TTV+ Live had its second day this Wednesday with two outstanding panels: Women Protagonists in the Audiovisual World with Kate del Castillo and her Cholawood partners, and an interesting Q&A with Maarten Meijs, president of Global Entertainment at ITV Studios.
After its powerful start on Tuesday, TTV+ Live had its second conference this Wednesday, marked by two outstanding panels in which the new role of women in the audiovisual industry and the latest trends in the entertainment world were discussed.
The first panel was titled Women Protagonists in the Audiovisual World and was held by Kate del Castillo and her partners from Cholawood, Carmen Cervantes and Jessica Maldonado. Moderated by Roxana Rotundo, CEO of VIP 2000, the panel served to learn about the company’s latest projects and to discuss the transformation that the industry is experiencing around female empowerment.
“The decision to found Cholawood has a lot to do with the things that were happening to the three of us. The three of us come from different backgrounds, but all three of us are working women, who at some point have not had a job, who have had to survive and we have done so all the time. That’s why I said that I had to do something for and with women and that’s how Cholawood was founded,” said Kate del Castillo.
“The name started as a joke, because we called ourselves Las cholas. The cholas were always strong women, who had to survive very heavy things and we saw them as enterprising women. The three of us are cholas because the three of us are warriors,” added Carmen Cervantes.
And since its inception, Cholawood has had meteoric growth that led to an alliance with Endemol Shine Boomdog.
“Our alliance with Endemol has been very important, because it is a company that believed in the talent and contribution of women. It is important to listen to women, we see life from another perspective and now is the time for women and it is time to listen to ideas, concepts to continue moving forward. That is why we are very grateful to Endemol”, commented Jessica Maldonado.
“We are part of Endemol, we are partners. And as Jessica says, we are very grateful because three Latin women are rarely listened to,” added Del Castillo.
In this sense, the idea behind Cholawood involves breaking stereotypes and stigmas around women, and Latin women in particular.
“How can we do justice to Endemol’s trust? Well, promoting what we want to change. For example, in my case, I became a producer because I was not receiving the characters that I wanted to do. We want to be outside the stereotypes, we want to have more characters of leading women, intelligent, beautiful in every way. That they are not objectified or sexualized”, summarized Kate del Castillo.
“We want to break the stereotypes or stigmas around Latin women, and for her to be the lawyer, the doctor… what we are, working women, that we have a very close family, that we have value… we want to reflect that in the big and small screen”, Maldonado completed.
Regarding the new projects, the executives highlighted several already in development together with Endemol and authors such as Lydia Cacho.
“We are doing a couple of series based on her books,” said Carmen Cervantes.
“We’re also doing a series about a sexologist, with a writer named Xan Aranda, who was a producer on HBO’s Room 104. We love that series because we talk about the problems of the mid-life crisis of men. We are going to talk about these problems, but with class and without attacking men,” she added.
“We’re going to hit them hard, with a lot of humor but based on science,” joked Kate del Castillo.
Other projects include Llegó la revolución, based on a show by Erick del Castillo and co-directed by Kate del Castillo and a production in Jalisco focused on tequila, as well as the adaptation of an Endemol Australia scripted show called The Beatiful Lie.
The completed panel can be viewed here:
The second panel featured renowned executive Maarten Meijs, president of Global Entertainment at ITV Studios (UK), who conducted a Q&A session about the company’s present, the ups and downs of the pandemic and the latest trends in entertainment.
“We have a lot of formats that are about to premiere. We just launched Don’t Rock the Boat in the UK; I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in Wales; we have a new show coming up called Pretty Small; and we had a huge launch this year of a dating reality format called Let Love Rule, with four versions live at the moment, including one in the UK coming in January”, he said.
I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here is one of the most interesting launches for the company this year, because due to the Covid pandemic, filming had to take place at the Gwrych Castle in Wales.
“These challenging times ask for ingenious solutions, and this is definitely one of those”, he explained. “We were able to do it through a massive operation and it’s a tremendous success in the UK on ITV.”
Another successful format ITV Studios launched this year is Beat the Chasers, which is a spinoff version of the already very successful game show brand, The Chase. The Chase is also now going to the US, which is now in production.
And how has the process of creating these formats been in such a challenging year? “We continue to create a lot of shows. Looking at segments and elements in content consumption, we look at what viewers are looking for and categorized it into genres like escapism, game shows, feel good… and a lot of shows have been commissioned already and in the next few months you’ll see a lot of shows coming out.”
“It is a challenging time but for creators, we’ve gone back to our roots and have been more creative than ever. We will bare the fruit of that very soon.”
On the practical side, the executive explained ITV Studios has over 36 creative labels, which all work closely together in a collaborative way, to ensure the success of the shows.
“Together with the group we look at all the new formats being created, we assess our creative pipeline, we apply focus, apply feedback, discuss the potential and what the best growth to market is… Our entire creative process is very coordinated, but at the end of the day it’s about the content and the talent. And we are privileged with the amount of great talent we have. We look at the scalability of the format, the flexibility and all the elements that can contribute to its success for the international market,” he explained.
Lastly, the executive spoke about how the pandemic has accelerated the growth of OTT platforms and content consumption via streaming, something he believes is here to stay.
“I think this is a road with no return. The digital transformation has been accelerated by Covid and the consumption of content has gone up tremendously, the demand is huge. The streamers have a strong position in the market”, he said.
“First and foremost is that we are able to create content for them to encourage viewing and viewer loyalty, people stay tuned and go from episode to episode. I think the metrics used are different than the ones used for linear players. We can’t see the results right away. With streamers is much more about recurring viewers and making sure we put the viewers through a journey. We have shows that offer escapism like Love Island, which really makes you go from episode to episode to see how the story develops.”
“Other than that, we need to look at the definition of streamers, because a lot of broadcasters are creating non-linear offers as well, looking at recouping their investments across different platforms, like NBCU with Peacock. They can play content on different platforms in order to recoup their investment,” he concluded.
The complete panel can be viewed here: