Part #1 of our chat with seasoned network executive and content creator, Nataline Rodrigues @Nat Rod LUV: You were the Original Programming Executive for a nation wide network in Canada and led the charge on a programming block called "Fall In Love Fridays." Can you tell us about the fun and challenges of finding content for a romance block? Nataline: Thanks to the wealth of incredible Canadian talent on and off screen, as well as the audience’s voracious appetite for escapist, feel-good movies, “Fall in Love Fridays” was a success and became a prime-time tv destination. It all started with programming Christmas romance movies and after reviewing how well the audience responded, the decision was made to treat the audience to year round romance movies. We kept the seasonal Christmas block from November to December but added rom coms throughout the year and even repeated airings on Saturdays and Sundays when people want to relax and unwind with easy going viewing. Recognising that Canadians are some of the best producers of romantic movies and comedies in the world, my goal was to commission the most fun and frothy first run Canadian movies to air every Friday night. Given these movies are longer than the conventional tv one hour time slot, they have traditionally worked well on pay tv, specialty tv and now streamers. The open and closed romance journey, providing super satisfying endings in every movie made these a hit for regular tv audiences as well. The key ingredients I look for is lighthearted fun and while very aspirational, we need the most relatable characters in believable relationship dynamics that include charming romances but also challenges – as we all know it's not easy finding true love. Challenges included competing with other outlets who are also buying large numbers of romance movies. These movies also had to be all new, never before seen in Canada and one hundred per cent Canadian content, which means content that features Canadians in key creative roles making the movies behind the scenes as well Canadian talent front and center in the scene. My goal was to work with the top Canadian producers making movies for the international market before the movies were even completed and delivered so I needed to work with producers I could trust to deliver the best stories as well as talent on time and budget. The challenge content wise is to identify stories that balance providing fresh approaches on archetypal characters in familiar situations that audiences have come to expect and love while also providing enough surprising twists and turns that are not totally predictable so that the movies continue to entertain. Story wise I work to ensure movies have original takes on the meet cute, whether super romantic or super awkward and story worlds that are inspirational, with a good measure of ups and downs, that ultimately culminate on a feel good high note with a proverbial happy ending that will resonate with audiences. Ensuring chemistry amongst the cast, with loveable leads and supportive fun sidekicks, as well as providing room for diversity to reflect the audience were priorities for me which made the challenges fun.

Posted by LUV Team at 2022-10-24 19:00:03 UTC