Globo eyes scripted push with $50m studio launch

Globo Studio

Globo Studio’s new MG4 complex

Brazilian media giant Globo is looking to ramp up its in-house drama production after formally launching a new $50 million studio complex in Rio de Janeiro.

The three new studios, known collectively as MG4, total 4,500 square meters and are part of Globo’s strategy to expand its drama output and improve the quality of its series against rising competition from streamers such as Netflix.

Globo CEO Carlos Henrique Schroder told TBI at a lavish launch event here in Rio that the complex would provide more options for the company’s scripted output, allowing it to produce telenovelas more efficiently and free up space for its shorter miniseries.

An as-yet untitled series produced with Sony is set to be shot in English at the complex early next year and Schroder said the changing “dynamics of the market” had seen Globo’s dramas become shorter, resulting in more shows.

“This world is really opening up and it allows us to experiment,” he said, adding that the complex – part of the company’s existing Globo Studios complex – would produce series for its free-to-air networks, as well as its Globosat pay offering and its SVOD service GloboPlay.

Schroder added that the company is also exploring an international roll-out of the latter, which could be launched in Portugal next year.

Jorge Nóbrega, CEO at Grupo Globo, said GloboPlay would offer around six original dramas this year and added that the company was focusing on improving the data it gained from its service to inform its programming.

Carlos Schroder

“We want to understand the different social tribes we have. It is a huge challenge, but we are investing more in content and will spend 4.2 billion Real ($1.1 billion) this year alone.

“We are providing more flexible packages too, so people can watch what they want when they want to. We cannot think just about one platform anymore – cable, free-to-air, GloboPlay – it is all together.”

Nóbrega added that at present only Globo series would be shot on the lot, and he ruled out selling any of the resultant shows to global streamers. “We won’t do what was done in the U.S, allowing our content to be sold to Netflix and Amazon – that was how Netflix was born. Our shows will always be on our platform.”

Filming will take place using 4K and 4K HDR wireless cameras, while post production processes will use cloud-based technology to allow producers to work more efficiently.

The studios will allow for standing sets with self-supporting structures and allow cameras to move around an external area of 4,000 square meters in a continuous single shot.

A dedicated app has also been created in-house that provides actors with details of where their next scenes will take place, their costume changes and allows them to practice their lines. Paper scripts have also been scrapped in favour of online versions.

Globo said the complex would also allow it to better develop its own talents, with the first drama to be produced in the new facility due to be Amor de Mãe (Mother’s Love), which will start shooting in October.

The launch takes Globo Studio – the biggest complex in Latin America – to a total production capacity of 12,500 square meters, with more than 3,000 hours of drama and entertainment shows set to be filmed on the lot over the coming 12 months.