Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Production and the "Magic" Onscreen

In the past few weeks I have learned a lot about telenovela production that I did not know before. I did not realize how much planning goes into creating every scene, or what it looks like on the sets versus on-screen. It is a lot more similar to movie production than I had previously imagined. However, it also allowed me to understand why many people are not as interested in the production aspect even though it important to address when studying telenovelas.

Seeing some of the photos of the sets almost shattered my image of the telenovelas because now I have seen the actors awkwardly kiss while surrounded by crew members during a love scene, and I know more about editing as well. Although it makes sense that things like music are added after the production, it was still surprising for me to watch the scenes in silence as they were being filmed. I think that we as a society use telenovelas and similar forms of media to escape reality, and we see it as an alternative in which life is perfect: the people are beautiful, the problems aren't real and everything turns out the way it should. Seeing the other side of it (the less glamorous side) shatters this idea.

I was therefore fascinated by the amount of detail that is necessary for proper editing as well, and the mistakes that can be found even in the final product that is aired on television. When Dr. A shared a photo of a sequence error in which an actress had different nail polish colors in two different scenes, it reveals that they filmed on different days. It is interesting because this kind of detail is not something you would usually notice if there had been no mistake, but you definitely notice the nail color when it breaks the "magic" of the telenovela by showing you that they filmed on different days.

Learning about the writers' jobs was eye-opening as well because I learned that they take a great deal of time to write hundreds of pages–sometimes extremely quickly–especially when thinking about my own telenovela. There are so many plot twists and creative ideas utilized that it is impressive to learn about the work that goes into it.

Overall I think it was extremely beneficial to learn about the production aspect of telenovelas because it forces you to understand the dedication that the producers, writers, actions, assistants and other crew members have for their projects on set. Most people (including myself) do not like to think about that aspect because it takes away from how the telenovela is viewed as almost "perfect." Luckily, I have not seen any behind-the-scenes shots from my telenovela yet, but now I know that I will definitely look at them after I finish watching it. Only then will I be able to truly understand the process behind such an addicting telenovela.

1 comment:

  1. I also found it beneficial to learn about the production aspect of telenovelas, as it was something I had not been exposed to or really given much thought to, before we discussed it in class. Naively, I had previously assumed that telenovela episodes were filmed chronologically. Since this is not the case, I realize the importance of verifying the sequence so that it does not interrupt the "magic" of the telenovela, as you have said. I think the complex and proper editing required to avoid sequence error is absolutely fascinating. Since Dr. A showed us the example of a sequence error in one telenovela, I have been carefully watching my choice of telenovela for the semester, Pasion de Gavilanes, to find sequence errors. I have caught a few. In one error, Sarita, a protagonists, is wearing a fringe jacket with a white crop top in the scene where she is at her house on the ranch about to ride off on her horse to the farm lands. In the next scene, when she appears on farm lands, she is wearing the same fringe jacket but she is wearing a normal length tank top. This sequence error did interrupt the "magic" of the scene for me.