We talk about editorial opportunities for the audiovisual sector

11/19/2019

LAAB debate at L'Alternativa Professionals

On November 14th, and within the framework of L'Alternativa Professionals, the LAAB (Laboratory of Audiovisual Adaptations of Barcelona) held a meeting between successful professionals to analyse the role that literary adaptations play in traditional exploitation and in different audiovisual content platforms. The debate was attended by Núria Valls, head of production for Nostromo Pictures; Antonio Trashorras, Creative Executive Original Programming of HBO Spain as well as scriptwriter, director and executive producer of television and cinema; Mònica García Massagué, director of the Taboo'ks and the Sitges Foundation and Mario Madueño Cobo, promoter of the "Rodando páginas, los libros van a las pantallas" initiative. The writer Joan Antoni Martín Piñol, who participated in the first edition of LAAB with Sentinels, was the moderator. The event was presented by Patricia Fernández, co-director of the festival; Arantxa García, coordinator of the Barcelona Film Commission at the ICUB and Sebastián Mery, responsible for LAAB.

Núria Valls of Nostromo Pictures talked about the adaptations that her production company has made of books and her experience with them such as Palmeras en la Nieve or the Trilogía del Baztán. He explained that editorial success always adds up to get funding. But a lesser-known novel can be developed from more early stages more easily. Likewise, a hit novel is not necessarily a hit movie, she said.

Antonio Trashorras, Creative Executive Original Programming of HBO Spain assured that "we don't want books. We need adaptations already made. We need people like Núria to bring us the adaptation." Trashorras recommended that it is essential to have a plot map if you want to present a project on HBO. "I want to know the name of the screenwriter and the talent behind what I read," said Antonio Trashorras, who also said that "what happened to your brother-in-law over the weekend may have the same audiovisual value as a book by García Márquez".

Literary agents want to learn how to sell their works to the audiovisual. Taboo'ks and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival want to make a training in this regard according to the director of the Sitges Foundation and head of Taboo'ks. Mònica García Massagué searches when she reads, that the books have audiovisual viability. Taboo'ks initially received 80 books on fantastic themes until they began ordering dossiers with the audiovisual possibilities of the books and those were reduced by 30%. It is essential to write this dossier, according to García Massagué, to present any book to such initiatives.

Mario Madueño Cobo from Rodando Páginas in Madrid said they receive about 250 works of all kinds: Comic, novel, children books, etc. Madueño said that "television platforms do not participate in Rodando Páginas, since they are looking for audiovisual adaptations directly, not the book." Mónica García Massagué opened the doors to collaborations between these types of events: "We are looking for alliances. We want to become stronger. Any initiative that promotes the sector such as LAAB has a place in Sitges’s Taboo'ks”.

Finally, the audience asked about the figure of the screenwriter or showrunner and why they did not have as much visibility as the director. Antonio Trashorras said that "the creator must have an executive management role as the director or the person in charge of financing. The author and the creative have creative talent, but they must not have seller’s talent. That's what agents and producers are for."

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