It seems that they have found the formula to please (almost) all the chains and catch the public. This Galician couple will have four broadcast series this fall: Times of War (Antena 3), Velvet Collection (which # 0 premieres today at 22.00), Betrayal (1) and Las chicas del cable (Netflix). Bambú Producciones founded Ramón Campos (Noya, 1975) and Teresa Fernández-Valdés (Pontevedra, 1980) 10 years ago. « I wanted to control the production of my series. I had seen things that had been done with my scripts that did not convince me, » Campos recalls. Their adventure started with a failure, White Glove, but it continued with successes such as Grand Reserve, Hispania or Under suspicion, some important stumbling block such as Refugees or The Embassy, and the conquest of the international market that has given them Gran Hotel, Velvet and Las chicas del cable.
In their hits you can see a common line. « Early in our career we realized that there was a niche that was neglected: the female audience that likes melodramatic series with a strong romantic component, » says Campos. « All the products they were given were of low quality. And offering that public a product that they are proud of has positioned us not only in Spain, but also in the international market. »
Ramón Campos and Teresa Fernández-Valdés. Carlos Rosillo
In fact, they do not believe that they have found the formula for the success of a series. « The only key is to think about the chain and its audience, not turn your back on it, » Campos told EL PAÍS at the producer’s headquarters in Pozuelo de Alarcón. And they give as an example the cases of Las chicas del cable or Velvet collection, the continuation of the Antena 3 series that now comes to Movistar +. « We do the series that the chain asks us, and that is why we survive in this market. What does not make sense, and is to hit against a wall, is if they ask you for a romantic melodrama, do one of the mafia, » Campos continues. « Movistar, for example, wanted Velvet. They called us to do Velvet and it will continue to be Velvet. If not, they would ask for an original idea, » adds Teresa Fernández-Valdés. « We put our creativity at the service of a company, » continues Campos. « And that company, in turn, is due to an audience. As producers, what satisfies us is knowing that this works, » concludes Fernández-Valdés, whom The Hollywood Reporter magazine mentioned last year as one of the women most powerful in the world of television.
Image of the first chapter of ‘Velvet collection’, Movistar + series.
From his words it follows that the lack of risk that is usually attributed to national television fiction is the responsibility of the networks. « Absolutely, » agrees Fernández-Valdés. « You don’t know about projects here in drawers and drawers. » Some of those riskier ideas were brought up to Netflix when the online platform took notice of them after the success in America of Gran Hotel and Velvet. « Being Netflix, we presented a lot of risky projects and a series, The Cable Girls, with that more feminine cut. In the case of the risky, they didn’t even answer us, » says the producer. Now, for Antena 3 they are preparing the ambitious Fariña, which adapts the book on Galician drug trafficking written by Nacho Carretero to the small screen. « It is the most complicated series to produce of which we have now. »
With Netflix, which this fall premieres the second season of the series starring Blanca Suárez and Yon González, they learned another way of working. « The American mentality is very different. We thought about our public and they told us that it is enough to think about Spain and that we think about the world, » says Fernández Valdés. They were looking for a story to connect with the younger generations and unite daughters, mothers and grandmothers. « They did not want a historical series, they wanted a series in the past but for new generations, » Campos argues. They have also verified that all that glitters in this case is not gold. « On Netflix, when we talk about freedom, we have already interpreted what freedom they mean: you are going to be able to count everything you want, but you are going to tell it as I like you to tell it », summarizes the producer.
Blanca Suárez, in Netflix’s ‘Las chicas del cable’.
They prefer the title of executive producers to showrunner, the Anglo-Saxon term widespread in the television world to refer to the person in charge of a series. « There are scriptwriters who are very bad executive producers and there are great executive producers who are very bad scriptwriters, and sometimes it happens that both things work, » defends Campos. And what does a good executive producer have to have? « Be clear about the objective you want to achieve. I always define this as a painting. You have to be clear about the painting in all its parts, from the color, the canvas, the frame … The fist is when someone arrives halfway there tells you, put another color on it, « says the producer and screenwriter. « If the whole team goes to that, you’re just the guide who carries the cane and tells the way. »
Bambú now has projects on TVE, Antena 3, Movistar + and Netflix. They need to put a pike in Mediaset. « A few years ago we offered them a miniseries, but it turned out that it was not the right time, » says Fernández-Valdés. « I do want to work with them one day. For completing the album, » confesses Ramón Campos.
Amaia Salamanca and Álex García, in ‘Times of War’, from Antena 3.
In recent years, national television fiction has made great strides forward, but it still has a long way to go. What is missing from the Spanish series? « There is everything to do, » says Teresa Fernández-Valdés hopefully. « It is wonderful that the industry has been reactivated with the arrival of all these platforms. A golden second stage of the industry is beginning. There is a need for more content and therefore there is a bet to do better than the neighbor. New creators will emerge , new opportunities, new genres and discourses … will no longer be of linear consumption with advertising interruptions, but you have the most devoted audience for you, with an intensive consumption of the series that allows you the luxury of playing more with the content. .. All good is yet to come. «