MIAMI — In hallowed tradition, Brazilian TV giant Globo unveiled its NATPE line-up on the first day of the Miami trade fair.
With scripted and non-scripted promos playing to a thundering soundtrack Jerry Bruckheimer would have been proud of, this was, as ever for Globo, a polished and powerful presentation. But it also said much about where Globo is going. Five takes from the Jan. 22 NATPE presentation.
1. GLOBO MOVES
In explanations of strategy, from CEO Carlos Henrique Schroder onwards, and the presentation’s motto- “Let’s Move Together” – Globo, by its own admission, is evolving in industry terms. Some indicators:
*Globo is reaching out to international partners for production and distribution, linking to Spain’s Atresmedia Internacional, for Latin American pay TV distribution, for example, and to Telemundo Intl Studios for a Spanish-language reversion of its eight-hour original drama “Doomed” (“Amores robados”).
*The Brazilian TV giant is reaching out to international in general. NATPE 2019 ids the first time Schroder will be at the trade fair.
*The Brazilian TV giant is now producing for other platforms throughout its group behind its core free-to-air channel. One example, “Iron Island,” shown at NATPE, an oil rig drama starring Cauã Reymond (“Brazil Avenue”), one of Globo’s biggest plays, premiered on OTT service Globoplay and renewed for a second season.
*Globo continues to diversify from its historic base, in fiction types and product line, split between telenovelas, “Super Series,” miniseries and limited series.
“Over the last two years, we expanded the genres and the number of products that we launch onto the market, which has given us the opportunity to establish new and different partnerships. We are playing more balls in the same game, or more balls in different games, a moving game,” said Raphael Correa Netto, executive director of international business. In the future, it may even essay a musical and animation, Monica Albuquerque, Globo head of development, said at NATPE.
2. SERIOUS ABOUT SERIES
Notably, the first shows to be screened at NATPE were Globo limited series: “Harassment,” “Iron Island,” “If I Close My Eyes,” “Under Pressure” Season 2. These are increasingly Globo banner titles scoring festival prizes and audiences. The first season of “Under Pressure,” a hospital drama set against Brazil’s impoverished health service,” won four prizes at France’s Fipa Festival, but also sold to Sky Italia and MBC Group for the Middle East, and aired in primetime this month in Argentina, winning the day.
3. TYING UP TALENT
As a more ambitious OTT players come online, the battle for success has become one for finite talent. But Globo’s always thought that way. Currently, it has 180 directors, 250 writers and 500 actors on contract, said Albuquerque.
4. THE VISUALS: VFX, CINEMATOGRAPHY
Globo Super Series “Land of the Strong” was directed by Isabella Teixeira and Walter Carvalho, DP on Walter Salles’ Oscar-nominated “Central Station,” who was also in charge of photography. It shows – in richly textured but dramatically contrasting scenes, from a mountain bike ride along a scrubby ridge, to an outback disco club stage performance; a couple kissing in a cave with paleolithic drawings, as a man is beaten to near death in fields.
Seen in extended excerpts, “Iron Island” marks the latest step-up in VFX for Globo; the rig houses a grass soccer pitch, is as colorful a Rubik Cube: the hero suffers a helicopter accident, rig gas escapes. Globo’s series increasingly blend genres, “Iron Island” weighs in as part-action thriller.
5. AND WOMEN MAKE THE MOVES
But “Iron Island” is also a full-bore testosterone woman’s drama as a new rig head of production, a woman, the daughter of a politician, comes in to replace the macho Dante and, having suffered the patriarchy of her political big-wig father, will be damned if she’s going to be sidelined by Dante.
One bellwether of the new-look Globo is its drive into international co-production, another the feminism of so many of its shows. In the true-events inspired “Harassment,” the latest of Globo’s social-issue limited series – think “Jailers,” “Under Pressure” – a group of women band together to denounce a renowned physician’s sexual assaults. “Land of the Strong” is billed by Globo as a women’s Western. But the cowboy is a woman, the valiant Maria, caught in the series’ first scene on her mountain bike riding down a ridge, as cowboys would ride the range in days of yore.