Tuesday, March 5, 2024

First royalty-free Tex-Mex cybernovela designed for Internet, mobile devices debuts

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 8, 2006

Alberto, played by Carlos Rodriguez 

Alberto, eldest Montes son, played by Carlos Rodriguez

Photos: (c) 2006 alamoheightsSA Holdings LLC

Houston, Texas– Alamo Heights SA Holdings, LLC launched the first royalty-free, cross-cultural, Tex-Mex cybernovela soap opera with content formatted for the Internet and mobile devices.  The show, alamoheightsSA, uses disruptive product placement and brand integration technology that producers predict will displace the traditional 30 second TV ad. Alamo Heights SA Holdings was formed by zyntroPICS INC., El Mundo Entertainment, and private Texas investment groups. Full episodes are available on multiple ad-supported Internet networks and portals, broadcast TV, and alamoheightsSA.com. 

AlamoheightsSA  is described in promotional materials as a “cross-cultural melodramedy, part soap, part novela, part paid cable drama.” Full of intrigue, romance, jealousy, back stabbing and sex, the series relates the struggles, betrayals, and intrigues that intertwine two Hispanic families and their jointly-run lingerie empire with headquarters in San Antonio, Texas and a factory in Monterrey, Mexico.  The show producers promise a story fusing elements from the melodramatic telenovelas of Latin America, plots derived from modern pop culture and current events, creating a “melodramady” that explores unrequited love, Mexican-American border relations, and women’s undergarments.

“Even though Internet TV has become a multibillion dollar business with Google’s purchase of YouTube, it is still all about shaping compelling content and building a viable business model,” said Eric Weymueller, producer, Alamo Heights SA Holdings, LLC. “We are the first to do both. We’ve developed 40 four-act episodes with duration of 7-9 minutes each for a budget of just over $1 million. The program has proven to be very appealing to the 18-30 demographic and to female viewers in particular.”

Mirna, played by Nataly Pena

Mirna played by Nataly Pena

The show is filmed in Spanish and English. Delivery will be via broadband Internet, IPTV, digital cable, podcasting, and mobile TV.  The full episodes will be available on terrestrial television station group LAT TV (LatinAmerica Broadcasting, Inc.); and multiple ad-supported Internet “networks,” including Brightcove, Guba, VEOH and Kiptronic/Liberated Syndication for iTunes; with supplemental and marketing content available through the additional viral video sites, including YouTube, Revver, Vimeo, Grouper and two MySpace pages.

“We are very excited about carrying the alamoheightsSA program on our network” said Patricia Torres-Burd, executive vice president of Programming for LAT TV. “We believe that it will be very appealing to our viewers in the targeted demographic because the quality of content and production fits within our mission to raise the level of Spanish language television. Eric Weymueller and Lynn Birdwell have assembled a great cast and team and the result is stunning.  Eric’s vision for what the future of media holds in his integration of both over the air and broadband content is aligned to our mission of better serving our audiences with relevant content.”

The first 12 pilot episodes will be released between November 20 and December 20, 2006. The program has a tie-in with the fictitious line of lingerie featured in the series, hauT’amales, and the real manufacturer’s online store, yumdrop.com. The first three episodes can be viewed on show’s website, AlamohightsSA.com.

Community supplemental content for the program includes blogs from the show’s characters and viewers are encouraged to enact their own scenes on alamoheightsSA’s “Your Show” page.  One of the lead characters has her own MySpace® page and website, entitled lingeriemodelconfessions.com.  The website will also offer an assortment of behind-the-scenes material on topics such as, “character vlogs” and interviews with the cast, crew and creators.

The AlamoheightsSA concept was created by San Antonio native Rick Cuéllar of El Mundo Entertainment and developed by Texas-based production company zyntroPICS, INC. The production team includes Rick Cuéllar, executive producer; Joanna Robinson, showrunner and executive producer; Eric Weymueller, producer; and Lynn Birdwell, co-producer.