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Daniel Écija: "The normal thing in this business is to live with failure"

The head of series as a family doctor, boarding school or I'm alive believes that there is no formula for success

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Daniel Écija:

"I watch television as a great rollercoaster of emotions, a great video game in which it can all fit." Daniel Écija (Wittenoom, Australia, 1963) has been creating and producing fiction for television for over 20 years and is well aware of what he is talking about. He receives country in his office. In large slate that covers one of walls are detailed sequences of one of next chapters of I'm Alive, series that has created and whose fifth episode emits today (22.40) 1.

The fiction starring Javier Gutiérrez is also a rollercoaster of emotions with drama, humor, crimes and supernatural touches. "The first challenge was to do something different", says producer about series, leader of audience from its premiere even in front of a veteran like Big Bror. "The second was to excite me." And I'm very interested in supernatural part and Marvel comics, I'm a comic geek. "I always work from what I understand, how personal, and trying to take risks." The result is a fiction that same can talk about what is after death and second chances as jokes to account of Lola Flores and Tino Casal. "I have a hard time making a series that has no sense of humour." There is a purpose, which is to have personality in everything it does, and that happens because journey is very ambitious. "I'm alive is different, and with all television networks re are, be different and have identity and personality is very powerful."

For more than an hour of talk, he speaks with passion for his work, his life and television, with a torrent of words and ideas in which he includes questions that he knows will appear in conversation. As formula of success for a series. "There are no formulas, that does not exist," he advances question. "In nineties it was said that if you put a boy and a grandfar on TV, that works safe." But it wasn't that. With Castañazos I've hit, if re was a formula ... "laughs who has been behind successes as a family doctor, journalists, a step forward, Serranos, Paco's men, boarding school or Red Eagle and stumbling as anchored or welcome to Lolita." " "The normal thing in this business is to live with failure." "How many series do we have left after a year of America's premieres?" reflects aloud Écija. "And what is success on television?" "Go from second season," he wonders and answers himself.

Javier Gutiérrez and Alejo Sauras, in ' I am alive '.

Even if you say re are no formulas for success, in your series There are certain recurrent features, such as patterns that include children or teenagers. "I am very interested in this issue, education and environments and atmospheres, aggression that comes to be in institutes, level of competition and posture that surrounds young people, how we overprotect m ...". The result, as it happens in I am alive, are series with ambition to reach all public possible, something that, defends Écija, must share productions for chains in Open and of payment.

"Open and paid television will have a similar challenge, which is to see people." Pay TV goes from subscribers, and I think open and pay TV will look a lot. Pay TV has to see many and it has to be very open. For example, stranger things or The Handmaid's Tale are not closed or niche series. It is good to make series that excite many people, if that means for all public ... But not to confuse with making childish, immature, obvious series. That's a mistake now and always. We have to get back investment to new platforms that will give us opportunity to do series, and that happens to interest viewer, work for viewer. "Television is going to excite, make you laugh, make you cry, make you think," he argues. "If you see few and understand few is better?" is making a lady laugh easy? "That a man will skip a tear when he can change at any time is simple?" he continues. "When a series speaks of something important, something basic in human being, it becomes a universal and exciting series, something extraordinary." Game of Thrones does not seem to me a series of niche, is a very open series, extraordinarily open.

Many have changed things since time of family doctor (1995-1999) for Spanish series. "But y have also changed a lot in United States," says Écija before returning to national situation and highlighting technological evolution that has allowed approach between television and cinema visually. "What happens, once again, is that we've done in 20 years what ors have done in 40." The personal and industrial fabric here is a scandal, we are very good but we do not finish believing, he defends.

So what is lacking in Spanish series to compete in international market? "Our fiction is tremendously well located in Mediterranean area." But in Anglo-Saxon market, first drawback is language. Then, manage budgets of ors, "adds producer. "and duration format." Televisions should be complicit in this. But we return to economy: one that can cover prime time with a single chapter is very serious, that prime time begins so late is very serious. And last drawback is that statement of results to chains comes out with this format of programming. "Public television should help to sort out or streamline country's programming." Daniel Écija's Word.


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