Diego Martinez Ulanosky, Ashauri Lopez, Lucero Sanchez Novaro Prep ‘Going Rampant’ at Caponeto (EXCLUSIVE)

John Hopewell
Variety

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Caponeto, a TV, branded content, film and live-show production-sales company based out of Mexico City, is developing girls road series “Desenfrenadas”  (Going Rampant), an original TV fiction series that Caponeto hopes will pioneer a new way of doing business in the independent TV sector in Mexico.

Now ready to shoot, “Going Rampant” is a 10-part half-hour dramedy about three girls who, unhappy about how their hipster-ish and uber-neurotic lives are playing out, decide to embark on a road-trip. They meet a fourth girl, who confronts a matter of life-or-death, catapulting the quartet on a journey of no return. Their bad decisions lead to even worse, said Caponeto’s Diego Martinez Ulanosky, who will direct “Going Rampant.”

Screenplays are complete for the whole series, which is currently casting. Cast will combine “well-known actresses that go wild” and indie actors, Martinez Ulanosky added.

“Far from the traditional archetypes of local series, our goal is to create a more realistic and controversial content, with a transmedia environment,” said Martinez Ulanosky, describing “Going Rampant” as having a “very intimate and realistic tone, intelligent dialogues and deeply imperfect characters.” It “reflects actual situations and conflicts that girls go through in Mexico nowadays, which are not very different to other countries,” he added.

Martinez Ulanosky served as the general producer of ‘Soy tu fan,” produced by Canana, headed by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, and a milestone attempt to create a modern series, adapting an Argentine format, made outside the Televisa-TV Azteca duopoly with Canal Once Mexico.

Addressing millennials, “Going Rampant” is co-written by Martinez Ulanosky and upscale punk rock poet Ashuari Lopez, who delivers a memorable poem performance in Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “I Promise You Anarchy,” and writer-director Lucero Sanchez Navarro. Her lyrical half-hour graduation short “Mauve,” produced by “Instructions Not Included” Monica Lopez, about a young girl’s pained attempts to assimilate the death of her best friend, impressed at the 2015 Morelia Festival.

“Going Rampant” tries to take several more steps forward, said Martinez.

Caponeto plans a web series of five-minute segments showing extended content, plus lifestyle, backstage content and a story of a fan who follows the girls around.

But its key innovation is its business model. Traditionally, broadcasters have fully-financed TV dramas and retain all rights. Independent production companies are unable to accrue assets by retaining rights, so building company value. “Going Rampant,’ by contrast, is financed by a mix of branded content and private equity investment, allowing Caponeto to retain rights to the show and maintain creative control.

Martinez Ulanosky aims to pre-sell the first window of “Going Rampant” to a free TV, and then exploit the pay TV and SVOD windows after the show is made, he said. Investors include Caponeto itself – “It’s a big bet for us,” Martinez Ulanosky said. Supporting brands are beauty product, food, electronics and clothes companies.

“It’s a risky model to do in Latin America. Here we don’t have studios, the bridge. So what we’re trying to do is be our own studio,” Martinez s Ulanosky said.

Two things have changed in Mexico, aiding that evoltion. “Brands are very willing to participate in a series like this, and they don’t try to make their presence a very hard-sell,” said Martinez Ulanosky.

Also, TV operators, whose production budgets are now under fiscal pressure are far more interested in shows from production houses which can bring their own production finance ti the table.

Caponeto has produced for History Channel, A&E, MTV, Nick, NBCU, Once TV, Netflix, Google and Fox. It has produced live events such as the MTV Game Awards or Kids Choice Awards Mexico, weekly shows and documentaries with Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez or Marilyn Manson, among others.

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