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.