For all of those who proclaim television to be a detriment to one’s life, please kindly consider Rodrigo Branco. This Executive Producer/Communications Director/Social Media expert has built a life out of his work in TV. His roots in TV can be traced back to his youth, a situation that his own children are experiencing. Branco has become one of the most successful executives in his field in all of Brazil. His status is earned with years of working his way up the ladder in TV production. Having become internationally recognized for his work on multiple domestic and international productions, he most recently has turned his attention to the TV community in the US and the opportunities it affords. It’s quite a story, a young boy in Brazil who follows his dream and effects millions around the world. It proves that hard work is rewarded and there is a chance for everyone to pursue their goals no matter how unbelievable they might seem.
As a young boy in Sao Paulo, Rodrigo used to live with his grandmother while his mother (a ballet dancer) was often out on tour, working to pursue her own artistic endeavors. This situation created two prominent factors in Rodrigo’s future. First, the understanding that following a creative dream is valid and secondly, TV was a fixture of life. Branco’s grandmother was a TV fanatic to say the least. When his mother took Rodrigo with her to a TV station for a taping, the two worlds collided. As a 10-year-old, he was amazed by the environment as well as the fact that they would tape three episodes in one day. The sudden realization that every production was not live, yet seemed to be so when viewed on TV, was like discovering the secret to a magic trick. Years later, Branco would begin his own TV career on the Marcia show. This show is one of the most popular talk shows ever on Brazilian TV. Rodrigo was with the show for more than a decade and explains, “The Márcia show was my high school, college and university! I started as a trainee and eventually became the executive producer. It was the hardest, and at the same time, the most positive show I have done in my career. According to VOGUE BRASIL, Márcia is the Brazilian Oprah. I’m proud that our ratings proved that we were number 1 every day. There is no secret to achieving this; I used to work 16 hours a day from my start as a trainee and all the way up to being EP.”
Many people sacrifice their personal life to be a part of TV production, especially those who are highly successful. Branco did the opposite and made his life and career intertwined. He met his wife when he was a trainee on Marcia and has become a father while working on the show. As the EP of the show, he worked most closely with the show’s star and namesake. He notes, “Working 16 hours a day, 6 days a week; Marcia became my second mother. We spent Christmas, New Year’s Eve…all the good times and bad times together. She has the most brilliant career in Brazil and she decided to share it with me. I think this interaction is what made our work so successful!” Rodrigo’s work in particular was recognized early in his career. In 2002, he was awarded the Premio Jovem Brasileiro [Young Brazilian Award] for his work with the Marcia show (he received this award again in 2011 for his work on the Miss Universe Pageant) …at the early age of twenty years old. Branco also received the Communication Merit Award, granted by Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, Artes, Historia e Literatura (Science, Art, History and Literature Brazilian Academy) which he refers to as the greatest honor of his professional career. Marcia is known for her show being about people, their families, and struggle. She wanted an individual steering that show who was doing it for more than the money; a person who was truly passionate about the work. Marcia recognized these traits in her early interactions with Branco. She declares, ““I met Rodrigo in his first day as a trainee in TV Bandeirantes. I immediately knew he was special. A few months later, I told him he would be the executive producer of my show and in only 3 years it became true. We had a great and fruitful partnership. He is incredibly talented!”
Besides giving Branco a literal family as well as a professional family, TV has also given him the ability to travel the world. Experiencing locations such as; Israel, Paris, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and all the states of Brazil, have helped Rodrigo to understand how different and yet how incredibly similar the people of the world can be. In particular, his US visits have motivated him. Branco communicates, “The TV Industry in the United States is the most professional and competitive in the entire world. There is no space for amateurs there. I have hopes of working there because it would challenge me to be the best in the US. The resources and the technology in the US are the example to the world. If a professional wants to learn how to do their job better, they need to stay close to the best! Marcia was discovered by an American Director who taught her how to do TV. Nobody does TV and Entertainment better than Americans. I could see this with my own eyes at the Latin Grammys, Miss Universe, and from studying American Shows and formats. I’ve had an extraordinary career but I am only 33 years old and I want to be better and bigger. The only way to do that is to learn from the best. My passion is t work with talent and communication not only in TV, but with social media and other formats as well.” When contemplating Rodrigo Branco’s life, it is impossible to septate his story from the inclusion of television. When discussing it, Rodrigo himself comments, “My life was built inside a TV. My childhood was spending time with my grandmother, bonding over shows and their topics. I saw my mother performing on TV and she took me ‘inside’ television for a perspective that not many people witness. I have made many of my closest friends through my work in TV, as well as meeting the woman who became my wife. Now my children understand TV because they see their father using it to provide for them as well as understanding, as my mother showed me, that you can be creative, challenged, and rewarded with that pursuit. They realize, as I do, that I am able to make the magic that we see on the screen.”