Once Upon a Time Acquires Special Treats, Colin Burrows Set to Complete Cannes Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

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Creative agency Once Upon a Time (OUAT) has acquired film content specialist The Special Treats Production Company for an undisclosed sum.

Colin Burrows founded Special Treats more than 30 years ago and served as MD. Special Treats has produced a range of documentaries, TV movies and electronic press kits for the film, TV and music industries. It has several clients in common with OUAT including Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal and Netflix. Twenty year veteran of the company, Lisa Fass, will become the new MD.

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OUAT is headquartered in London with offices in Nottingham, New York and Los Angeles. The addition of Special Treats is aligned with its strategy to offer specialist audio visual and advertising services in the entertainment, music, gaming and hospitality sectors and with its focus on expanding its capabilities in the audio visual arena, OUAT said. OUAT’s previous acquisitions include New York-based IdeaWork Studio Inc and health and beauty specialist, Storm DFX.

OUAT CEO, Joe Garton, said: “We are delighted to be announcing the addition of Special Treats to our agency offering. Its directors and staff bring with them a wealth of production expertise as well as access to a worldwide network in major territories.”

Burrows said: “Along with my fantastic team, we have spent almost four decades building one of the most respected production companies in the entertainment sector, so I was frankly, beginning to despair about finding the right partner to take us to the next level, until I met with OUAT. The synergy between our two companies means that the partnership can deliver an increased range of skills to our clients across the combined business and I am very excited about the future.”

Burrows will continue as a consultant. “They have an American operation that has lots of potential to develop. They’re being asked by clients to develop stuff in the Middle East and in Asia Pacific, which I think I can help them with. So we’re excited about getting those things off the ground,” Burrows said.

Burrows is now Cannes bound, his 38th time there, to complete “Cannes Uncut,” the documentary on the festival he is making alongside film trade journalist Chris Pickard, critic and former Edinburgh Film Festival chief Mark Adams, and Richard Blanshard, who was accredited as the official photographer to the U.S. and U.K. film industries at Cannes for more than twenty years.

The plan was to complete it in time for the festival’s 75th anniversary this year, but the team, and editor Roger Penny, felt that the footage filmed last year during the festival lacked spark due to face masks and social distancing.

“We needed more stress, more urgency, more shrillness, more of the true Cannes experience… we needed to inject a bit more madness to it,” said Burrows. The production has partnered with Getty Images and is embedding a cameraperson with the photo agency to gather additional still and video images, while the core documentary team is conducting more interviews.

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