I have always been fascinated by the amount of time, work, and PEOPLE that it takes to make movies and I enjoyed learning about the fast-paced, hectic world of telenovela production. Since I was in middle school, it has always been on my bucket list to be an extra in a movie (something I was able to check off last year). I never wanted to be a movie star or an actress, I just wanted to be one of the people in the movie that are there to make it look real, whether it be a student sitting in a classroom (like I have done for my whole life), or a person at a fair, or a body in El Secretario, Dr. A mentioned a street market scene in her lecture that she particularly enjoyed being on set during because all of the extras assumed she was also an extra, so she didn't have to talk about and explain what she was actually doing. I loved my "extra" experience because I finally had the opportunity to see how a major motion picture is made, or at least, how one tiny scene is filmed. We spent at least 3 hours shooting the same 20-second scene, only to move on to another 30-second scene that was shot for 2 hours. I thought being an extra was tons of fun because you get to do the same simple task over and over again (in my case at least), but it was also enlightening to see how many people work behind the scenes.
One of my favorite parts of lecture in the production discussion was talking about who is involved in making telenovelas. A lot of these roles seemed familiar to what I believe exists on a film production staff, but there are so many differences in the time frame and other aspects because movies are made years/months in advance and only premiere once, whereas telenovelas premiere new episodes nearly every day when the season is running for 100+ episodes. The obvious roles involved in creating a telenovela include the writers and authors (dialoguistas), as well as the main director (Director General) with a studio and on-location director (directores de estudio and directores de exterior). The main roles we talked about on the production team include the Executive Producer, General Producer, Production Assistants, and the Script. The Script is very important for the director; they are in charge of the sequence and making sure everything remains consistent when scenes are shot out of order (which is often times how telenovelas are shot). The script will follow la pauta to know when certain scenes will be filmed so they can be prepared.
The Script's role was very intriguing to me because I had never heard of it before and I LOVE noticing goofs in movies and TV. So far I haven't noticed any mistakes in my telenovela, but over the years, I have definitely noticed some errors on the big screen. With such an intense production schedule, it's no surprise that mistakes can happen! As much as I would love to be the person in charge of reviewing every detail and making sure everything is perfect, I would NOT want to be the one responsible for any noticeable mistakes once the telenovela reaches millions of people.
Here are some interesting goofs I found online:
This scene with Rachel's necklace is actually something I noticed while watching Friends.
Most of the time, the mistakes I notice have to do with sweat on clothes (because that can be nearly impossible to recreate if the scenes are shot at separate times, and female character's hair because wind and mannerisms can affect the way an actress's hair falls behind her ear or how her bangs lay, etc. I thought it was cool to see a copy of the chart a script used to keep track of every detail in a scene, with drawings and notes to make sure a necklace is placed the same way and hair is done identically.
To come full circle, back to when I talked about all of the people involved in producing a telenovela, Dr. A also mentioned the inclusion of ALL positions in "la intrada" of the telenovelas. Have you ever experienced the feeling when you learn a new word and then later that day someone uses the word in conversation and you think "wow, how convenient that I learned what that word meant earlier today!"? Well, I experienced that when I learned about the position of the "Script" in lecture and then later that evening while watching El Secretario, BOOM, there it was! On a post-it note like the names of everyone else involved in the telenovela (actors, directors, writers, producers, casting, music, etc.) for recognition was the name of 2 Scripts, Helena Valencia and Alfonso Ardila.
After all this time of watching El Secretario, I never paid enough attention to read all of the people and their position during the opening sequence, so it felt very gratifying to see the Script mentioned after learning about the position in class.