Latinos In The Industry

Mun2 Crafting 'Dramelas' Based on Cultural Insights

By Laura Martinez, Multichannel News

Writers, producers and sales executives at NBC Universal-owned mun2 cable youth channel are crafting their 2011 original programming using a new weapon: an exhaustive demographic study developed in partnership with Starcom Mediavest Group of Chicago, identifying the various psychographic segments of U.S. Hispanics.

Known as The Latino Identity Study, the document looks at 12 unique segments, each with their own attitudes and psycographics that define -- and drive -- consumer behavior.

Based on these findings, mun2 is already working on a series of dramas and other programs that it says will genuinely reflect these segments.

"We are looking at the study to provide us with trends," Jacqueline Hernandez, COO of Telemundo, told Hispanic TV Update. "And based on those trends we are creating a new format for mun2. It's a drama in a novela style. We like to call it a dramela."

The new format is scheduled to premiere in the second quarter.

The first dramela to be produced under this format is RPM, a one-hour weekly series featuring characters that are speak directly to the audience sensibilities.

The main character, Alejandro, is a 25-year-old hurbano, or young urban Hispanic, who is completely engaged in both worlds; he speaks Spanish with his family and English and Spanglish with his friends. He is also returning to the U.S. after serving in Iraq.

"Hispanics have cultural dexterity; they move comfortably in two worlds, and we want our series to reflect this," Hernandez said. Language becomes almost irrelevant; it's no longer about English or Spanish, but about cultural relevance.

RPM also features Nataly, an 18-year-old MIA (Modern Independent Achiever woman) who walks around with an iPod in hand and constantly is connected to the Internet.

Another important change, at least as far as Hispanic television is concerned, has to do with the "color" of the series' characters. While most TV shows still favor white skinned, blue-eyed Latinos, mun2 dramelas will showcase a more diverse group, showing Latinos actually come in all colors.

"In the study, almost half [Latinos surveyed] said they saw themselves as brown, black or mestizo," Hernandez said. "And we want to use this in our programming."

While mun2's first dramela is still being written, two advertisers have already come on board. Chevy and Burger King will be not only advertising, but will be integrated and woven into the story. Other category brands are still in the works.

RPM (a working title) will be shot in Miami and it is the first co-production between mun2 and Telemundo Studios. The first season will run 13 episodes and its expected to debut some time in the second quarter.

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Film Finance Overwhelm

By NALIP mentor Stacey Parks. You can read more of Stacey's wisdom, plus take her online workshops and resources, by joining Film Specific. And don't miss her special NALIP 12 Conference workshop in Newport Beach next April!

As I'm unwinding from AFM last week, it occurs to me that while many of you are experiencing Distribution Overwhelm, even more of you are experiencing Finance Overwhelm. Why? Because unless you have 100% cash in bank to make your film, what can you do to get your project off the ground?

The way I see it is we've entered a time where 'cobbling together' different forms of film financing is necessary to make the whole. Sure, private equity (or cash) still plays a role in this new model, but there's also other methods that need to be explored and implemented to finance your film

Case in point - many filmmakers today are using private equity or cash for development funds, tax incentives and pre-sales for production funds, and crowd funding for finishing funds. Is that too many financing components? Let me put it to you this way....

Ignore a diversified approach to film financing at your peril!


Women In Film's "Career Rehab" Event, Dec. 4

Women In Film, LA (WIF) is thrilled to announce the First Annual Career Rehab, a day-long workshop designed to answer the tough questions behind how to achieve success in Hollywood. Hosted by WIF, LA President Jane Fleming and event co-chairs Madelyn Hammond (named Hollywood's Job Whisperer by Nikki Finke) and Pamela Rodi (Myriad Pictures), the event is open to people of all levels who are looking to find a job or make a change and will feature panels and discussion groups with industry experts. Visit the Career Rehab webpage for a full list of panels and workshops.

Saturday, Dec 4 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
at Salon Studio, 4621 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

NALIP members get a discounted rate of $140 with discount code care2147
Click here for tickets.

Links from Distribution U. in NY, and Looking Ahead to LA on Nov. 20

Distribution U. had a great group of 200 filmmakers converge on NYU's Cantor Film Center last Saturday for the first Distribution U. of 2010, and now they are looking ahead to the second workshop of the year this Saturday, Nov. 20 at UCLA. Click here for details and registration at the NALIP member discount rate.

