Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Telenovela Interviews

The past few weeks in class, we have had Skype or FaceTime interviews with many writers and actors from various telenovelas. As we have watched many different telenovelas in class and learned about the production process, we have learned about the process the writers go through while writing the telenovelas, the way the actors feel about the telenovelas and the people they become while performing, and the way they all feel about the production companies and/or the government’s control of telenovelas in their country. Just like American movies and shows, there are many aspects that play into writing the story, choosing the characters, and filming the actual show.

For me, it is very hard to imagine the difficulties that writers and actors go through when writing and producing these shows as I’m not a writer nor an actor and have never had any experience with that field. Also, living in America where very few things are censored makes it hard for me to understand what other countries must endure when wanting to write, film, and produce stories they want. I read someone else’s blog in our class that discussed their home country, Vietnam, and the struggles they have with their government as far as movies and TV shows goes. They remember specific shows that were imported from another country that needed to be censored because their words and pictures were not compliant with the country’s rules and regulations. I think that because countries have different types of governments that it is difficult for us in America to realize all of the struggles and restrains that the people living there, the writers, the producers, and the actors feel.

In America, we would never have the opportunity to interview directors or actors from our most loved Netflix series or TV shows. It would be like interviewing John Stamos from Full House or Sophia Bush from One Tree Hill—crazy! It was very interesting to see times when our thoughts and opinions about a telenovela differed from the producer or actor. Asking them personal questions was also very intriguing as sometimes they had answers that were unexpected. Being able to ask them questions about themselves and their life before, during, and after the telenovela was a very special treat to end our semester and allowed us to really connect with the telenovelas. The interviewers were quite entertaining at times and allowed us to see the heart and why behind every show that is produced. To be able to discuss these aspects on such a personal level is something I may never get the chance to do again with any writers or actors! Thank you, Dr. A for allowing us to do that, and thank you for all you’ve done for our class!


  1. I agree, Montanna. I think as a class it is difficult to grasp how famous and successful the actors and directors who we interviewed are, because we don't have the same connections to the telenovela industry as we do to Hollywood–it's not as familiar. However, I think it has been extremely eye-opening because of that. As I thought about it, I realized that there may be a reason why these individuals are so willing to share their experiences and talk about their industry with us. Last night, Dr. A talked about how deeply emotional these productions are, and I think that is something that the television industry lacks in the U.S. Because of that, I can tell the producers, writers and actors we spoke to see that emotional, human element as highly important. For that reason, they want to know their audiences–we learned that during our consumption presentations. For that reason, they want to know us–just as much as we want to know them!

  2. Montanna,
    Me encanta de que mencionaste cómo una entrevista en los Estados Unidos sería como hablando a los actores de Full House o Sophia Bush de One Tree Hill. Sería loco y poco realista. Estoy agradecida por la oportunidad de entrevistar a estos actores y directores en las últimas dos semanas de clase. Como usted ha dicho, ha sido muy interesante escuchar sus perspectivas, especialmente cuando se trata de la censura. Hay pocas cosas censuradas aquí en los Estados Unidos, sólo ver un episodio de HBO Go! Es difícil a relatar en este nivel, pero cuando éramos escuchando ellos hablar en las entrevistas me dado mejor visión.

  3. Montanna,
    Estoy de acuerdo en que las entrevistas fueron una gran oportunidad. Los escritores, directores, productores y actores con los que hablamos son algunas de las personas más importantes de la industria de las telenovelas. Después de hablar con estas personas, siento una conexión aún mayor con la industria de las telenovelas. Creo que es increíble que estas personas estén dispuestas a compartir sus opiniones y experiencias con jóvenes estudiantes universitarios. Oír hablar de esa industria de la telenovela de su potencial fue muy perspicaz! Otra Gracias al Dr. A por la increíble oportunidad.

  4. Yeah, Montanna, I can definitely relate with how crazy and awesome it is that we had this opportunity to talk to these writers, directors and actors. I tried explaining to friends in other classes how we've been Skyping in all these celebrities and prominent figures in the telenovela industry, but I don't think they understood how cool and insightful this classroom experience is.

    I also like the point you brought up about the very different experiences the writers, actors and directors have in working in their home countries versus here in America. We hear so much about what it's like in countries in terms of their corrupt or struggling governments, but I've never really considered how something like the entertainment industries would be affected by these issues. I think that's been one of the biggest takeaways from this class for me!

  5. Hey Montanna!

    I absolutely agree with everything you said! It's so hard for me to wrap my head around what it must be like to not be living under a full democracy whilst working for the entertainment industry. How can you write a script that is fully yours while having to think about coupe d'etats happening outside your window and censorship being forced down your throat. It always startled me when Dr. A would talk about how she couldn't even walk outside of the studio to her car without having male actors escort her. These celebrities are so famous in these countries and so well known throughout the world yet they still are subjective to dictatorships and government rule. Where in America celebrities are given special treatment, Latin America puts their actors and actresses under a magnifying glass.