At a cursory glance, it may seem that all of the platforms of streaming They have comparable means. The conversation of the last few months, in fact, It has been monopolized by two productions that have stood out for their visual luxury and for their sound budgets: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ and ‘Game of Thrones – The House of the Dragon’. Neither was from Netflix.
However, the main video-on-demand platform, Netflix, only has to show its paw to make it clear who is boss in terms of investment and media. This is what he has done on a day in which he has invited the press, creators and authorities to his sets in Tres Cantos to celebrate the second phase of his production center, which, three years after its opening, goes from 5 to 10 sets and inaugurates post-production facilities. It has boasted of state-of-the-art technology, Spanish and international productions that are being filmed right here, and plans to continue growing and investing in national talent.
Some impressive studies
The visit began with a walk through the sets of three Netflix series, two of them still unreleased and about which little is still known. On the one hand, we have wandered through several iconic ‘Elite’ settings, of which its seventh season will soon be seen. Discotheques, bedrooms and classrooms faithfully built on sets that, for the first time, are housed together in a single location, and not like until now, where the abundant decorations were divided by different locations in the Community of Madrid.
The other two series whose sets we have visited have been, on the one hand, that of ‘Kaos’, a satirical comedy starring Jeff Goldblum in which the gods of Greek mythology are personified today. Its executive producer, Chris Fry, has mentioned that Madrid is just one of the many Spanish locations where the series is being filmed (Málaga, Seville, Barcelona, Sitges, Valencia, Ibiza and many more are added to it), and has advanced the reasons why Spain is nuclear for Netflix.
Finally, we have entered the spectacular sets of ‘The Snow Society’, the film that JA Bayona is shooting about the plane crash in the Andes that in 1972 forced a group of people to go to the limit to survive. We have seen a fragment of a plane specially equipped with hydraulic motors, which allowed it to shake violently to film the accident. It is only part of the five that have been used in very different conditions: from one in the Sierra Nevada at 4,000 meters above sea level to another in an Andalusian olive grove with artificial snow.
They are just part of the ten sets that Netflix has in Tres Cantos: 22,000 square meters of highly versatile studios equipped with the most modern technology, technology that has taken center stage in the most interesting part of the visit: the screening rooms. editing and post production. A total of 30 rooms that include 3 for sound systems, one for dailies and a color room. But that’s not the most spectacular.
Possibly where the technological power of Netflix has been most noticeable has not been in the immense sets with complete discos inside, but in the aforementioned post-production studios: according to what we have been told, there are no computers in the thirty rooms, but instead the material to be edited and sound is uploaded to a private cloud that professionals have access to that work for Netflix, and from where you can work with the material without compression and immediately. In the Tres Cantos rooms there are only monitors and small computer equipment to be connected remotely.
More than in the monstrous installations of concrete and false walls, it is in these aspects where Netflix shows that it is at the forefront of production. It is hard to think about the amount of data that this cloud will have to be able to manage due to the weight that uncompressed audiovisual files usually have, but in this way something that is filmed can go directly to the editor, who is at home, in another country or there in the rooms of Netflix. A phenomenal technical deployment that is reinforced, as we have been told, by Netflix’s commitment to training professionals. A few weeks ago, for example, they held a summit post-production with workshops and courses attended by 300 people.
Netflix’s commitment to fictions produced in Spain is clear. The presence at the event of the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, and the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures, María González Veracruz, make it clear that it is an exchange in two directions: Netflix reinforces the production of films and series made here, employs 10,000 people to dateand in return, and as has been mentioned on more than one occasion during the day, they benefit from significant tax benefits.
That is one of the positive aspects that Chris Fry, producer of ‘Kaos’, has frankly mentioned as essential to transfer the production of an international series to Spain. The other is the extremely high quality of the technicians here, who are internationally renowned: from stage designers and builders to post-production and special effects experts, the talent of Spanish professionals is indisputable.
Today’s appointment has closed with the presence of some of the most relevant creators of the platform in Spain: Oriol Paulo (‘El inocento’), Álex Pina (‘La casa de papel’) and Esther Martínez Lobato (‘Berlin’), Carlos Montero (‘Élite’), Laura Sarmiento (‘Intimacy’), Àlex and David Pastor (who will shoot a spin-off of ‘Bird Box’) and Núria Valls (‘Through my window’) have talked about the importance of a global platform as essential for diffusion to other countries, and how an international success like ‘La casa de papel’ would have been impossible without a channel within the scope of Netflix. And now, clearly, the platform is looking for more products of that caliber.