Ángela Poblete of Fábula on #PRODUprimetime

Fábula: There are more series out there, but not enough producers, new people need to be trained
20 de agosto de 2021

“I think there are more series to do than existing producers; the demand for content is so great, particularly in Mexico, that we really have to train new people,” said Ángela Poblete, director of Development and TV at Fábula in an interview at #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra.

“Today I have the pleasure of being with a Chilean journalist, producer, and executive, with more than 20 years of experience in TV, in various areas such as programming, development, and production. And today she has a very creative and fun job, but at the same time intense. She is the regional TV director of perhaps the most important production company in Chile: Fábula. She is responsible for implementing ideas, developments and alliances; managing the relationship with the clients, understanding the trends, and also looking for the stories, or the IP (Intellectual properties)” said Ríchard to introduce Poblete.

"We journalists are story seekers, and that has made us a perfect fit in this market, and to be able to make such an organic crossover with fiction. I think we learn, through our careers, to identify compelling stories and to tell them in interesting ways so that they gain attention. When we come to this place of fiction, we are well suited,” said Ángela, who began her career as a journalist at Chilevisión, doing research for various programs. She later became executive producer, coordinator of the programmatic grid and project developer. At TVN she was head of the Content Development area. In 2015 she joined Fábula, where she has led the executive production of successful series such as La Jauría, El Presidente and currently she is at the helm of Señorita 89, in Mexico, and 42 Días en la Oscuridad, in Chile.

“The vocation of Fábula has always been to have products that distinguish by their quality in all the formats we work with, especially in film and TV. We have managed to defend that quality, and something else that characterizes us, or that we try to be strongly in the DNA of Fábula, is to be able to show interesting social phenomena that can identify with people and drive conversation among the viewers. This is also something very characteristic of us, as well as working with emotions. We are restless people, full of questions. There is also a lot of diversity among our staff, and I think that all of this shows in the variety of products we have. We like to put projects that are provocative on the table.”

Ríchard asked her if Fabula's name was written with an accent or not, because it appears both ways on Google. “We as publishers take great care of the style, the writing, and of course, writing all the names correctly. And at PRODU we have written ‘Fábula’ but also ‘Fabula’, as it is in your logo,” Ríchard said. Angela confirmed that “Fábula” is pronounced and written with an accent in the first “a”. "The logo thing was a mistake, but it has remained that way."

Founded by the brothers Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín in 2005, Fábula is currently developing several simultaneous projects: “We are doing science fiction, horror, adventure, genres that we had never done before and that have been created by our development area of Contents led by Daniel Castell and Julio Rojas, two great professionals, very creative. We are experimenting with genres that previously seemed impossible to do in Latin America. We jump from one genre to another,” said Angela.

Ríchard invited her to comment on the evolution that she had undergone developing a story, especially her, who had been part of the traditional production on an open television, and was now with digital platforms.
AP: “I think there is something very interesting in the revaluation of the role of the creative. On broadcast TV, creatives were like half-crazy people who needed a lot of space for Newton's apples to fall on their heads to have a good idea. In today's world, there is a professionalization of the role of the creative: now he works with a method, he works with a team so that his idea sees the light. It is very nice to see how the creative team manages to systematize their ideas to be able to carry them out and, furthermore, how that idea grows hand in hand with people who are in different countries, who have different life experiences and who fulfill different roles. Throughout the whole process, both inside the writers’ room, which is the beginning, until a showrunner comes in and calls it over. That role of the creative that was not seen in this way on open TV, I think it is an interesting thing of the new times.”

“Today there is a standardized work system that allows us to advance much faster and more structured, in addition to understanding each other better. The writers' rooms generate security mechanisms where we end all aligning and being on the same page: the producer, the platform and the creatives. In addition, they are super-international writers' rooms; It is wonderful to see how the idea arises, and how one idea connects with another one and how the other makes it grow and then how it is translated into paper and comes to life. It's very exciting, and it is the part of the process that I like the most. We try to ensure that in these writers' rooms there are consolidated writers, consolidated scriptwriters, but also young people, who learn the method, who get their hands on the script. We are creating new generations that bring freshness. I think there are more series to do than producers. You have to start training new people who are capable of telling these stories and empower the writers' rooms.”

“Today a Chilean series can be directed by an Argentine, written by a Mexican and the photography direction by a Spaniard. We are already working like this. There are no borders or limits. Today the entire Spanish-speaking community gathers and builds a dream team with the best talents from each country. It's a dream! It is very nice to realize throughout this process, how the things that unite us are many more than those that divide us, and how our idiosyncrasies are more similar than we thought. We are a long country with a mountain range that separates us from the rest of the continent, therefore we always thought that our idiosyncrasy was not very Latin, very cold. But today all these digital communication tools give us the possibility of sharing with people from different parts of Latin America and we realize that we are all very similar and with quite similar problems,” she added.

“Instead of feeling a competition or seeing a threat in Dynamo, Lemon, La Corriente del Golfo (LCG), there is a complicity as well, there is a friendship, there is a generosity. This happens because I think we all come from the world of cinema, others from the world of advertising, others from TV, but we are all learning to work for platforms; We are all learning to make series, we are all discovering different ways of telling stories, whether in podcasts, in series, in short, this universe has become very flexible and wide. This complicity and solidarity in the environment has also been key to everyone's growth. It's a very modern way of looking at things, and it fascinates me, I find it beautiful. I think it benefits us all. When someone discovers a good scriptwriter, or a director who gives good results, they share it with the other, because finally what we all want, today is for Latinos to have a relevant place in the world to be able to tell our stories.” She pointed out.

Regarding the headquarters that they opened in CDMX, she said: “It has been titanic, the office is run by an incredible producer, Eduardo Castro, a great colleague, who traveled to open that Mexican office with a project called Señorita 89. It is a large and very solid series, a story headed by Lucía Puenzo and directed by several directors, it was a good 'moon landing' by hoisting the first Chilean flag in Mexico, also during a pandemic. In Chile they closed the borders and it has cost us a lot to travel as much as we wanted to Mexico to support him. However, we have managed to carry out this production quite successfully and it is looking very nice, the result has been fantastic. We always plan this arrival in Mexico with local teams, trying to understand with great humility the Mexican idiosyncrasy and the way they produce, which is much more American than the way we work in the Southern Cone. It has been a great learning journey, the Mexican culture is beautiful and the people are very welcoming.”

About the new Fábula Podcast endeavor, she added: “The podcast world is super passionate and it is not a little brother of fiction. It is a powerful medium and a very passionate way of telling stories. The production with images has certain limitations, but not in the podcast; They are told without any limitation of resources, and it could be any story that pleases you, available in any place, and with an infinite production value because it is only audio. The creative capacity is multiplied. It's very nice and you have a great time when doing it, especially the actors.”

“I would like Fábula to be a production house that welcomes the best talents in the region and that those talents are willing to tell their stories through us, with the support of our production. That would be, I think, a dream and a great contribution that Fábula could make: bringing together talents of different natures, from different countries, with different vocations, with different styles and ways of narrating, but all with the interest of telling relevant stories for our continent and for the world,” she highlighted.

Ríchard asked her about her bosses, the Larraín brothers, who have made such wonderful films, but it was not so easy to get them for interviews.
AP: “Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín are based in Chile but they are citizens of the world. They produce in different places. Pablo had to make a series with Steven King (Lisey’s Story) and another movie the same year. For periods it is their turn not to be in Chile, but the base is here, and the heart is here.”

View interview here