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SANTIAGO DE CHILE – A YouTube series, a network TV show and a feature-length film: that’s the path Felipe Braga’s Latitudes initiated this week when the first of its 12-minute webisodes was released Wednesday in its own YouTube channel.
Brazil’s first transmedia project stars Daniel de Oliveira and Alice Braga, who also produces the project through Losbraga together with House Ent. Alice Braga (I Am Legend, Elysium) plays Olivia, a fashion editor who travels the globe searching for new trends, while Oliveira’s Jose is a renowned photographer hunting for images around the world. The two characters develop a love story during their work trips in eight different cities, where they meet in luxury hotels, airports and restaurants.
An extended and commented version of each episode will air on TNT Brazil starting next Monday at 10 pm. These eight longer episodes will mix fiction and real life, featuring making-of scenes as well as the actors themselves preparing for their roles. In the last stage, the producers’ plan is to release an adapted version of Latitudes as a feature-length film.
“Everything was conceived this way from the beginning. We wanted to explore this new window on the Internet, such a direct and democratic way of reaching an audience,” said director Felipe Braga (also a writer for Stephen Daldry’s Rio de Janeiro-set Trash). According to him, Latitudes began as “a reflection on how to apply digital age trends to fiction-making: taking that new content production culture to tell a good story that, first of all, must be good cinema.”
Apart from the support of YouTube and TNT, Latitudes also draws from partnerships with sponsor companies like Procter&Gamble. FIAT and Heineken. “Every person of my generation who makes cinema owes their career to the tax incentive model. I’m very thankful of it, but I think that cannot be the only way to produce, the only possible solution,” said Felipe Braga. “I believe the categories ‘audience’ and ‘consumer’ will merge into one single thing. Brands will end up acting as curators of content,” he added.
Alice Braga, who just finished shooting Pablo Fendrik’s El Ardor opposite Gael Garcia Bernal, defended the format: “This is still cinema even if it’s set outside the movie theaters. Today you can see everything online. You can watch Latitudes where and how you please, and that is wonderful. I thought Felipe’s idea was different from all the things I was doing and everything it was being made in general. I think it’s a perfect way to depict our generation.”
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