Lamarra opens Bookhouse with Zodiak

Alaska TV co-founder Ian Lamarra is launching an unscripted programming and formats company with Zodiak Media.

Bookhouse represents the new label Zodiak has added to its ranks since acquiring Bwark Productions in 2011.

Lamarra is leaving UK-based indie Alaska to launch the company, within which he will be creative director, reporting to Zodiak UK managing director Rod Henwood and working closely with Zodiak’s other Britain-based prodcos.

Based out of Zodiak’s London headquarters, Bookhouse will look to create non-fiction formats and returnable series for the UK and US, while also working closely with global sales division Zodiak Rights to make bespoke international formats.

Zodiak Media CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin has made developing new global formats a key priority, and Lamarra will travel with Zodiak’s executive VP, global creative development and format acquisition Grant Ross to Banff later this month to kick off his efforts in this space.

Lamarra, who has relationships with US broadcasters and agents, will also work with Zodiak’s New York and LA bases.

“There’s is a renewed appetite for unscripted TV formats from broadcasters in the UK and US, and an ever-growing list of exciting new content buyers from global platforms like Amazon and Netflix to mega brands like Red Bull and Samsung,” said Lamarra.

“Bookhouse will take an international view on the commissioning landscape, focusing on intelligent, layered unscripted ideas, and aiming to build a portfolio of IP which can roll out across all territories and construct clever global coproductions.”

Lamarra co-founded Blinging Up Baby producer Alaska, and prior to that was head of development for Tiger Aspect Productions’ factual and factual entertainment division. Further back, he was head of global formats at IWC Media, which is now part of the Zodiak stable. He also spent four years developing formats at the BBC’s in-house production unit.