Friday, October 14, 2016

No music

  Throughout the last couple of weeks, I still cannot get over the raw acting of the actors and actresses throughout the production.  I feel like some American backstage  productions are a lot more of business.
    One big point I cannot get over is still the music not playing even for the actors just to get into a mood for a love scene. As we have watched multiple shows, I'm shocked at the intense moments the actors can bring throughout the production. I think this shows how amazing the actors are. The love they bring to the screen is hard to duplicate for any human. I feel like people who love each other cannot even bring the passion to the screen without the music or without the intensity. Also, it seems incredibly awkward for the couple to listen and stop and redo the scene as the actors are called by the director.
    Another side of production, the fact of the smoking is something I'm not sure I could deal with if I were an actress. I haven't been exposed to smoking as much as I would be if I were in a telenovela set. It would be a challenge physically to focus on being madly in love with someone and knocking out the smoke as well. Also, the mint factor was funny to hear about as well.
    Besides the music and love, the amount of time they have to produce the shows is crazy. I feel like they have to do through so many hard hours and days in a row. I don't think they would have time for anything other in their life besides work. I love the family culture of the Hispanic culture though. My favorite part of being on set would be the big meal lunch they have together. I feel like the way they spend all the time they do together helps the passion on the screen and makes the production process go on easier with the love they carry together as a group.
    The intensity of the production makes it understandable how people in the business love telenovelas so much and how the production staff works together to throw on a good show. I would love to see a study done on the friendship of the production staff to see if they correlate to how well the show is produced and the ratings of it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Behind the Cameras

While discussing all the various jobs that are behind the scenes, I envisioned what success would be like; where I would excell. There's no way any prolific creativity would come in a room so cold.   Being on the set of my chosen telenovela,Celia, would be great. All the shots outside of the studio would be so pleasant and luxurious. The only people who would be uptight would be make-up crew trying to keep the sweat off.  

Production for Celia is certainly an art craft. I like to call my telenovela a “ruptura de epoca” because it shows history through such a different lens. It breaks traditional models by being biographical and musical, joining with the telenovela format to create drama and magnetic attraction. It is distant from the traditional telenovela, but adapted to the platform. It gives time and place to the story by producing scenes and characters that are part of the military regime or the rebellion in Cuba.

The props to this telenovela are so top-notch, it may even be romanticized. There is a type of abundance in color that is always happening. Things are so clean-pressed and tidy, in personal style and also interior design. The floral designs and clothing is meticulous. Even though everything is so handsome, I wonder if the Cubans looked a little rougher at the time. Celia Cruz grew up in a pretty poor neighborhood – a hard conclusion to make from all of the abundance. The props are an orchestration, from all of the bundles of tropical fruit resting in courtyard oasis, to recreating a 1950’s train station, or a realistic Cuban kitchen.

I am not surprised that the actors have to deal with big cameras and lights in their faces. I have gotten the jist of the difficulties that take place while shooting film. It is disenchanting to see production in a way. What is more appalling to me is the way everything is placed with purpose. When the actors walk past an old Chevrolet, I can imagine the Cubanos patching parts together from household items – something they are famous for – keeping cars running forever with such minimal resources. 


Quiero discutir varios aspectos de la producción con respeto a mi telenovela, La Reina del Sur.

Primero, quiero discutir la “intro”. La canción de la intro de La Reina del Sur es un corrido, pero no es algo regular. Es especial en el contexto de la telenovela. La canción es una actuación por Los Cuates de Sinaloa, y Sinaloa es la cuidad en que Teresa fue nacida. También, la canción es una versión de una canción original actuada por Los Tigres del Norte, un grupo famoso en México. El equipo de producción podría haber decido usar una banda moderna para la canción, pero esa elección demuestra que quieren mantener la autenticidad del país en que el complot empieza. Algo interesante de la canción es que nos cuenta casi todo lo que va a pasar en la vida de Teresa, aun las ciudades en que va a vivir y vender drogas. Aunque la introducción divulga su historia, las escenas de sus amantes apasionados y sus experiencias peligrosas te quedan con ganas de más.

