‘Lupin’ Producer On How To Make A Global Hit As Language Barriers Fall -Berlin

Lupin is “a great achievement, not only for us but for all producers around the world,” said Gaumont Vice CEO Christophe Riandée, who is also a producer of the hit Netflix series, during a panel at the European Film Market today. The Omar Sy-starrer which has been a worldwide smash on streaming, is produced by Gaumont Television and has scored record-breaking numbers for a French series on the service. The first part of Season One was made available in early January and the second half of S1 is due this summer.

Speaking to Lupin’s success Riandée said, “There’s no more borders anymore… it’s a proof of concept.” The overall result is, “Wherever you are, whatever language you speak, you have access to a global audience and I think it’s a great sign for all the creators and all the producers of the world that they can reach a fanbase audience.” The “impact of all the streamers,” he noted, “shows that nowadays there is no limit anymore.” Season One Part 2 of Lupin is in the “final steps of delivery,” Riandée said, while he hinted that more news is to come.

As for other work going on, Riandée said that Gaumont, which is the world’s oldest film studio, has been stymied from releasing movies in France due to ongoing cinema closures. It has been actively producing, however, with 19 shows currently in production around the world coming from its American, British, German and French offices. “There is huge demand from platforms all around the world and even more since last year because Disney and HBO have reorganized their teams — they’re going widely international. Obviously they have access to a large library of shows and movies, but they also want to do content for their local audiences,” Riandée said. “As with Amazon and Netflix, they are commissioning a lot of local shows in all of their local branches. That has a huge impact on us, and on the industry, which is good.”

Also on the EFM panel with Riandée was former CEO of Trustnordisk Rikke Ennis who is the founder of Copenhagen-based REinvent Studios “The appetite from streaming services is mind-blowing” even though Scandinavia is a smaller territory, she said. “With Disney here for quite a while now and HBO Max starting to grow, and even more platforms, it’s very interesting as a production company because you can produce much more than before. Of course, you can also feel that budgets perhaps are a little bit more limited, that the platforms are trying to get more titles for a little less money because it’s also about having as many titles as possible. But it’s definitely super-interesting from a production point of view. From an international sales point of view, it’s a different case because the more global it becomes, the less interesting it is for a sales agent.”

Another potential downside is ownership, which Ennis allowed is “very little” when working with streamers. “It’s more work for hire.” She pointed out that with some services like the Nordics’ ViaPlay, “there is still room for producers to own… What is needed today is a great demand for flexibility because no show can be the same — you have to be super creative and innovative about the financing.”

Amid the explosion of opportunity, Riandée noted that “Talent is everything” beginning with internal talent. Gaumont has 25 producers in various countries and, “you need to make them feel it’s the right home for them… It’s not all about money, it’s also about trust and the autonomy you can give them. It’s extremely important to make them feel they are driving the show… I think the basics of our job nowadays is if you don’t have good producers and writers you can’t have good shows.” And those shows need to be “the most unique proposition in the market. It’s a great opportunity and we always need to be exceptional, to find the next good idea, the next improbable project.”

Echoed Ennis, “In this ocean of content, you need to do something to stand out.”

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