Roxana Rotundo, Vanessa Velázquez, Pilar Blasco, Myriam López-Otazu, Paola Suárez and Patricia Arpea discussed the challenges of current content production in a panel organized by Conecta WO(MEN) and WAWA.
During the virtual edition of Conecta Fiction Reboot that is taking place this week, the panel “Diversity: Conecta WO(MEN) – Tips from leading women in the audiovisual industry”, organized under the brand Conecta WO(MEN), took place this week, in collaboration with the Worldwide Audiovisual Women’s Association (WAWA).
After a brief introduction by Géraldine Gonard, event director, moderators Roxana Rotundo, CEO of VIP 2000 TV, and Vanessa Velázquez, VP New Business of Springmedia, took the floor, who combined current questions with issues related to the role of women in key positions in the industry.
Pilar Blasco, CEO of Endemol Shine Iberia (Spain), spoke about the complexity of current financing models and how producers have been tightening their budgets.
In addition, she noted that all the agents involved in the production of content are on the same boat (in Spain with a fall in advertising revenue estimated at more than 40%) and stressed the importance of collaboration between all parties.
“This situation has made producers more aware of the value chain that each right has … It is necessary to redefine who is the independent producer, because it is he who risks in project development and who invests in talent and is at risk with his investment,” said Blasco.
Finally, the CEO of Endemol Shine Iberia pointed out the importance of access to easy credit and government support to implement tax breaks as part of supporting producers.
Meanwhile, Myriam López-Otazu, VP Content, Sourcing & Acquisitions EMEA, Discovery Communications (United Kingdom), added that there is a general downward trend in budgets but that there will also be a greater need for support so that producers can cover new expenses.
“Having content on the air does not have the same cost as before the health crisis”, she said. “Now good ideas will prevail and, looking for new partners, the brightest ideas will always come out.”
And there was also talk of the role of the showrunner in the industry, a figure that is not usually represented by women. According to Paola Suárez, partner and producer at Jaque Content (Argentina), experience and training are two keys to the showrunner.
“In this new normality, where reaching co-production schemes is essential, the role of showrunner is essential to capture what the different producers create and think,” said Suárez.
Finally, Patricia Arpea, Head of Business & Commercial Affairs of Publispei (Italy), described the panorama that is being experienced in Italy and how production schemes are changing to adapt quickly and resume production, at a time when insurance companies they do not cover producers.
“This has led to having to change scripts and have everything written rewritten, something that is not easy without help,” said the executive, adding that RAI is renegotiating budgets in the renewal of actors and presenters.
To end the talk, each executive contributed a word that defined the current situation: humility, resilience, opportunity, sorority and solidarity were mentioned by this group of women leaders in the audiovisual industry.