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Telemundo’s Marcos Santana Ponders Pandemic Change, Evolving Tastes

As president of NBCUniversal’s Telemundo World Studios, Marcos Santana has spearheaded the U.S. Hispanic community’s headlong drive right into a difficult period the place international streaming platforms dominate and legacy networks are reassessing their place within the tv universe.

A raging pandemic has additionally spiked manufacturing challenges. His earlier positions as president o f manufacturing unit Telemundo Worldwide Studios and of distribution arm Telemundo Worldwide has given him a holistic perspective on the biz.

Telemundo Worldwide Studios, which Santana based in 2016, took on the shifts in worldwide viewing habits and calls for by creating high-end short-form scripted codecs and launching big-budgeted Spanish-language premium collection, which invariably name for extra particular results and areas.

Reigning above the latter now could be “Queen of the South,” starring Kate del Castillo, which is in pre-production on its third season, which Netflix will once more co-produce because it did the second season.

“This will likely be capturing by Could in a minimum of eight new international locations, and can have a good larger price range,” he identified. Season two, reportedly made for $10 million, was shot in Russia, Romania, Italy, Spain, Washington D.C., Belize, Mexico and Colombia. The collection, based mostly on the eponymous novel by Spanish novelist Arturo Perez-Reverte, follows Teresa Mendoza, who rises to develop into probably the most highly effective trafficker within the intercontinental drug enterprise.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Telemundo’s manufacturing this previous 12 months?

Folks don’t need to see darkish, violent exhibits, not whereas they’re caught at house and when there’s a lot dangerous information. Dramedies, motion and thrillers are extra in demand. We managed to provide 4 exhibits regardless of the pandemic, with strict well being and security protocols in place. These had been romcom “Cien Dias Para Enamorarnos,” an amazing hit on Netflix; dramedy “La Suerte de Lol”; and suspense thrillers “Buscando a Frida” and “Falsa Identidad 2.” We’ve realized lots throughout this era. “La Suerte de Loli” was shot in Miami however set in Los Angeles.

What’s heading your new lineup at NATPE?

We’re launching “La Suerte de Loli” and “Buscando a Frida,” amongst others. “La Suerte de Loli” focuses on a profession lady who finds herself a reluctant mom when her late greatest pal leaves her kids to her. It’s a really recent, completely satisfied and distinctive story the place ‘lady energy’ is the prevalent theme. “Buscando a Frida” is a remake of a present we made 11 years in the past when social media didn’t exist but. We included social media parts on this one.

How have tastes in telenovela packages modified?

Individuals are not keen to look at exhibits with low manufacturing values and sub-par performances. The standard telenovela, shot inside three partitions, are seeing their audiences wane. We moved away from that a very long time in the past.

Co-production has confirmed to be a sensible approach to meet the challenges of a extra demanding viewership. Which corporations is Telemundo collaborating with?

Except for Netflix and Argos, we’re working with Underground in Argentina and Spain’s Movistar Plus, the place we’re making “Tel Me Who I Am,” based mostly on the eponymous novel by Julia Navarro, and “El Inmortal.” Different co-production offers are pending.

How do you are feeling about this 12 months?

With a brand new authorities within the U.S. and the appearance of a vaccine, I really feel very optimistic about 2021: Higher instances are coming. This 12 months, we’ll be engaged on seven exhibits, roughly. It’s an formidable plan however we’re assured we will pull it off. We’ll be capturing “Malverde: El Santo Patron,” finalizing “Buscando a Frida,” and whereas in Argentina, we’ll be making seasons 4 and 5 of “El Marginal.” There are 4 different initiatives brewing. We’ve realized how you can work with the challenges of the pandemic, producing and sustaining many roles. We made few cuts regardless that our manufacturing degree slowed down. We’ll be rehiring as our manufacturing tempo picks up. There’s nonetheless an amazing demand for extra Latino content material, which stays insufficient.

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