Segundo el proceso de producir una telenovela es más involucrado que pudiera imaginar, y extraño para alguien que no es un actor. Por ejemplo, Teresa tiene muchas relaciones intimas con hombres durante la telenovela. Hay algunos apasionantes, hay algunos cariñosos, y hay algunos que son violentos, como su violación en la empieza del programa. Ahora me doy cuenta como es muy difícil traer energía especifica a una escena sin música y otros efectos que la audiencia ve. Después de ver la escena en clase en que los actores tuvieron que repetir la acción de quitarse una pieza de ropa interior es obvio que las escenas más complicadas entre Teresa y Santiago probablemente requieran muchos tomas, y planearlas como coreografía.  También si no existe química como la de Teresa y Santiago, me imagino que el numero de ensayos es como infinito.

Production in Telenovelas: Script Writing

One thing I found absolutely crazy from our discussion in class was that writers for telenovelas create roughly 30-40 pages of script per day for one show. As someone who has had the struggle of writing  25-page college research papers, it blows my mind to think that people can create exciting and original content every single day to be read on screen. Especially with shows that have 80 or 100 episodes in a season, it's hard to imagine how a writer is able to sit down and write that many episodes while keeping the storyline fresh and interesting for the viewers.

When considering the quick production of scripts, another point of interest for me how script writers are able to adapt very similar storylines over and over again while changing the details enough to keep the plot and characters interesting enough for the audience. As discussed in class, telenovelas all contain very similar plots, drama sources, even the same actors. So why are people still so excited to consume them when the basis of the storyline production is the same?

For example, it's extremely impressive to me that the writers are able to spin the classic Cinderella storyline into the central plot line for a season of 120+ episodes. Especially when the script is so rapidly produced, how do they have time to deeply think about the direction the plot will go later on in the season? For me, it seems that their ability to interweave smaller characters' love stories or strife into the script for smaller segments of the show is what can drive the central plot for that long.

With writers producing such huge amounts of script per day (with recycled plot bases), but I would assume it would make the quality of the writing, and furthermore the show, to suffer. However, as telenovelas are so widely consumed and beloved, it seems that this writing style doesn't affect the audience's ability to get sucked into the drama.

Thoughts on the Production Unit

The production unit of our class has been really interesting. I never really thought of how much went in to making a telenovela and I’m learning that production staffs of telenovelas are very hardworking. The fast pace of the industry and behind the scenes action were very cool to learn about. The writers waking up at the crack of dawn every day with the expectation that the episode has to be finished by the end of the day is unbelievable to me. Their days are so long and they have to spend so much time tying the scenes together, while the production assistants have to make sure everything flows so that the audience doesn’t find discrepancies. During my research for my consumption project, I found out that my telenovela, Tres Veces Ana is produced in Mexico by a company called Televisa. They have an exclusive contract with Univision and own 5% of it, which is why many of it’s programming airs on the channel. The politics behind production companies and the ratings was intriguing to me because though Tres Veces Ana helped Univision The premiere made Univision the No. 3 Broadcast Network during the two hour airing, it still wasn’t able to compete with Telemundo. There’s such a huge pressure to put out shows that will actually garner large audiences and viewers, because you need audience support and the numbers have to align with that. Also when Dr. A talked about the various tensions between the different groups was also interesting to me because each group has their own motive and agenda. The executives are thinking in a business mind set and strictly from a numbers perspective; they view the telenovela as a product and something that has to be ‘bought’ by the viewers. The writers want the public to fall in love with their product and want their written art form to serve as lens for their audiences. Sometimes it can seem like the executives just want the writers to ‘take the easy way out’ and write a different version of Cinderella and what people have already seen, which can stifle the writers who want to go outside the box. This balance of respect has to be established, I believe, in order for a telenovela to reach ultimate success.
The other factor that shocked me was watching the taping of the scene before it gets polished on screen. It was incredibly awkward watching the ‘sex scenes’ because of how many times they had to do it if it wasn’t done right. I found myself wondering, ‘well I wonder how many times Ana Leticia and Marcelo had to shoot this scene before it actually went well. The directors choreograph everything so carefully and I think it’s because they want to evoke emotion, make sure everything is believable and make sure the love story really comes alive. I’m sure it’s not that hard for Angelique Boyer and Sebastian Rulli, the protagonists of my telenovla, since they are actually in love. But I wonder if they ever get caught up in the moment in those scenes and forget what they are doing since they actually have true feelings for each other, or what about the days when they’re not on good terms and are actually fighting…but that’s a question for another day. J All in all, this production unit was very fascinating and it made me appreciate the industry a lot more.

