Back in January, Executive Producer and CEO of Bridge Works Entertainment, George Salinas partnered with Ivan Plaza, owner and founder of the Latinx comic book publisher, Chido Comics, to create Latinx superhero stories and share Latin comic culture with the U.S. Audience.
Salinas created Bridge Works Entertainment to promote and uplift projects that fall under the radar with American audiences and expand on the need for Latinx storytelling. His most recent project is Julie and the Phantoms on Netflix. Monkeys Fighting Robots caught up with Salinas to talk about the importance of representation, comic books, Luchadors, and Hollywood.
Enjoy the George Salinas interview below:
MFR: George, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Why is it important to you to give Latinx culture a platform in the industry?
SALINAS: It is important to give Latinx culture a platform because we have a lot to offer to the industry with the stories we have to tell. We have a rich and complex history that spans centuries back. Everything from our food to our music to our traditions have a complex and rich history that spans centuries back. They make up a beautiful culture that is so much more than the current portrayals of Latinx. As a Latino man myself, I have seen a vast group of undiscovered talent within my community that need a platform to tell our stories and we are currently underserved, so I’m excited to be a part of this movement and to continue pushing for great Latinx storytelling.
MFR: What did you see in Chido Comics that made them a good fit to partner with Bridge Works Entertainment?
SALINAS: Chido Comics have a very unique way of telling a story and creating characters that happen to be Latinx and cater to the community. I am very excited for our partnership because we have a lot of great projects in the works that will bring more Latinx content to US audiences.
MFR: Over the past 20 years, how much has the comic book industry changed the film and television industry when it comes to finding new ideas?
SALINAS: Over the past 20 years, the comic book industry has changed in a big way. The intellectual property has become as great as books, and there is so much amazing content out there. The fanbase is growing, and the demand for more comic-based film and television is something that gives me a lot of ideas and motivation to bring more formats over to comic lovers. Comic book fans are amazing because they stand behind their favorite characters, giving us permission to create TV and film for them.
MFR: What’s the process like, taking a project from a different market and bringing it over to the US?
SALINAS: The process is always exciting but definitely comes with its difficulties. You always have to find that one amazing showrunner who loves the project as much as you do and can adapt it the best way possible. Once you find that showrunner with passion for the project, you’re off to the races.
MFR: How do you decide what projects to produce? What storytelling elements are you looking for?
SALINAS: I look at a lot of different stories and projects and tend to gravitate towards a project that contains a compelling story or characters that get me excited. If a character jumps off the page for me or if I can visualize the story, I am immediately interested and invested.
MFR: The Luchador has such a rich history. They are the original superheroes. What comes to mind when you think about the Luchadors of past and present?
SALINAS: Luchadors have always been a big deal in the Latinx community. Luchadors take me back to my childhood, and I love how different generations have been able to be fans of them. I will always be excited watching them as superheroes – it never gets old to me.
MFR: I can’t believe we don’t have one already, but how close are we to a blockbuster Luchador film?
SALINAS: I know! I think we are very close as they are so big. I cannot wait to see what film we can come up with.
MFR: With viewership so divided and so many platforms to consume content, how do you measure success?
SALINAS: I measure success in many ways, but the most important to me is when I have a fan tell me how much they loved what I brought to them. I love the feeling of knowing that I was able to provide an hour of entertainment where viewers can watch great television and forget all of their worries and troubles in that time.
MFR: 2020 and 2021 has been a huge evolutionary moment for the entertainment industry; what are your biggest takeaways?
SALINAS: My biggest takeaway from 2020 was that we have to take more chances! My goal for 2021 is to keep moving forward, be more creative, and bring even better content to viewers and fans.
MFR: Thank you again for your time, and best of luck with your future projects.