09 June 2009

Manila Times column for 07 June 2009: "To be read and watched by (almost) all"

original post here.

plugging. for more!

dapat last week of may column ko ito pero nagkaroon nga ng tech glitch sila sa newsroom. so...

By Libay Linsangan Cantor
To be read and watched by (almost) all

Ideally, writers would really want their books to be read by a lot of people, their screenplays or stage plays to be made into films or plays that will be watched by many. But by “a lot,” does that mean almost everybody in the planet or the country? That might be a hard feat to achieve no matter what type of writing you do.

Creative writers usually include universal themes in their writings, such as falling in love, heartbreak, betrayal, and all those things that have been used over and over in literature, film and TV melodramas. But in essence, writers ideally have a target audience to begin with when they write; it makes crafting the plot easier, and it is also challenging to discover what kind of story development/details will excite a particular audience.

This is the reason why I chose to decline writing for a TV show before called Lovely Day, which I eventually directed when the producers decided to remake it from a plain newsmagazine type to a hybrid of narrative fantasy-newsmagazine. The executive producer (or EP) proposed that since I was already directing the show, I should also try my hand at writing the main narrative script since it might be easier for me to direct what I wrote. I mulled over it and asked who the primary target audience of the show was. Her answer startled me: anyone from age 2 to 92. Wow, that’s a large scope to please in thirty minutes, nationwide! I don’t think a single narrative storyline will captivate that wide an age range at any given time. Nothing is that universal, not even love (or Pacquiao’s boxing matches). I mean, could a 5-year-old fathom love like how a 60-year-old would? I don’t think so. So as much as I wanted to go back to writing children’s or family-oriented TV shows, I declined.

Last month, I was offered to be the scriptwriter of a new show. Since the focus is clearer this time (with the EP clearly labeling it as a “children’s show”), I accepted. This time, the audience is clearer, as it is going to be aimed at preschool viewers, grade school students and everyone in between that age range. Of course it helps if parents and other relatives from other age ranges would watch it, but that’s just an added bonus. The show, called Happy Land, replaces Lovely Day in its Saturday morning time slot of 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at GMA7; it premiered yesterday.

The show is primarily educational in nature but with a mix of fantasy and reality narrative storylines in it. Let’s see just how wide an audience it will reach this time.

Comments? Suggestions? E-mail libay.scribevibe@gmail.com. She is also at libaycantor.multiply.com.

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