Determined to becoming a major international player, Italy’s largest fiction production company is looking at Latin America as a potential natural partner and Spain as a reference in Europe. Barbara Pavone, Lux Vide’s new Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, spoke to ttvnews about the company’s current initiatives and strategy.
With more than 1,000 hours in Italian prime time, Lux Vide is the most important fiction studio in Italy, and an increasingly leading player in the European and international TV markets.
To boost its international expansion, in May Lux Vide hired Barbara Pavone, who took on the role of Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, where she brings more than 25 years of experience in companies such as Unilever, Bolton Group, British American Tobacco and, more recently, WarnerMedia.
To learn more about the company’s international ambitions, ttvnews spoke with the executive about its latest projects and global strategy.
Which are your main goals in this new role that includes marketing, distribution and co-production?
I was captured by the idea of the very challenging and stimulating objectives. On the marketing side, apart form the traditional activity of creating the marketing campaigns to launch our TV series and all the corporate communication and the publicity part, one of my main targets is to lead the digital transformation of the company, doing what I did at Warner Bros: creating a seamless digital universe between Lux Corporate website and all our social media presence, both from the corporate side and the production side. Together with this, give exposure for Lux in terms of brand awareness and corporate activity, not only in Italy but also on an international level.
Then there’s the side that’s probably the most stimulating for me, which is the sales and co-production side.
In terms of sales we have our own sales force, who’s responsible to sale the rights of our ready made and formats rights of our products across all the markets. Our product is more and more of higher quality and we also want to get higher value for it.
And the other big priority is to facilitate and build as much as possible international co-productions for our international projects.
How does the company work with international co-production? What role do Spain and Latin America play in your strategy?
Lux Vide’s main ambition is to become an even more important and recognized international player in the entertainment industry, so clearly international co-productions are becoming a main business priority for us.
The importance of the Latin American territory and market its undeniable because it’s a huge growing market and it’s really important for Lux. Also because of the closeness in terms of Catholic and Christian culture, which is part of the foundation of our company.
And Spain as well is in Europe and is now at the center of big co-productions. Money Heist is just an example of what can be developed in Spain as a local TV series and then become a global phenomenon. Spain, for the Italian market in general, should be considered a benchmark.
Which types of contents is Lux Vide presenting in the international market?
One of the most important its our international co-production Leonardo. Sony Pictures Television is responsible for selling the series across the world and has had very successful results so far. They also distribute our very successful Italian series, Doc. It’s a procedural medical dormat, which is now selling in over 150 countries worldwide and we also just closed the format rights in the US.
And we started also international sales for Blanca, a new TV series that has not been on air so far, but has already been bought by a few European broadcasters.
We also have some very ambitious projects in development that were already born and written with an international approach.
Thanks to a partnership with Steven and William Davis we are producing Sandokan, which is by far our most important high quality project. It’s a very famous character that was created by Emilio Salgari, a novel in 19 Century in Italy and it was made ver popular in Italy by a TV series in the 1970.
We are producing what we call a remake, but it’s not a remake because it’s a completely new, fresh story with a totally new idea about pirates. In addition, the male lead, Sandokan, is played by the Turkish actor Can Yaman, a star in Spain and Italy. Luca Argentero, the most popular actor in Italy, also participates. So the project is very international.
Then we have The rising, a new contemporary take on the Jesus story. At the moment it’s in development.
And then following Leonardo we have the stories of Michelango and Carivaggio, so the three most famous artists in the Renaissance period in Italy. The showrunner will be Andrew Levitas.
What would you say makes Lux Vide different from other companies?
Lux Vide really owns the full value and creation chain of each production. And that’s full control of the creative side, with an internal creative team of writers who are writing, creating and generating new ideas only for Lux.
Lux Vide owns four production studios and it’s now buying a fifth one with the plan to get to eight production studios owned by Lux Vide, which gives us an incredible agility, cost efficiency, control… And then also all the post-production is controlled internally. We have an internal marketing, creative team and sales team. So it’s a really complete, strong production studio.
Another important strategic direction that the company is taking is really to develop in an all holistic, 360 way the most important IPs owned by the company.
In the case of Sandokan, we want to produce 3 or 5 seasons of an international TV series. We are also planning to develop a musical format, a comic book, and we are in a conversation with a global video game production company to develop a video game as well.