Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Final Thoughts–"We Are All Professionals"

Last night, we were able to wrap up our journey by watching the conclusions of some of the telenovelas that we learned about throughout the semester. My personal favorite was the final episode sequence shot from La Vida Entera. It was so effortless and fluid, and my classmates and I were sure that multiple takes had been necessary to complete the shot. We were shocked when Dr. A told us that there was only one true run-through, which was the final product we saw on-screen. I beleive she said that because the director's wife had to be at the theater, they did not have time for multiple run-throughs, so he simply said that it could be done in one take because "We are all professionals."

It was amazing to think about, because that phrase means a lot. The fact that he was able to place that kind of confidence in his team is astounding. This includes everyone from the production team to the actors–all of these people must be able to do their part to produce the final scene ever for La Vida Entera. It says a lot about the skill his team possessed, and the confidence they had in each other and in themselves.

I think that moment was a good representation of the course for me. We have learned so much about the work, training and preparation that goes into telenovelas. We spoke to writers who spend hours on end, even a full day, producing the content that will be heard on our screens. We have learned about the minute details such as the color of a character's nails and the music that accompanies certain scenes. I saw all of that come together in watching that scene and learning that it was done in one take. One take that was a culmination of the expertise of each professional involved.

The most important aspect of this revelation is the fact that I would not have appreciated that final episode nearly as much had I not been given such a comprehensive background on the industry this semester. I value the knowledge I have gained because it has allowed me to appreciate something that I did not understand before. I definitely plan to keep watching telenovelas and working on my Spanish in order to continue delving into this culture, as I thoroughly enjoyed this course.


  1. I completely agree with your shock and awe that the scene took only one true take. When we watched that clip during our last class, my first thought it "wow there are so many places that could've messed up, they really must have practiced". But it's unreal that they were able to pull off such a flawless and fluid - not to mention extremely critical - scene without at least multiple rehearsals. However, I didn't think about the directors' role until reading this blog post. It's so true that his faith in his cast and crew must have been unreal for him to so cavalierly say, "we're all professionals, let's do this". It goes to show how a cast and crew become a family over the course of a telenovela, and how that trust ultimately can create an ending so important to so many viewers with just one take.

  2. Elizabeth, I felt the same exact way after reading this post. For the director to convince the whole crew from actors to stage workers that they could pull the scene off in one shot absolutely blew my mind. Something that I never thought about until reading your post was also the fact that this final scene was shot one time. That means the director trusted his team to put together a successful final scene. The part that really blew me away was the fact that this scene is the final part of the whole show, meaning this would be the viewers final impression of the series; incredible to think it was done only once given the circumstances. I do not have any experience in the acting industry, but I could imagine that the majority of scenes are shot multiple times. All of the moving parts in this scene from the lady running down the stairs to the camera man being shown in the mirror appeared extremely professional to me in that I would have never guessed it was only shot one time. I believe the directors confidence in his team to get it right the first time speaks volumes about the telenovela industry in terms of everyone's dedication to putting on the best performance they are physically/emotionally/mentally capable of.