Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Fresh Perspective on Telenovela Production

When I tell people that I am a journalism major, they often assume that I’m interested in broadcast news and that I want to be an anchor in front of a camera. While I’m flattered that they think I am charismatic enough for that, I have never pictured myself doing anything in front of the camera, because I ironically don’t think I’m charismatic for that. All that being said, I have very little knowledge about video production, whether it be news, film, or television. But recently in Dr. A’s class about telenovelas, I’ve been enlightened to a completely different perspective that I had before about production.

Over the past couple weeks we’ve been studying out the fast-paced, exciting and arduous process of telenovela production. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in these lectures, there is a lot more that goes into these productions than I initially thought. From the hard deadlines of the writing team, to actors keeping up with constant changes in script, to the production team's organization of minute details, there is nothing simple about production of telenovelas. At the end of each of those lectures, all I think about is how much pressure there must be on the people working on telenovelas. I sympathize for the actors, but really I think about the executive producers and assistants, as well as the writers. They are all required to put in a lot of effort in their work, but also they are required to work well with one another.  We discussed in class the various tensions that exist within the telenovela universe, but what I found myself pondering over during lecture was the balance that is required between these teams. For example, the Executive vs. Writers tension is a battle between a telenovela being a social phenomenon and an art form or being an industrial product that makes money. I feel like there is a very fine line between the two, and to have a successful telenovela, executives and writers need to meet at that fine line. 

After learning about the consumption of telenovelas and seeing the presentations on the consumption of everybody’s various telenovelas, it really puts the production side of things into perspective. I think Dr. A worded it perfectly when she said the process is like Pac-Man; once broadcast starts of the telenovela, consumption kicks in and production is on their toes to keep content going. As I continue watching the well-acclaimed production that is Avenida Brasil, I’ll definitely be keeping in mind the extensively detailed process and the hard-working crew that pulls it all off. 

1 comment:

  1. Cory, I agree. I definitely over estimated the production side of telenovelas. But after watching all of Dr. A's behind the scenes videos, I gained a lot of insight about the fast paced scene and it seems like everyone on the team just has to be very adaptable. I definitely agree that the writers and executives team need to arrive at a compromise. It comes with balancing creative expression while also doing research into what the public likes to watch on tv and then putting a new spin on it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does't though.