Some highlights from the NY weekend of Distribution U.:

- Eric Kohn of IndieWire was there as one of our guest experts, running lunch discussions on how filmmakers can get reviews, whether in traditional media or blogs. Afterward, he posted this write-up of the marketing and distribution case study we did on "Exit Through the Gift Shop," with speakers Marc Schiller of Electric Artists and Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama.

- "Star Wreck" director Timo Vuorensola couldn't join us (he was preparing to start shooting his latest project, "Iron Sky"), but he sent this six-minute video explaining his approach to building communities around his films -- and raising money for the productions online.

- Participant Moishe Kaufman posted his notes from the morning and afternoon sessions on his great blog about film, the Internet, and media, The M Word.

- Dustyn Gobler, who was part of our excellent team of volunteers in New York (and is also an experienced post-production consultant), posted his notes on his blog.

- One of our other guest experts, producer and Filmmaker Magazine editor Scott Macaulay, had put this post on his blog before the event (it contains some audio from Distribution U. 2009, at USC). Anne Thompson of IndieWire, who'll be a guest expert this Saturday in LA, published this post on her "Thompson on Hollywood" blog, which contains another bit of audio from 2009.

- Our discussion leaders in LA are a pretty impressive bunch, and you'll be able to sit down with three of them for a small group chat that we think will be full of helpful guidance:
* Roko Belic, Director, "Genghis Blues" and "Happy"
* Joe Beyer, Producer, Sundance Institute Online
* Adam Chapnick, Founder, Distribber
* Jonathan Dana, producer and producer's rep, "Road to Nowhere"
* Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO, Gravitas Ventures
* Jim Gilliam of NationBuilder, the Internet strategist who helped Robert Greenwald launch (and finance) his Brave New Films series of documentaries and online videos
* Roberta Grossman, Producer/Director, "Blessed is the Match"
* Madelyn Hammond, Marketing Expert, Madelyn Hammond & Associates
* Producer and editor Joel Heller ("Winnebago Man")
* Justine Jacob, Director, "Ready Set Bag" and Partner, Lee & Lawless
* Oren Jacob, CTO, Pixar and Executive Producer, "Runner's High" and "Ready Set Bag"
* Skot Leach, Co-Founder, Lost Zombies
* Cara Mertes, director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
* Cora Olson and Jennifer Dubin of Present Pictures
* Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder, IndieGoGo
* Chris Shellen, Web strategist and producer, "Marwencol"
* Jill Sobule, crowdfunding pioneer and musician; Jill's latest release is "The California Years," funded entirely by her fans.
* IndieWire writer Anne Thompson of "Thompson on Hollywood" (formerly of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter
* Nancy Willen, Head of Acme PR, Documentary Publicist ("Taxi to the Dark Side")

Visit the Distribution U. LA page to register!

  Academy Reveals Doc Shortlist
(Variety) - "Waiting for Superman," "The Tillman Story," "Restrepo" and "Inside Job" are among the 15 docus shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences for the documentary feature category. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

Visit the NALIP Job Opportunities page for all the latest listings.

Casting: AFI Thesis Film
NALIP member Diana Romero is currently casting several roles in an AFI thesis film "Lucha." FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

From the Editor
Alex Mendoza
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Abby Ginzberg
NALIPster's doc Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice screening at BLIFF

NALIP member Abby Ginzberg's documentary Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice will be the closing night film at the Boston Latino International Film Festival, screening on Dec. 5th at 6:30pm. The film will also be screening at the Havana Film Festival on Dec. 9. It recently won an Accolade Award and received an audience engagement grant in the last round of LPB funding.

The film profile Cruz Reynoso, the son of farmworkers who went on to become the first Latino appointed to the California Supreme Court, by then (and once again) Governor Jerry Brown.

Manny Perez
NALIPster's feature continues theatrical run, picked up for US ancillary distribution

After receiving multiple offers for the Dominican hit La Soga - written by, produced by, and starring NALIP member Manny Perez - at the American Film Market (AFM), 7-57 Releasing struck a deal to partner with Screen Media Films for North American ancillary rights.

La Soga was released theatrically in August 2010 in New York City and simultaneously nationwide in the Dominican Republic, hitting the 1 million dollar worldwide box office mark and expanding to select cities in the U.S. through the beginning of 2011.


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