Friday, February 24, 2017
Weekend Discussion: Recap Authors' Update on our Favorites and our Greatest challenges
About 14 months ago we had this discussion on the subject of our greatest challenges in recapping and how we do this sometimes thankless job. Now that we have some newbies -- both recap writers and readers -- on board I think we're due for a new forum on this subject.
My favorite series to recap has been AQNMD. I love the story, the cast, the situation, the small subplots and funny asides. Great quality production. I also recap Color and the patio for that one has been amazing. I have realized things from the comments that I didn't pick up or realize on my initial viewing.
Jarifa, I agree about El Principe. Such a good, heartbreakingly honest story. I hope others get to see it online or a rerun.
My main frustration with Vino is that it isn't sufficiently well-written to inspire something more literary in what I do for it so I don't feel I can put my best efforts in. I want to upgrade what I am currently doing for MdN but doing 3 episodes a week makes me rush through it in a way I wish I didn't have to.
I think you're doing a great job on MdN. I would never be able to translate all that dialogue in a timely manner.
The only tn I have ever regretted recapping was Corazon Indomable. Sure, it's fun to just get to be snarky on such a stupid show. But some nights (many), I wish I could quit watching it, or skip the episode I had to pay attention to so that I could recap. That experience scared me off of producer Nathalie Lartilleux for life, although I'm glad to hear she redeemed herself with Camino recently.
Like you, Urban, I don't use CCs/subtitles, so I like the challenge of practicing not only my listening comprehension skills, but also my translation skills, because often word for word translation doesn't quite catch what was being conveyed. It feels like I'm exercising my brain, as well as practicing a different kind of writing skill than what I use at work for proposals/reports.
My first TN to watch or recap was La Fea Mas Bella. (How I "discovered" TNs is a story in itself, which I will reserve for some future discussion.) I started watching it a few months after it began. Someone had recapped the first couple of weeks, but abandoned it in favor of another TN, so there was no recapper at all. I offered to do the recaps with the hope that other people would be willing to fill in the gaps that I had missed.
I had studied Spanish in high school, but not in college, and I hadn't used any Spanish in the 22 years since. I had a VCR, but no captions on my TV. I took notes on a legal pad and then every few days I'd type them up on a desktop computer. It took me FOREVER to just get the gist of a conversation, much less the details. But I picked up more and more Spanish along the way, and pretty soon there were other recappers, and then we had a full team!
Eventually I got a TV with captions, and I got a DVR, and a laptop with wifi, so I could watch and type at the same time. Ever since then, I have tried recapping every way I can think of: taking notes and then writing; writing as I go without pausing the recording; watching without writing, and then watching again; taking notes with different colored pens for different storylines (to deal with the crazy chopped-up editing style); I even tried taking notes on a voice recorder, thinking it would be faster. (Well, sure except I still have to type them afterwards.) No particular method seems to work much better for me than any other, so it is mostly a matter of comfort.
I used to be up until 2, 3 in the morning doing Fea recaps. I got a little faster over time, but it has always been a challenge for me to not get sidetracked with distractions when I start looking things up, so now I try to minimize the web-surfing, not even looking up an unfamiliar word unless I absolutely need to know exactly what it means! (Because looking it up will lead to looking up other things.)
During the Fea days I had a lot more time, enthusiasm, energy, and mental bandwidth than I have now. I was able to devote more care and attention to my recaps. That goes as recently as Por Ella Soy Eva (PESE). Sadly, after that one I seem to have burned out. I read some of my older recaps, especially for Pasion, and I can't believe that was me.
I like recapping because I like to tell stories - but I'm no good at making them up. Recapping lets me tell someone else's story. It's fun, once in a while, to experiment with storytelling techniques, like I did with the point of view/diary recap I did for PESE. Maybe someday I'll get that inspiration back.
As for a TN that I wish I could have recapped, that would be Destilando Amor, one of my very favorite TNs of all time. It started before Fea ended, and had a full slate of recappers by the time Fea ended. I got to recap ONE episode, and that was all.
In conclusion, I'll say that there isn't always a correlation between how much I like a TN and how much I like recapping it. I loved Hotel and Yago, but both TNs were so dense with detail that it could be rather grueling to catch it all. And I LOVED Querida Enemiga, but only liked recapping it.
On the other hand, I liked recapping Una Familia Con Suerte better than I liked watching it, because it was fun to describe everyone's antics. And FELS was miserable both to watch and to recap, thanks to the stupid story, lazy writing, and folksy vocabulary.
Incidentally, I am terrible at noticing people's clothes, so I love the Crimes of Fashion topics, Urban. The tassel necklace is heinous!
As for tns I wish I had recapped, I loved Amor Bravio so much that it would have been a pleasure to recap that one. Luckily, I did get to guest recap a few times on AB to fill in for someone.
I started watching telenovelas to improve my mediocre Spanish. I've always appreciated it when recappers call attention to interesting Spanish words and phrases, and I usually try to do that in my recaps. There are almost always words and expressions I don't know. Tracking them down takes time, but it helps me, and I hope others also find it useful.
