Make way for Wecoop, a new way of producing content
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
On October 14, Pancho Casal (Continental Producciones) announced the creation of Wecoop. This name refers to a budding platform for developing, producing and marketing content online. The philosophy of this innovative initiative revolves around the concept of crowdsourcing, which, in Casal’s words, starts out from the idea that “there are people who know things, but the crowd knows everything”. Still in the development phase, it is expected that its most important functions will be ready and it can therefore start operating in April 2012.
The platform, which takes the form of a kind of online community, is aimed at independent production companies and professionals. Through it, they will be able to carry out all the phases in the production process of an audiovisual product collaboratively and create projects of a global character with very attractive costs, impossible to achieve by one production company alone.
“The independent audiovisual production system is absolutely unsustainable. The business model of small and medium-sized independent production companies has ceased to be viable”, explained Casal. The problem is not so much the economic crisis, but the burnout of a system. The solution proposed by Wecoop lies in the radical outsourcing of the process. “This last year and a half, especially in the animation sector, has shown us that decentralization, based on connections through the Internet, is totally commonplace and natural”, he concluded.
Wecoop provides a shared space where production companies can develop projects and hire professionals to execute them, without forgetting distribution: “Our aim is to directly offer our clients the option of buying productions online. We will have a data transfer system that makes it possible to send information in HD in a short space of time”, said Casal.
Although the concept is perfectly outlined, Wecoop is a project still in the definition phase. Instead of finalising all the details of the platform, it has chosen to discuss its operation with the aim of finding a structure that enables the automatic management of the producing process. “From now on, there won’t be large or small companies, but fast or slow ones”, emphasised Casal. This would speed up the contractual and regulatory aspects, especially when there are co-producers from several countries. “We need to come up with some generic models for contracting, rights and licence transfer that don’t breach any laws even if they don’t fit all of them perfectly. The system must be quick”, he added.
Moreover, other advantages of this crowdsourcing approach are the cross-media possibilities (“All products can have a transmedia extension. Sometimes, we don’t have time to think about these possibilities, so it’s in our interest to have people who are involved in other ways of producing and other types of content. Let’s have a multitude of projects emerging from an idea. A comic can emerge from a storyboard. The concept of making a film and then a videogame will no longer make sense. Right from the beginning, also for financing requirements, we must think about it”) and the way it facilitates the development of global projects, which will be the result of a co-production between all the interested territories. Thanks to this system, “the projects will be more interesting from a content point of view and more advantageous from a financial point of view”, pointed out Casal, who added that this is about “a way of producing new formats based mainly on the multiple gaze and contrast, as they would start from a situation observed from the standpoint of different cultures”.
(Translated from Spanish)