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"Estamos más que abiertos a las ideas nuevas, valientes y arriesgadas"

Informe de industria: Series

Eszter Angyalosy • Jefa de estudios, SeriesLab

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La jefa de estudios analiza los detalles de su programa de formación dedicado a facilitar el desarrollo de los proyectos de series originales y comercialmente viables

Eszter Angyalosy • Jefa de estudios, SeriesLab

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Eszter Angyalosy, head of studies at SeriesLab, a training course designed for international scriptwriters, writer-directors and producers wishing to develop original and commercially viable TV series projects, tells us more about the initiative.

Cineuropa: What criteria do you prioritise when selecting projects for inclusion in the SeriesLab, considering the diverse landscape of television storytelling today?
Eszter Angyalosy:
One of the biggest challenges for the TV industry is the constant, rapid change in what audiences and broadcasters are curious about. Also, subjective factors play an enormous role in determining whether or not a project is chosen to be produced. So, I personally don’t see the point of trying to figure out personal tastes and future trends. But I do believe we shouldn’t forget that TV is, first and foremost, a business. Therefore, I’d say we are searching for new, exciting points of view about relevant topics packaged in an entertaining fiction series that might be interesting for broad audiences. We are open to any genre and format of fiction series, but we also consider the reality and possibilities of the target markets of each submitted project. We are more than open to new, brave, risky ideas – unlike the TV industry nowadays. But I think, as a talent development programme, this is where we can be a useful part of the TV ecosystem: we offer talents a safe space and all the support necessary for them to experiment and reshape their innovative ideas into solid, marketable concepts. Besides the project, it is also important for us to work with creators who want to learn how to navigate the industry professionally – which means they understand their role, their limits, and their possibilities in this highly competitive and collaborative, multiplayer game.

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Could you elaborate on the mentorship and development process offered to creators within the SeriesLab framework? How do you ensure they receive tailored support for their projects?
We work with projects at an early stage. During the six-month programme, under the guidance of their mentor, the selected teams work on their mini-bible, the accompanying visual materials and the pilot episode of their series: the whole package. We also prepare the creators to effectively communicate about their series project in every possible form and scenario. Each of our mentors works with three projects, in group and individual sessions – whichever best serves the projects' needs. This will be the first year that the groups will also be joined by a story-editor trainee. The trainee will aid the work of the participants and the mentors and, in the meantime, gain valuable practical experience along the way. But they will also be supported all the time by their story-editing mentor.

In addition to the project-based work, we offer the participants lectures and consultancy about all aspects of the industry – not just writing, but also producing, selling, visuals, pitching and so on. During the workshop, participants also have the opportunity to network with local industry professionals. And the whole programme leads up to a final pitching event – this year in Turin, at the TFL Meeting Event, in November – where they have the chance to present their projects in front of an international audience composed of potential partners invited specifically to meet them.      

How do you measure the impact of projects developed through the SeriesLab, both in terms of artistic innovation and their reception within the industry and audience communities?
The most obvious way to monitor the impact is to see how many of the projects actually get financed, produced and broadcast. But, because making TV series is not a sprint, but a marathon, this could take years. So, we are also very happy and proud when we see our participants getting opportunities in the industry, or their projects getting attention at different international forums. It is important for us to open doors for our alumni, by making sure that industry professionals know they are more than capable of turning their ideas into successful TV series. But also, [we want] to equip participants with the necessary tools to give them the confidence to navigate the industry.

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the television industry, how do you anticipate the SeriesLab adapting to future trends and challenges in order to continue nurturing innovative storytelling?
I could not agree more: the industry is constantly and rapidly changing and evolving – this is nothing new, and I think this is partly why it is such an exciting field. It is full of new challenges, new learnings and opportunities. I think the key to keeping up is to work with experts who are not just professionals working inside the industry themselves, but also passionate series lovers who are highly motivated to follow the trends. We also need to constantly work on networking, and organising and participating in events and conversations. It is important for us to expand our network more and more internationally so that we can facilitate meaningful conversations. The goal is not just to adapt to the trends, but also to be an important factor in the future of television.

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