Friday, November 11, 2016

Normal, Every day People, who Control the Fate of our Novellas

Speaking with Roberto Stopello was awesome, but I wish I had asked him about writer's block and how he deals with the pressure of writing an engaging, successful telenovela. La Reina del Sur and Señora Acero are both such successful novellas that gold becomes the standard, which is not a bad thing, but perhaps not realistic. Writing is not an easy undertaking, and I feel like is often taken for granted. Crafting a compelling drama is incredibly impressive because of how much thought is required to do so, and for Stopello to have two or three enthralling story lines is mind blowing. I don't know if he would have had an answer, simply because writing is one of those crafts that you either have it or you don't and the process can be difficult to describe. Monica said she spends 12 hours of the day writing, which is nuts. I mean that's half of the day! I was encouraged by their vitality and energy, which were both unexpected given how mentally exhausting the writing and story development process is. They were both also so humble, despite essentially being movie stars themselves. People recognize Monica's face and name, all because she is a phenomenal story teller, and I am sure the same is true of Roberto. So for them to be gracious with their time and open with their answers was both surprising and encouraging.


  1. I too, enjoyed hearing both Mr. Stopello and Ms. Montanes' comments about their writing process. The writing process is clearly time-consuming and exhausting. I was especially empathetic with Monica's writing process. She not only has to worry about the response of the audience/ratings, but the very survival of the telenovela depends on what the government thinks of it. She is clearly very cognisant of that and I can't imagine having that much pressure riding on a single writer. Further, she also acknowledged the fact that the revival of Venezuela's telenovela industry depends on the government's reception of this telenovela. On top of that, she has to deal with the fact that she has little room to make revisions once the telenovela begins to air despite the fact that there are four seasons. I cannot think of many American series that have this much pressure to succeed. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wish her the best of luck and truly admire her talent!

    1. I definitely agree. Since I watch Señora Acero, and have seen parts of La Reina del Sur, it was interesting to notice how similar the storylines are, yet they are also vastly different. I think that speaks to how Roberto Stopello is able to craft engaging storylines: he seems to study how the audience reacts to certain storylines and capitalize on the ideas that are the most successful. It's important to understand what your audience wants to see, which is why his answer to my question was interesting as well–he wanted an actress who could perform more stunts and things of that nature because his audience loves the action-packed aspect of the superseries. With that in mind, I think he is very conscious of what will do well.

  2. I think it's interesting that you note that Stopello may not have the answer to your question because "you either have it or you don't," in regards to writing talent and ability. Generally, I would agree, but something that Padron said during our conversation in class on Tuesday makes me think that may not be true.
    Padron explained that his writing has changed a lot over the years, both in style and content. So while he may consistently have "it," what "it" is must have changed. Even the best telenovela writers have also written failures, just like authors and journalists worldwide sometimes write things that aren't successful. it doesn't mean they don't have what it takes, it just means that what they had wasn't what the world wanted right then. So I agree, I think hearing Stopello's take on what to do when you have writer's block would be intriguing, because I'm sure he has just as many failures as other big-name writers, but his are at higher stakes and must be rectified more quickly.

  3. Matt,

    I thought it was so cool how someone who has written some of the most successful telenovelas in history was so down to Earth and relatable. I too wish I could've asked him more questions. I think I was just honestly taken aback by how kind he was from the start. He truly was so gracious with his time and humble to the core. It gave me a vast amount of respect for the Latin American entertainment industry. It is clear that it's filled with some of the hardest working people in the nation. Although they are mostly upper middle class workers, they seem to work day in and day out as if they were going from paycheck to paycheck. None of them seem to be affected by fame or money or greed which is commendable and something America's Hollywood should take note of.