Production in Telenovelas

Regardless of whether the country creating these telenovelas has a budget like Brazil's or major political chaos like Venezuela's, production and its value is never taken lightly. This is exactly what makes telenovelas stand out and stay popular among their international televised drama competitors. Tight budgets and deadlines are what drive the production of these extensive shows and every crew members, cast member, and director must stay on top of these two things and always keep them in mind throughout the entirety of filming.

According to Variety, some channels and writers can pump out six telenovelas annually. This means nonstop work day in and day out all in the hopes of making a classic hit such as "Betty La Fea" or garnering as much money and popularity as "Avenida Brasil". What was so intriguing to me while listening to this specific topic in class was the lengths these production crews will go just to fix something as small as a continuity error in nail polish color.

To maintain a tight ship, companies such as Telemundo hire hundreds of full-time employees dedicated solely to the production of their shows. This number does not include actors, extras, or a marketing team. This means that up to three hundred crew members can be on site at the filming of a scene any day, each with a specific full time and necessary job.

Variety also values Telemundo series at "750-780 hours of programming per year, at an average pace of three complete episodes a day, with three or four shows in production at any given time."
Novelas run about "120-160 episodes, at an average cost of about $70,000 per hour, up to about $150,000." Although that seems like a lot of money, compared to English dramas, this is almost half the average American soap opera budget meaning efficiency is key and no mistakes can be made financially at the production level.

Lastly, not only does the production team have to work quickly and under a strict budget, the writers must always be flexible to audience preferences and reactions. Social media outlets such as Twitter allow for immediate feedback, and when an audience finds something that hits too close to home, lacks chemistry, or is simply boring, they will automatically let the production company and writers know. Scripts must be revised last minute and stories must be changed to maintain good relations with the public.

I find all of this so fascinating and vastly different from American production. The fact that the audience has this much power over the production company is difficult for me to believe. It's also hard for me to wrap my head around the creation of that many episodes in such a short amount of time. Production is definitely not something taken lightly in telenovelas, and the effort put into it absolutely shows in their high quality end products.


Producción de Telenovelas

Me siento ingenuo para no darse cuenta de todo lo que sucede en la producción de telenovelas  y en general todos televisión para el caso. En las últimas clases nos hemos centrado en la producción de estas telenovelas y vio un par de clips de detrás de las escenas. Cuando viendo estos clips con todos los directores en el set, y las cámaras de diferentes ángulos, formé una apreciación aún mayor para estos actores. No me puedo imaginar cómo estos actores pueden llevar a cabo de manera realista, con la presión de todos los gentes en la misma habitación que ellos. Ahora, cuando veo a mi telenovela, El Patrón del Mal, tomo nota de cómo los ángulos se conmutan y ampliada, para enfatizar el efecto dramático de la escena. También me sorprende cómo los actores pueden representar emociones, sin música de fondo a nada. Sin la música, estos actores aún pueden influir el ritmo y complementar el efecto que la música tiene, incluso cuando no está jugando. Cuando viendo la escena de sexo en clase, pensé que era interesante cómo los actores se reían, y los directores estaban dando instrucciones paso a paso fue muy reveladora. Cuando viendo la escena con música de fondo y cinetography ediciones, todo parece tan natural y sin defectos. Todo este proceso parece ser muy complicado, pero con las medidas adecuadas, las telenovelas puede alcanzar la mejor calidad y calificaciones más altas.

