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The Successors, the TV Series Made in Monaco, Interview with Dario Kirola

côte d'azur | …news & info

14 October 2015
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Reality shows, TV series have captured our attention since the beginnings. A Made in Monaco production, though, seems more than attractive. Only thinking about Monaco makes all of us dream. But what about getting to know their real people, the people with money, with social life, people who make the buzz. About this and more read in the below interview with the TV series producer, Dario Kirola, in a Made in Monaco production. 

AO. What is the story behind Successors?

When I studied in the US, one of the first questions I got when meeting new people was "Where are you from?"

For someone from Monaco - the answer isn't always easy. Usually, I was faced with blank stares or some mumbling about Formula 1, rich people or Grace Kelly. The ones that had heard of Monaco had huge misconceptions like - "I heard everyone there is rich and doesn't do any work".

Having spent nearly my whole life in Monaco - I knew that there was much more to say about the people and the place. That's how "The Successors" was born: it's an unscripted series that follows the lives of real, up-and-coming young adults from some of the world's most powerful families, as they face pressures of inheriting business empires and making names for themselves, so as to be recognized in their own right.

AO. Who are the characters in the show?

The current stars of the show are the movers and shakers of Monaco's social and business scene. Most come from some of the world's most powerful and influential families; they have international lifestyles and global ambitions to launch their own businesses and brands. They are today's lifestyle trendsetters, and tomorrow's leaders of business empires.

Currently, we have a diverse group of stars:

Gloria Gianoglio is a true local that embodies what Monaco is all about. Her family has been based in Monaco for over 100 years and has risen to prominence largely through real estate investments. Although she has a successful family business and the lifestyle that anyone would die for - Gloria exudes focus, ambition and Italian flair; she is already planning to launch her own consulting venture that's based in the Principality.

We also have Neil Krisralam, who is originally Thai, but has also been based in Monaco for many years. As the PR of the elite Formula 1 event "Amber Lounge" he manages a significant organization and deals with some of the world's hottest celebrities on a daily basis. He can be seen at all the most glamorous events, always displaying his trademark flamboyant style, usually accentuated by creations of up-and-coming Thai designers.

Our most "famous face" is Victoria Bonya - one of the most popular Russian celebrities at the moment, who is a TV host, model and businesswoman. She has called Monaco home for the past few years, and balances her demanding work schedule with family obligations and keeping up with her international army of fans.

In addition to these, we have a number of other prominent locals and visiting foreigners that have appeared on the show or are planning to do so; these include young fashion designer Elena Brynstalova, who just had her brand's first show at the Moscow Fashion Week and Just Ivy, a talented pop-R&B artist that has had high-profile collaborations with Akon and DJ Khaled - just to name a few.

AO. Who do you address to?

Our audience is generally younger (18-35) and very cosmopolitan and international. They are curious about Monaco and about the lives of the up-and-coming elite. They also want to learn - about events, style, trends and business, so The Successors serves as great inspiration to them.

AO. Where can your show be seen?

We were planning the show as a web series initially, but because of huge international interest from distribution companies and major networks, we decided to bypass this step and go directly to TV. Currently we are in advanced negotiations with several of the most popular American networks. Getting a deal would undoubtedly be one of Monaco's biggest successes in recent history. Stay tuned for more news!

AO. What differentiates your show from the others?

The Successors is a new type of show - it aims to be classier, smarter and higher level than other series in the same category. It mixes explosive and exciting entertainment, with aspirational stories of ambitious young adults that aim to build their own empires or take over those of their parents.

AO. What it brings new to the market?

To date, there hasn't been a series of this type to focus on real substance and real people. It has all been mostly shock value and cheap drama. We want to be different, because we believe the world is ready for something new and something intelligent. We don't script our cast - their stories are real. Additionally, in our casting we are very selective: we don't only look for big personalities, but also for ambition, professional drive and work ethic. The people in our cast need to be role models and "ambassadors" of Monaco to the world.

AO. Tell us a bit about the behind the scenes spicy things? What behind the scenes story can capture our attention?

What happens behind the camera can make an incredible show in itself! Seriously, there's so much drama - but also so much comedy and many emotional moments.

Due to the show's unscripted nature, even the crew isn't always ready for what can happen because people sometimes "loosen up" too much on camera. We had an unexpected conflict situation at a popular nightclub where two gentlemen got into an altercation over a girl, which isn't so uncommon. We actually had to stop filming and get involved to mediate and eventually resolve the issue. The production team becomes very intimate with the cast during the production, so we de facto become their friends, confidantes, mentors and assistants - essentially whatever we need to be.

There were some very interesting scenes at the Cannes Film Festival during the shoot; we were chased around by Victoria's fans that kept asking her for photos and autographs, so I had be her bodyguard as well - quite a surreal experience.

Then there's Amber Lounge - international super model Selita Ebanks appeared on camera prominently with Neil. However, we needed her to sign our release form, so I had to jump through security and her entourage to get to her, and kindly asked her to sign it for us. She was so down-to-Earth and loved the concept of the show, and promised to follow us!

One of the most powerful moments for me was when one of our early investors, Tony Scott, visited the set. When I met Tony, we had nothing in common and didn't know each other, but he took a leap of faith and believed in us. Tony is middle-aged American and sadly, permanently confined to a wheelchair. He had never been outside the US. Until this year, that is. That was largely due to the inspiration he got from The Successors. He came to Monaco to visit us and to experience for himself the "magic of Monaco" that he had seen on video so many times. It was an incredibly touching moment, because I realized that we're doing something bigger than just entertainment, something that can inspire millions of people like Tony across the world.

AO. What makes a "Made in Monaco" trademark?

If you do something of this magnitude in Monaco - you need to stay true to the image of the place and make sure that the locals are represented appropriately. I really believe you cannot be an outsider and still present the Monaco brand accurately - you need to be a local and that's our advantage. Our own brand is tied to Monaco's brand. People associate Monaco with glamour, class and good-taste. This is what we are doing in our series - the time of trashy series is behind us; we are setting a new standard that focuses on quality and aspirational lifestyles, but still doesn't diminish anything in entertainment value.

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Editor Andra Oprea