The Series Lab conferences that were held yesterday began with a panel in which we heard three different television writing experiences. Moderated by screenwriter and professor Rodrigo Ordoñez, we listened to Epigmenio Ibarra, founder of Argos and producer of shows like Capadocia and El Señor de los Cielos, Carolina Rivera, owner of Corazón Films, creator of Bienes Raíces and currently writing on Jane the Virgin and Natasha Ybarra, who worked on Las Aparicio. All three spoke of how difficult it is to release a show in Mexico, since the tradition of television series doesn’t exist. The infrastructure is based around telenovelas. Carolina Rivera told us about writing television in the United States, where writer is king.
The second panel asked; what the hell is a showrunner? Rodrigo Ordoñez also moderated this panel made up of Kirk Ellis, writer of the acclaimed HBO miniseries John Adams, Jay Dyer, showrunner of the new Netflix series Club de Cuervos, co-created by Gary Alazraki and Eric Garcia & Leo Chu, creators and showrunners of Supah Ninjas and Afro Samurai. Just like in a movie the director realizes the vision; the showrunner is in charge of realizing the vision of a television show. A showrunner is involved in everything, from the writer’s room (usually, the showrunner is a writer), up to post-production. Leo Chu says there are four ways to become a showrunner. Create your own show, be promoted from within, inherit the position when the showrunner decides to leave or be hired by a writer who is not interested in managing the series. In a way, the showrunner is the CEO of this company that is a television show.
The third and final panel spoke of alternative platforms. It was moderated by Leo Zimbrón and the participants were M.K. Kennedy from NBC-Universal, Jeffrey Bowers from Vimeo, Anthony Deptula from Maker Studios and Eduardo Nava from Canal 22 (which has an international signal being broadcast in the United States). This panel spoke of the advantages of digital platforms, particularly the fact that you can upload your own content and build an audience from there. They also asked the question of whether television, such as it is, is approaching its death. The four panelists believe that television is changing, but not disappearing and Deptula believes that eventually we’ll be calling all of it simply “content”.
GIFF is always betting on the future. Nowadays, the future is in television
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