One goal that a lot of production companies around the world have in common is trying to expand their reach, influence and dominance in the entertainment industry. While you see shows from giant production companies including 20th Century Fox, Disney-ABC Television and BBC Worldwide, you may have never heard about the Italian-based television production company known as TVCO. Founded in 2006 by Italian broadcast veteran Vincenzo Mosca, TVCO is an independent film and Television Company is organizing co-productions between Italy, Europe and North America. Recently, the company has released two feature films: Duns Scoto and God’s Country and they continue to grow their product line through T.V. pilots and more.
I had the chance to correspond with Vincenzo and we talked about his accidental road that let him in the television industry, the two movies and his thoughts on crowd funding.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you wan to be a part of the television industry?
Vincenzo Mosca: Typically, I did not plan to go in the T.V. business. I used to be a script translator and dialog adaptor (in Italy every show is dubbed and you have to adapt dialogs for the lip sync). There was this interview at a company hiring sales assistants and I took it… They hired me and I found out it was Italian broadcaster RAI! The very first day, they put me in charge of selling T.V. show to Iceland. It was 1986.
JE: What did you do before you launched your company?
VM: The launch of TVCO came after a career that exposed me to all different areas of the T.V. industry. I went from sales assistant to EVP for co-productions/associate producer recently.
JE: Why did you decide to form a television and film company?
VM: I saw it was time for me to be independent and not only working for others. These last few years, TV’s worldwide want and need more and more co-productions. Budget cuts are becoming dramatic; we specialize in T.V. co-production consultancy. So it’s our moment. In February this year, I thought it was time for me to grab the TV global market with an open mind and very low overhead and competitive fees, we offer our services to companies that have to deal with less money to make TV series or miniseries and films. Broadcasters will never stop airing only they all need a better deal.
JE: One of your things people will notice if they visit your Website is that you are asking for donations to recoup or release from your projects. Could you share your explanation why that is part of your site?
VM: I read about crowd funding and became very excited about this way of sharing any project with as many people as possible. I think filmmakers should explore this opportunity. I am a keen user of social networks to promote my work with respect to self-generated material like in this case.
JE: In 2010, you released Duns Scoto (Blessed Duns Scotus). What were some of the best things about releasing that film? What were the most difficult things about releasing the film?
VM: It was a privilege to work with the Franciscan Friars who picked me to be their tool to make a film about Duns Scotus. The best thing was everybody from cast to set hands accepted to work for very little. No one complained! Also, I sold the film to the US, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Brazil, South Korea (more to come…). We have three versions: Italian, English, and Spanish. It’s an incredible film. The most difficult things were to set up the post-production process and distribution; you understand TVCO was very young at the time and everything from finding a lab to starting distribution was from scratch!
JE: You have several different projects that are profiled. Could you please share to my readers, what they are all about?
VM: Although I specialize in TV co-productions, I have full ownership of two film projects and am building up a library for foreign sales (our library include Duns Scotus and God’s Country (by Chris Armstrong). I created the two stories of the two film treatments, but I am developing them with professional scriptwriters. Of the two Napoli 1907 is more developed. A script first draft is expected by the end of August. You can watch a very short logline of Napoli at http://www.youtube.com/user/TVCOTube
JE: Why should people learn more about your company?
VM: we are trying to update the way this business is run, I think people should learn how we are doing it. I am in Rome, my partners are in Amsterdam and New York, and part of the company is in Naples and part in Rome. This severe crisis has created opportunities. When you have less money to put on-screen from domestic broadcasters, you have to hire someone knowledgeable in the business and who is able to mediate culturally with more partners. That’s what I have been doing all my life and what TVCO is offering now.
JE: What is your advice to people who are aspiring to be in the entertainment industry?VM: Entertainment industry is huge. It depends. I personally like to be involved in putting a project together; you see an idea developing into written material, then visual material, etc. It is very satisfying to watch that originally little idea on a full screen, also thanks to your efforts! My advice: try to do everything in production and build your career, that’s the way to understand if you can be a producer or a filmmaker.
© 2012 Jacob Elyachar.
Original interview at http://jacobelyacharjournalist.com/2012/08/06/jacob-interviews-tvco-founder-vincenzo-mosca/. Reproduced by permission.