Unlike Urban, Vivi, and a number of other recappers, I need and use Spanish captions. Even so, when I recap, I record the episode on my VCR (yes, VCR!) as I'm watching it. I then go back and view the episode again, going over some segments multiple times to understand what's being said. Often, the recap winds up taking about six hours. (Urban, I doubt I'd have had the courage to admit this, were it not for the earlier discussion you started on recappers' greatest challenges. I remember being stunned--and heartened--to see a number of people admit to spending many hours on their recaps.)
I can't think of a novela I wish I had recapped. My favorite novela of all time is La Reina del Sur, but I don't think my Spanish was good enough at the time to recap it. It probably still isn't.
I came to this site I don't know how long ago, but it was when PESE was ending. Then I started recapping PEAM and I have been around on and off since then.
Currently I am in the AQNMD patio, and I am having a lot of fun. I also do it for the alzheimer, because I need to force my brain to think in english and I heard that being bilingual helps.
I use the 5 w's method, who, what, where, why, when.
So, while I am watching the episode I make one line notes than later I put together. I know is not the best but I don't have anything that records. After the episode has ended, the recap is ready in about 5 hours because I need to translate it and correct it. For me is a double job but is worth it.
I watch, I share, I comment and I make friends along the way. Thanks!
My favorites were Amor Bravio, El Hotel de los Secretos, and No Creo en los Hombres. They were top quality TNs and therefore a pleasure to recap. But I will say, those TNs were very difficult to recap because every detail was important, down to the minutest detail, so those recaps were often pages long.
I start my recaps when I start watching the episode, that way I am writing everything as I'm seeing it happening on the screen in real time. I hit pause and often rewind to see a scene again, hear again, what is being shown. I watch with spanish ccs. I would never remember if I watch and then go back and write it. I don't have that kind of memory.
The worst kind of TNs to recap, for me, would be comedies. They have lots of slang, so those words wouldn't even be very easy to look up either. I watched Que Pobres, Tan Rico, and I was so happy I wasn't recapping it for that reason. I loved that show, the only comedy that I actually have liked too, and never have I relied on the recaps more to have a clear understanding of what was said.
I started recapping just last year when Anita graciously hosted a small patio for Camino, she asked for volunteers to keep the patio going and I thought after enjoying so much from other bloggers, I could at least try to do my part. I didn't know what I was doing or what the proper method for recapping was, so I literally would stop and pause after each scene and translate it word for word. Suffice it to say it took hours. AQNMD and ECDLP are my second forays into recapping and while still time consuming, I've learned to shorten down my time. I go online a day ahead of my recap; put my blue tooth head phones on and just listen to the show as I go about my house chores. I find this helps me, because I tend to pay more attention to the actual dialogue if I'm not distracted by watching. I jot a note here and there in my notebook and the next day when the episode actually airs I sit and watch and type up my recap; adding in the dialogue. What used to take six hours, now can be done in three to four.
I have no favorites, as I've only done three. As for ones I wished I'd recapped? None. I've enjoyed immensely reading and learning from the other seasoned recappers and still feel I am in learning/training mode.
I'm not into comedies really, so probably would skip watching and recapping those.
Interesting thing about CC's; If I am having a hard time understanding what the actor/tress said due to poor enunciation/dialect (Adriana/AQNMD) I'll rewind it back and turn the spanish cc's on to help in that way. In my opinion reading CC's in the native tongue can be very useful for those just learning.
Most of you know my story, like so many others, going from lurker to anonymous commenter to frequent commenter, then occasional recapper to recapper. I'm glad I dove in, thanks in great part to our Dear Madelaine. Most of you already know it takes me 5-6 hours to watch live (no CCs), rewatch with pause while I write (sometimes rewinding several times), type, revise, post and revise again (there's nothing like being perfect, eh?).
Like Pablo, I'm trying to stave off dementia or Alzheimer's by being more bilingual, if only in my head. My Spanish, which I did learn as a child beginning at age 2, got very rusty for the 40+ intervening years I didn't use it. Comprehension came back easily. Conversation is still difficult. Translation of these telenovelas is easy AND difficult, but always fun. Like Julie, it's a lot easier to tell someone else's story in your own words than it is to create one. Doing it from Spanish to English is good mental exercise.
What I enjoyed the most was creating, often from others' comments the newspapers (El Tal's FUG - Fresno Underground Gazette, Amores Verdaderos' El Clamor Publico, La Temp's La Temp Extra).
Then there were the merchandise for sale lists (CME Emporium, El Tal's Tal*Mart).
Then came the the specials like the DamIsms in La Tempestad, The Devolution of Dr. Nesme in CME, the Impressions of Alonso Lazcano in Amor Bravio, and my personal favorite, The Wisdom of the Dragon in Reina de Corazones and last, but not least the detailed Body Count in Reina (with the who, where and how, but not always the why).
Happy to be able to be of service to those who need translations in order to participate fully in this community of telenovela aficionados.
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