EDN MEMBER OF THE MONTH – Victor Correal
In this monthly interview series EDN focuses on one of its many members to show both members in the spotlight and the diversity of the EDN membership group. Our EDN member of the month for January 2017 is Victor Correal, CEO, GuideDoc, Spain.
Victor Correal is the founder and CEO of GuideDoc, an online streaming service for curated documentaries, with new films made available each week. Victor is also himself active in filmmaking and has among other films produced Little World (Marcel Barrena, 2013) and a number of TV shows primarily for Spanish TV.
EDN has talked to Victor Correal about his passion for documentaries and the GuideDoc company.
EDN: Can you start by telling a bit more about your background and your road into doc making and producing?
VC: I have a journalism degree (although I rarely define myself as that), I’ve always worked on radio and TV. Ten years ago I started my own production company where I’m still doing what I’ve been doing so far, telling stories. One day, a story came to my hands that deserved a different format to what I’ve experienced up to that point. It deserved a theatre movie, a documentary. And I did it, and it cost me blood, sweat and tears. (Nothing that surprises our readers...)
EDN: What laid the foundation for your passion for docs?
VC: I remember it perfectly, I was 20 years, I saw Être et Avoir.
EDN: When was GuideDoc launched and what was the motivation behind launching the platform?
VC: The documentary I produced had a certain amount of international success, we won a prize at IDFA, and it was the most liked documentary by the audience (after Searching for Sugar Man, I forgot that detail). We were also in a bunch of other festivals, and PBS distributed it internationally. That allowed me to closely meet with the industry. I immediately noticed something pretty easy to understand, there’s a distribution problem. Each year master pieces are created that won’t ever reach the viewers who could enjoy a bunch of those jewels. This was the motivation for creating GuideDoc, and after three years of hard work, we launched it last September.
EDN: How do you find the films for the site and what is the business model?
VC: At GuideDoc we look for documentaries with the capacity of turning anyone into a lover of the genre. Both old and new but made from love for film; the ones that had some kind of impact or a true blockbuster; talking about hot topics or discovering little stories; festival trotters or hidden gems. We are picky because we want to always amaze our spectators, avid consumers of the genre and with no time to waste. We only have one essential requirement: to be good documentaries made by professionals that know how to tell stories.
GuideDoc is an SVOD and TVOD platform (IPhone, IPad and Apple TV apps at the moment, and we are developing also website, for android, and Smart TV), where you can watch a documentary paying 1,99 € or you can pay a monthly subscription for all the content on the platform for 4,99 €. The 50% of that money goes directly to the filmmaker. With the other 50% GuideDoc covers all the costs, like servers, development of the apps, team, maintenance, marketing, etc...
EDN: How to you work with rights and territories?
VC: We’re a global platform, to limit by territories is a thing of the past and it doesn’t make sense anymore in the world we live in. So all of our documentaries can be seen in every country of the world. (Occasionally, we can geoblock a country if the producers ask for it, but we try not to).
We don’t like exclusivity either. We like good documentaries and we want them to be seen by as many people as possible. When we’re offered an exclusive documentary we say no. Upload it to the maximum amount of websites you can. Getting a documentary on just one platform will only benefit the platform. And, also, it’s a very improbable benefit, so doing it it’s doubly stupid
EDN: How many films do you have available on the platform?
VC: Here in the beginning of January when I’m answering this question we have 61. We launched 3 months ago and now we are adding a new documentary each day.
EDN: Can filmmakers submit a film directly to the platform for consideration?
VC: Yes, they can contact us at team_@If you can read this, please upgrade to a modern browser.guidedoc.tv. The only thing that’s not possible is to send DVD’s, we don’t have a DVD player.
EDN: How does GuideDoc differentiate itself from the other available specialized doc platforms?
VC: GuideDoc is a unique global documentary platform. We are investing in technology for this genre as nobody has done before. We develop each of our apps specifically thinking in each device and its audience, so besides watching good documentaries, they can have the best user experience. And the most important thing is, we have been filmmakers ourselves, we have been on the other side, and we are creating the platform that we would love to have distributing our movies.
EDN: Who do you see as your core audience and what do you do to reach new audiences?
VC: This one is easy, our audience is documentaries lovers. Although we can also reach a more occasional audience with the TVOD. We are investing a lot in marketing to reach more people, we create a lot of content in our blogs, each day we write articles about our documentaries, we try to be useful (i.e. we are about to launch a really nice web with a calendar with each festival around the world), and we have a lot of presence in the web...
EDN: A couple of years ago you produced the award winning Little World. Are you working on new projects as a producer?
VC: Right now I’m totally focused on GuideDoc but on my next answer I’ll explain a secret to you.
EDN: What lies next for you and GuideDoc?
VC: My dream is to make GuideDoc grow enough so we’re able to produce our own documentaries.
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