Otro aspecto que nunca había tenido en cuenta, cuando me piensa en la producción de estos episodios, es lo complicado de todo el proceso es. La producción tiene que ser dividido en partes diferentes, una parte a la vez, para crear la mejor calidad. En primer lugar, una telenovela exitosa necesita productores profesionales. El segundo componente crítico es el control de la producción, que es donde todas las reglas, límites, la toma de decisiones y el presupuesto entra en juego. En esta parte, los productores necesitan para mantener una producción ética y profesional para no ofender a la audiencia. Como visto en clase, esta parte es extremadamente puntillosos, y si la más mínima cosa no es perfecto, tienen que volver a hacer la escena. Por ejemplo, cuando el pie del hombre estaba mostrando en la escena de sexo. A muchas veces, los telespectadores son muy difícil de complacer cuando esperan la perfección, como cuando se quejaban de la escena del beso, cuando ellos usaba demasiado la lengua.

En mi opinión, la parte más importante de la producción es el contexto de la telenovela. Es necesario que exista documentación histórica y entrevistas fiable y precisa, con el fin de garantizar que no haya discrepancias, y de que reciban todos los hechos correctos. En esta sección, sin embargo, hay límites obvios. Nadie quiere ver una telenovela que es totalmente histórico, y retrata exactamente lo que está sucediendo en su día a día vive ya. No habría ninguna necesidad o interés en ver eso. Por lo tanto, los productores deben centrarse en el equilibrio de entretenimiento con la realidad. Creo que es la razón que la producción Colombiana de El Patrón del Mal es tan impresionante. Los productores retratados con precisión los acontecimientos históricos de una época muy negativa y difícil en Colombia, y se enfrentaron a estos problemas de una manera estratégica y exitosa.

Production: Alexis Williams

Production of La Esclava Blanca

According to an article from Variety, on average, telenovelas cost $70,000-$150,000 to produce and Telemundo, with its high-production, usually has around 300 full time employees and many other workers who help create their telenovelas.

When I began looking for a telenovela to watch this semester, I made sure I found a telenovela with excellent production. Videography and editing quality can make or break films and shows for me and, luckily, La Esclava Blanca's production is incredible. According to an article from Broadway World, the telenovela was filmed completely on location with an international cast and, according to this same article, Telemundo has been striving to diversify its casts and provide its audience with higher quality telenovelas.

The cast includes actors and actresses from Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and even Italy, creating diversity, as well as challenges, in production of the telenovela. However, according to executive producer Juliana Barrera, one of the hardest parts of producing the telenovela was making it believable. Because the telenovela is set in the 1800s, it was important to make sure technology that did not belong in the time period was not visible during filming.

According to interviews of the cast, they filmed for eleven hours a day, six days a week, for five months. Though they usually wanted to rest after those long days, Nerea Camacho says the group would sometimes get together afterwards and go to parties and Miguel de Miguel says the group became a family because of their closeness in proximity.

My one complaint would be some of the acting done specifically by Nerea Camacho, who plays the female protagonist. Though she is very beautiful, her acting can still be hit or miss. Overall, however, I have been impressed with the telenovela and have been completely sucked in to the story.

Telenovela Production

When I think about telenovelas, prior to this class, I never thought about the actual production of them. I just thought of the actual show itself and the drama-filled episodes. So, this unit of class has truly been incredibly interesting to me. I am blown away by the behind the scenes of these worlds that the telenovelas create for their viewers. I was especially surprised by the way they so technically direct the love scenes!

I wanted to do some more research on the way that telenovelas are being produced in America, since Silvana sin Lana is made for Telemundo USA in Miami. I found a really cool article from ABC News that featured the way the telenovela industry has just absolutely exploded in the USA.

The most interesting facts I read in the article included the way that Univision is now the 4th top network in the entire country! This seems so crazy and cool to me because if there is one thing the US is not lacking in it, it’s TV stations and shows. So, the fact that people are choosing to watch telenovelas so much in the US is pretty awesome. Especially since there are so many American soap operas that are being cancelled, like All My Children and One Life to Live.

The article also described the way that telenovelas produce their content at such a fast rate. One actress described how their show shoots 40 scenes per day on a small budget on $120,000, compared to the 2 million dollar budgets that American soap operas operate on. The sheer magnitude of the production of these telenovelas surprises me and fascinates me.

I would love to know the specific budgets and timelines for the production of my telenovela, so I may need to do some more digging to find those facts – I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked on this topic.