Fidela Navarro and Gonzalo Sagardía beside Damián Kirzner during the panel conversation about Hernán Cortés
Dopamine and Onza: Hernán Cortés is the most expensive Hispanic-American series in history
Maye Albornoz, Mexico City|09 de julio de 2019
Fidela Navarro, CEO of Dopamine (premium production studio of Grupo Salinas) and Gonzalo Sagardía, co-founding partner at Onza Partners and current CEO of Onza Entertainment, assured that in the context of the fifth anniversary of the arrival of Hernán Cortés to Mexico, they started the production of this series that is "the one with the greatest investment of independent production companies in Spanish language," stated Navarro.
The series will have eight episodes and will be launched in November this year, with a production 85% Mexican and the rest from Spain and there is a second season that is more balanced regarding production territories. "The story was born from the Dopamine team. We found it attractive because we thought it could travel well throughout different countries. Although it is not a well-known character in Spain, it aroused a great deal of controversy. We are careful not to judge history with a modern-day gaze," assured Sagardía.
The executives detailed that each episode will be addressed from the perspective of a character close to the life of Cortés. This way he will be presented as genocide, an entrepreneur, man or captain. "The audience will be able to decide which Cortés they prefer. That way we shaped a multifaceted character that has not been easy," explained Navarro.
The executive detailed that one of the challenges was to develop and produce the project without thinking it is for a specific platform. It was financed by both companies and now they are distributing it worldwide, which allows them to have intellectual property rights. "Dopamine was approaching the same business model that we were looking for. The intellectual property belongs to the producers and there they add windows, enable creative freedom and profitability, an expensive IP. For the networks there is also a lot of benefits," expressed Sagardia.
Among other details, they explained that for the series they built a 215 thousand square feet backlot and each episode required a US$1 to US$2 million investment. There was also a bet in the sense of doing it in original languages (náhuatl and maya).
As for the transmedia planning, they explained that they have documented the entire shooting process with three thousand photos and videos, so as to generate an experience around it, that includes promotion on windows, as well as exhibits, concerts, conferences, and more.