Dec 8, 2009

IN MY TELENOVELA CLASS: Conversations with Leonardo Padrón and Roque Valero

The last class of this semester, in which we lectured and discussed as many aspects of telenovelas as possible, finally arrived. Following the course's tradition, I taught the last class at my house with dinner and a Tres Leches for dessert:

That evening we had our two last "Telenovela Conversations" with writer Leonardo Padrón and actor/singer/musician Roque Valero. Both were generous as they shared with us their experiences in the world of telenovelas. My students learned a lot, enjoyed immensely the opportunity to talk to our guests, and were truly delighted when Roque sang for us a fragment of Las Lágrimas Aprenden a Reír.

Following are the two videos of the conversations, where you will find valuable angles and points of view regarding writing, acting and musical composition.

As I finish this semester of "Telenovelas, Culture and Society", I must thank everyone who has talked to me and allowed me to observe her/him as they write, perform, produce or consume telenovelas. Thanks to them, I continue on my research path about this television genre, whose apparent simplicity hides its fascinating complexity. I also thank my 24 students for everything they taught me and for their interesting reflections in our class blog. Finally, thanks to our guests who shared with us their knowledge and talent. They are the indispensable teachers for my class: Marisa Román, Ruxandra Ciobanu, Alberto Gómez, Leonardo Padrón and Roque Valero.

Dec 3, 2009

IN MY TELENOVELA CLASS: A conversation with writer Alberto Gómez

We had our second "Telenovela Conversation" with writer Alberto Gómez, who understands very well the commercial dimensions of the telenovela genre. When network executives and producers want an original or a remake of a telenovela rosa, Alberto Gómez is a name that always appears in their short list of possible writers. Hence, he has written telenovelas for a long list of networks and production companies, including: RCTV, Venevisión, Televisa, Fonovideo, Venevisión Productions and Telemundo. Alberto is the author of many telenovelas. Some of his recent successes include: Gata Salvaje, Angel Rebelde, Marina, Acorralada and Alma Indomable. He's currently writing Mar de Amor for Televisa, a remake of Delia Fiallo's María del Mar.

Alberto delighted my class with his sincerity and enthusiasm. Through him were were able to see better the telenovela rosa, we got closer to the daily writing effort that every telenovela requires, and we felt the happiness of someone who enjoys what he does.

Here is a video with excerpts from our class conversation. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. I leave it here along with our thanks to Alberto Gómez for sharing with us his time, experience and passion for the telenovela rosa.

Dec 2, 2009

IN MY TELENOVELA CLASS: A conversation with Ruxi

My telenovelas class would be incomplete without the opportunity to talk to people involved with the telenovela world. In previous semesters we have talked to: Leonardo Padrón, Marisa Román, Valentina Párraga, TVVI's moderator, Julie Restifo, and Daniela Bascopé.

These exchanges, via phone or video conference, are always enriching form my students, and I appreciate them very much.

This week, the last of this semester, we're focused on these "Telenovela conversations." Our first guest was Ruxandra Ciobanu, who lives in Bucharest, Romania. I met "Ruxi" through a telenovela message board a few years ago. I also had the privilege of having her as a participant in one of my case studies. I invited Ruxi to my class because I wanted my students to meet her and to learn about telenovela consumption through the eyes of someone who's not from Latin America.

We loved our conversation with Ruxi. She's knowledgeable and has a warm personality. For me, it was truly special to have her in my class.

Following is a video with some excerpts from our "Telenovela conversation" with Ruxi. We appreciate her sharing her time and knowledge with us.