Starzplay’s Peter Tortorici makes international plan for originals

As it continues its expansion in Europe, Starzplay is on the hunt for “edgy” returning scripted series of six to ten episodes and promises all of its partners a decent cut of IP, according to the chief strategy officer of the. Peter Tortorici platform.

In his on-demand speech to Conecta Fiction on Friday, the former CBS and Telemundo chief laid out Starzplay’s content requirements as he migrates from the cable channel to the international streaming platform.

The niche actor, which has now expanded to 56 countries, is focusing on “edgy adult dramas” as part of its originals order strategy, Tortorici said.

The streamer’s first local language production has already ended in Spain – a territory which Tortorici said had a “high but not exhaustive level of talent” that enabled the platform to deliver on its “brand promise. “.

Productions in this territory include showrunner Iván Escobar’s “Express” (“Locked Up”) – a co-production between The Mediapro Studio and premium streamer LatinX Pantaya. It centers on an outbreak of kidnappings around Madrid, which a hostage negotiator, herself a former kidnapping victim, must stop.

“We want loud, newsworthy ideas that give people the reason to say ‘Wow! What is it and where can I find it? ‘ and in this process, learn more about the channel, ”Tortorici said.

He added, “There’s always a call for shows that are ‘different’ but then those shows end up being pushed aside because they’re ‘too different.’ But when we say we want stuff before- keepers – we really mean it – as you can see in the kinds of things we are developing, which shows a commitment to that. ”

Acknowledging that the niche streamer does not have unlimited funds, Tortorici added that the platform is open to partners sharing intellectual property and distribution – a model Starz has already applied to “Express”.

“We need to be commercially and editorialally creative and look at each project based on how a participant can bring value to the table and add flexibility to the model and make it work at the highest level possible. premium content, ”he explained.

“This opens the door for other participants to get involved in our projects, whether as co-producers, co-distributors or co-financiers – we want to offer incentives to the talents who work with us,” he said. -he adds.

Given the challenges of raising awareness and acquiring subscribers, Tortorici added that the platform is looking for returning series that “have the potential for at least two seasons.”

The executive added that orders would be limited to shorter episodic series of “between six and 10 episodes” per season – in part to manage the limited talent pool, but also to allow Starzplay to ensure it there was enough fresh produce on the platform. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to build longer term franchises from that foundation,” he added.

According to Tortorici, Starzplay is ready to listen to ideas anytime before they are funded and promises “we will do our best to help them make it happen.”

Regarding the initial submissions, he recommended a fleshed out PowerPoint presentation as a first step, “to get a feel for the idea” and added that the platform would then work with partners to “shape the headlines of every episode and hook for the second season ”- as well as the pilot’s script.

If the series goes into series, he added, those development costs would be reimbursed.

The platform hopes to roll out originals to other territories based on its experiences in Spain, with Germany, France and Italy being designated as key territories.

“We are looking for ideas that have a real purpose in a specific territory that will reach a local audience directly as something they want to watch, but which has the potential to achieve something on a global scale,” said added Tortorici.

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