Thursday, October 15, 2015

Miami (Production) Heat

     Historically, Latin American networks in the US like Telemundo have relied on traditional imported telenovelas from Latin American countries for their networks. In the last two years especially, US Spanish networks have moved toward more "Americanized" story lines in their US telenovelas, and they are needing sets and production sites that are based on US cities. Since this is not the case in imported telenovelas from countries like Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, US networks have begun to create their own vast production sites in order to cater to their audience's appetite due to the integration of Latin American and US culture in the United States.

     One city that is benefiting from this movement toward domestic telenovela production is Miami. Telemundo and Univision have built huge production sites and utilized local buildings and store fronts in the production of new telenovelas. According to the New York Times Article "Spanish Language TV Dramas Heat Up Miami," although the cost of production rises immensely when moving set from places like Mexico to Miami, there are significant benefits to producing telenovelas in the city. Production in the United States allows networks more opportunities for advertising and branding within the set, which increases the revenue from advertisers.

    Another benefit to domestic production for these US networks according to the article is the avoidance of the increasing crime rate in traditional production countries. Increased crime in Mexico makes it a more dangerous place to work for the cast and crew. In Miami, there is much less risk for an actor or crew personnel to take the job. In addition to that, it increases the chances of Hispanic actors in the US to break in to the TV or movie business. Actors who may have a better chance at landing a staring role in Miami through nation wide sweeps by Telemundo and Univision for Spanish-speaking talent than they do in Hollywood or New York.

     An interesting thing that I have notice about US made telenovelas versus Latin American telenovelas is that despite the fact that Telemundo's domestic production telenovelas such as Duenos del Paraiso, Santa Diabla, and Bajo el Mismo Cielo have a significantly more Americanized look to the actual shots and production qualities than is typical for even modern Latin American telenovelas, excluding recent Brazilian novelas like El Clon. It makes sense that producers catering to hispanic people in the US would incorporate aspects of American television in their newer telenovelas. I think that as younger generations of Latin Americans in the US are exposed to the quality of TV production from US networks, Spanish networks like Telemundo and Univision will have to work to keep up with that kind of production quality. I think that with examples like were mentioned above, Telemundo specifically is doing a great job catering to the expectations of their audience in the US.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Abbey! I like the direction you took in this post talking about locations of production. Miami makes sense in that it is becoming so popular to film at, and the crime rate is such an interesting fact! When researching my telenovela I found that its finale had the highest rating of ALL shows in Miami. Miami obviously has a large hispanic population and I think it's smart to move with the crowds. I do think it would add to the overall popularity of a telenovela. Besides the advertising benefits, people often feel closer to shows filmed in their own towns. Miami is a HUGE market. I do worry with this shift that storylines are in fact becoming more Americanized. I hope production and directors find a good balance. What I like most about telenovelas is the raw-ness of the shows in that they are not too americanized and are more real. But it is also all a business. Thank you for this post it was very enlightening and informative!