepony’s IP can grow into a valuable brand loved by a diverse group of people.

TV DRAMA: Looking at the drama landscape today, what’s working best?
PERQUY: In today’s drama landscape, it works best to create series that appeal to a wide audience. While niche series can be popular in certain markets or languages, broadcasters and platforms are often looking for shows that attract many subscribers or become the talk of the day. If a series manages to become the talk of the day, even a niche series can suddenly become a broad series. Therefore, it is important to strive for creativity and passion but also to consider the wider viewer base to be successful in the drama world.

TV DRAMA: What does jonnydepony have on its roster coming up to meet this demand?
PERQUY: We always strive to reach a wide audience. Arcadia, which we are making a second season of, is an intriguing future drama aimed at a wide audience. We are working on a children’s show, for which there is already interest from Germany and France. Children’s shows are aimed at a wide audience; you want to reach a specific age, but in that age, you go wide. Then we are writing BOHO, Bloody Mandy, One Week Each and also Degens. So, we will remain pretty busy in the years to come.