Wayne Garvie's TV Diary

Wayne Garvie's TV Diary

Friday, 9th June 2023
Wayne Garvie (Credit: Richard Lewisohn/Sony)
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Wayne Garvie detects a new trend in global music – and warns that Man United’s decline provides a lesson in failing to innovate

I’m at Sony’s Culver City studios for a summit meeting between our film and television senior team and Sony’s music heads, led by the irrepressible Rob Stringer. We are looking at ways of working together to bring more music projects to the screen.

It’s a good group and a good day – a very good day. The most eye-catching presentation comes from Afo Verde, who heads Sony’s Latin American music. Modern Latin pop and rap has gone quickly from regional to mainstream, and Afo’s team is at the heart of it.

Artists such as Bad Bunny and Rosalía are at the crest of a tsunami of change. It feels as if this is a vast shift in global music that few would have predicted.

We agree to fast track some of the development work our Latin teams are on to make the most of this wave.

Talking of unexpected developments, who could have foreseen Manchester City’s ascent 15 years ago? Well, my Catalan pal Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group, the club’s owners, who has presided over this transformation.

Ferran oversees 13 football clubs around the world. He is in Brazil to meet another of the group’s clubs, EC Bahia, and, en route, is visiting our production label Floresta in São Paulo to discuss a potential project.

We have discovered our jobs have much in common: talent development and management, global vs local, constant innovation, but, as a Man United season ticket holder, I find it intensely annoying how bloody good he is at his job.

Leaving the studio for my flight home, I pass the line of ­writers who are picketing daily outside all the US studios.

Back in the UK, the strike is making British writers and their agents nervous, especially when dealing with subsidiaries of US studios. Pact and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain issue a clarification that appears to reassure people. That said, there appears no immediate end to this strike, which is also about responses to changes that were unforeseen not so long ago, from the rise of streaming to artificial intelligence.

To the Baftas, where our label Whisper wins for its amazing coverage of the Women’s Euro 2022. CEO Sunil Patel becomes an unexpected star of the night with his bright-pink dinner jacket and onstage exuberance. There is comedy confusion with the (excellent) hosts, Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett, as Patel leaves the stage, which may or may not have contained the words “outside” and “see you” and, if so, in jest.

One thing that is easy to predict is the Whisper team’s continued innovation and success in the coverage of sport.

Ferran calls and asks if I’d like to come to Istanbul for the Champions League Final. For once, I am lost for words, before mumbling something about seeing how the FA Cup Final goes first…

To Wales for a day with the Bad Wolf team, taking Alex Webster and Jonny Slow of Pixomondo, the VFX/virtual production company that Sony acquired last year.

Pixomondo has done some amazing work on a Bad Wolf show so top secret I can’t mention its name. We discuss how its virtual wizardry can be used not just on fantasy/sci-fi projects but also for Dope Girls, Bad Wolf’s forthcoming period drama for the BBC. Such a joy to work with people who continually innovate – both the Bad Wolfers and Pixomondo.

To Wembley and the FA Cup Final with my daughter Lara. We’ve had better days out. United’s decline is a warning to us all about failure to change and innovate when you’re at the top of your game.

Wayne Garvie is President, International Production, Sony Pictures Television.

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