Thursday, October 15, 2015

Production of Escobar El Patron del Mal

The production level of Caracol Television's Escobar: El Patron del Mal has established a new standard within the telenovela industry. Based on former Medellin mayor Alonso Salazar’s book, “La Parabola de Pablo,” the 113-episode telenovela bridges the gap between entertainment and historical context through high-quality production in the unrivaled portrayal of the world's wealthiest, and perhaps most notorious, drug lord.


The series’ outdoor scenes were filmed on-location between Bogota and Medellin at roughly 500 different locations and featured 1,300 actors, translating to costs of more than $150,000 per episode. In addition to set and casting, the attention to detail in respect to costume design, such as lead actor Andres Parra’s specially ordered wig, and set accuracy, as seen in the meticulous use of rubbers bands necessary to bundle wads of Escobar’s drug money, contributed to both time and money spent on the series. And while production costs far surpassed standard budgets for Colombian telenovelas, El Patron del Mal remains Telemundo’s Most Successful Social Media Premiere in addition to the network’s second best Novela Premiere among adult audiences.


Escobar: El Patron del Mal was co-created by writer Camilo Cano and producer Juana Uribe, both of whom closely linked the havoc wrought by Escobar’s violent wrath. Cano, son of El Espectador editor who was murdered on Escobar's orders, and Uribe, daughter of journalist kidnapped by the drug lord, had an invested interest in the production of the series and functioned as stewards of the telenovela’s representation of a figure largely distorted and thus misunderstood both within and without Colombia. In an interview with, Uribe described the preconceived notions of viewers and how these views were influenced as the series progressed.

En muchos países ha generado enorme empatía al principio y, a medida que avanza la serie, la gente se va dando cuenta de la dimensión de su capacidad destructiva.”
–(Juana Uribe, 

From this we can discern the challenge Cano and Uribe faced and furthermore their ability to transcend cultural convictions by way of high production value and engaging storytelling.


The series was recognized by Swiss agency, The Wit, as one of 50 formats that has served as a source of innovation in respect to global TV production. Additionally, the series was nominated for Novela of the Year, Favorite Lead Actor and Best Bad Luck Moment. 

It's safe to say that the recognition this El Patron del Mal received is entirely owed to the production of the series. Through a combination of a skilled cast, on-location filming and thorough attention to detail, El Patron del Mal will continue to serve as a source of inspiration moving forward as telenovelas expand their viewership on a global scale.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Angela! I have to agree with you, this novela set the bar high for other novelas in its genre, specifically narconovelas. I love Escobar the novela for so many reasons especially because of its production, the writer's production team's and their crew's attention to detail, and finally because it is a tribute to Colombia and everything it's seen in its history. It makes it even more meaningful to know that two people directly affected by Escobar's malice are two of the same people that invested themselves and dedicated what I imagine to be copious amounts of time to flushing out every little detail of what makes this (in my very biased opinion) an excellent telenovela.