18 MAY 2020

ALEXANDER MARIN: "WE TRIED TO PROVIDE AN AMAZING SCREENING EXPERIENCE"

Sony Pictures Television launched its digital screenings as a replacement for the traditional L.A screenings event. The company's EVP, Distribution & Networks for Latin America, explains the initiative's workflow and all its content launches.

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Last March, Sony Pictures Television revealed its plan to host digital screenings as an alternative to the traditional L.A Screenings event in Los Angeles this month. The Sony Pictures 2020 Screenings became available today, 18th May through the 29th, showcasing a slate of new content via a virtual and on-demand screening experience. Despite there being limited time to put the finishing touches on sound and video effects for the event itself, along with no ability for “group share” or to create a hit show for media buyers, Alexander Marin, SPT’s EVP, Distribution & Networks for Latin America,  believes the content and platform, which has been used internally for streaming of creatives and leaderships, will make up for it as it will give viewers the flexibility to watch when they have the “ability, time and focus to do so. I think everybody's in the same boat,” said Marin. “What we've done is try to provide an amazing experience in order to demonstrate our commitment to being high-quality producers.”

The decision to cancel the U.S. sales event was made after organizers for other events, such as Seriesmania and MIPTV, which are both operating digital markets, made similar announcements. The calendar's events, which were canceled entirely due to the restrictions placed to prevent the spread of the virus, were also readjusted to be executed digitally, including Series Mania and Reed Midem’s replacing MIPTV, which was due to take place in March. The digital screenings further showcase distributors’ gradual shift to online marketing, along with other companies, like Armoza Formats and Red Arrow Studios.

The content featured in the digital screening includes trailers and full-length episodes, as well as information about the series from executive producers. Some of the productions include Spanish Dramedy, “Antes Muerta,” “Hoy Por Ti,” “El Secreto De Los Otros,” “Gente De Bien,” “Angel of Hamburg,” “Coyote,” “Crossing Swords,” “Leonardo,” Monsterland,” “Out Of Her Mind,” and “Woke.” 

The company has watched an increase in its networks' ratings and both linear and nonlinear content sales. SPT does not yet have visibility of what consumer demands will look like, nor if the increases will continue to rise.“I don't know as long-term,” Marin said. “It's a material change in consumption habits, but much more a simple adaptation to what they're able to do and what they're restricted from doing today.”


Sony was one of the first production/distributing companies to implement precautionary measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, closing offices in the UK, France, and Poland in early March. Despite the uncertainty of the future, STP is in the works of making sure all federal and state rules and laws are met once employees return to the office. physical productions continue. Marin affirmed that the safety of its staff is the company’s top priority at the moment. “You can't sell shows if we don't have people,” Marin said. “So honestly, we need to make sure that people are being taken care of. And I think that's the biggest concern and the biggest priority for us.”

Amid delays and suspensions, Marin tells Senal that the pandemic has given production companies the time and story to develop scripts that can be turned into quality content once production resumes. “From a creative perspective, I think it's allowed creators to really focus on the content that they're that they're making,”  Marin said. "We are storytellers. We do everything we can and humanity throughout the centuries has always told stories. And I think we're living through something that's going to be told in a story in the future.”

By Karla Florez

I think everybody's in the same boat. What we've done is try to provide an amazing experience in order to demonstrate our commitment to being quality comes with producers.” Alexander Marin EVP, Distribution & Networks of LATAM