Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Production in Love Scenes

I don’t view love scenes in the same way as I did now that I know what goes into the making of a love scene. When I watch ”Santa Diabla” now, my first thought now is “oh that poor actress. Everyone is watching her and she must be freezing.” Love scenes in telenovelas are about the least romantic things that have ever happened to television. Not just telenovelas though; shows and movies in general have been stripped of their magic for me because of the way I have seen scenes portrayed in this class.

Music is everything in the story. It is essential to the production value and the plot line. Without music, love scenes fall flat on their face, as evidenced by the clip that we watched in class. The love scene without music was profoundly awkward and hard to watch. If I was a member of the crew, I would have to become desensitized to the insane awkwardness of it all. I can only imagine how viewers would react if there was no music.

The chemistry between Amanda and Santiago in the production is driven entirely by music. The music builds when they kiss, and intensifies when they have passionate conversations. If there was no music there may be no passion or feeling between the two of them that the audience would be able to strongly detect. Music drives the story, especially in love scenes.

I also found that in the production, camera shot angles are crucial. Without zooms on specific characters at specific moments, the audience would not know what to feel or what to think. By zooming in on the faces of specific characters during special discoveries, the plot continues. For example, when Ines announces to Amanda that she and Santiago are getting married, the viewer must have a close up of Amanda’s face to know if this news is surprising to her and how she feels about it. The close up does reveal to the audience that she is surprised and skeptical of Ines’s statement. This is only one of hundreds of examples of these close ups. Every revelation in the show gives the audience a shot of the character’s face who is making the realization. These individual angles are crucial and create intensity within the plot.

Without music and camera shots, the production value of the love scenes would be low and would be highly ineffective. Viewers wouldn’t sympathize with or understand the characters’ thoughts deeply, nor would they be as excited for plot twists. In terms of camera shots, I view them as the primary and driving difference between plays and television. Plays allow for one angle of viewing and no close ups of characters’ faces. This does not make plays inferior, but it is more difficult for viewers to connect as deeply with actors on stage. Camera angles, sound, sets, and nuanced reactions are what make television shows unique. And telenovelas have taken all of these elements and heightened them to be the intensely dramatic art pieces that they are.

Production and detailed shots and movements make telenovelas what they are. Without background music and camera shots, telenovelas would not be what they are, and would become something that is not as impressive, exciting or realistic.


  1. Wow. Katherine, I completely agree! Love scenes are so much different to me now that I have watched the "behind the scenes" version in class! I was shocked thinking how awkward it must be for the production people around these two actors that are probably not in love in real life, yet have to act out an intense and passionate love scene. But then I thought of your point that they are probably immune to the awkwardness because they see things like this and videotape scenes all the time. It's so fascinating to realize the effect of music. Im my telenovela Marina and Damian have a specific song that plays every time they enjoy their time together or rekindle their love. If I imagine watching it silently, its SO AWKWARD! I don't think the audience could handle watching a romantic scene without any background music. Excellent point! It makes me think twice now every time I watch one of these scenes. Sometimes I'll mute the sound just to see the different in effect on me with or without the music. Try it and you can see the difference so clearly!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This was also something that struck me when we learned about telenovela production. Watching the scenes without music is totally a different experience, and yet, when I am watching my telenovela I hardly notice the background music (except of course when they play Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti - that song cannot be ignored). The integral role music plays in telenovelas truly cannot be appreciated until one watches a love scene, or any other scene for that matter, without it.

  4. I agree completely. The music is EVERYTHING. It is almost laughable how I can predict the type of music that plays when something goes wrong or right. Also, the way they frame the shots and compile the edited looks of desire is essential to creating the perfect moment. If you observe closely, before the moment is about to happen, the shots are of their eyes looking at what seems like each other (but it is really the camera). Those are the shots that seem so awkward to film! I would feel so dumb!

    Also, I thought it was very interesting in class when Dr. A was talking about how there are sometimes love triangles on set. How awkward would that be to film with your boyfriend being the sound guy!