Interview with Tiago Marques - Director of TIMELESS LOVE
To mark the start of the new SP Televisão production, TIMELESS LOVE, we keep introduce you throughout the month of February, some of the faces that work daily for the final result, from the authors, producers and directors, to the actors and technical crew.
Tiago Marques started early to take his steps in the audiovisual area, worked for NBP, witnessed the creation of SP Televisão, meanwhile sought other professional challenges, but quickly found his way back home! Tiago was then part of SP Televisão's first big project, Vila Faia, and is now the Director of our most recent success - TIMELESS LOVE.
Tell us more about your professional career.
I graduated in Cinema, Video and Multimedia, at the Lusófona University of Humanities and Technologys, where I had the pleasure of meeting, among other great teachers, the director Jorge Paixão da Costa. I would like to highlight this professor because it was with him that I stepped on the "plateau" for the first time (in the short film Quatro por Quatro, o triunfo da forma), and it was also him who gave me the opportunity to work professionally in this area, inviting me to make a series as his assistant director (Sociedade Anónima). This was the beginning of a connection to NBP (the current Plural Entertainment), a production company that welcomed me and allowed me to develop professionally, having collaborated in several projects, in the most varied functions, within the production and direction departments. In 2007, I was invited to embark on the adventure of witnessing the foundation of SP Televisão, where I had the pleasure of collaborating in the telenovela VILA FAIA, the first major production of SP Televisão, as well as in the series 21ST AVENUE. I returned to Plural after that period of about two years at SP Televisão, and it was at Plural that I started directing in 2014, by invitation of Jorge Queiroga. After three telenovelas as a Director, I felt the need to experiment with other formats, and I decided to leave Plural, starting a new professional period. In this period, I collaborated with several production companies, having directed several series, from which I highlight Madre Paula and Circo Paraíso produced by Vende-se Filmes for RTP. In 2020, I had the opportunity to return to SP Televisão, and since then I have directed three telenovelas under the coordination of Jorge Queiroga.
Since the telenovela is a long-lasting format, with many changes along the way, what are, for you, the biggest difficulties in the directing work?
I wouldn't call them difficulties, I like to think of them more as challenges and, in fact, directing in this format represents several challenges. First of all, because of the speed that we are forced to execute; and there is no way to escape or switch this problem of time, it is intrinsic to the telenovela format. We cannot forget the context where we are in, we are part of an industry and, as in all industries, there is a very pragmatic side when it comes to productivity. Production companies must be attainable, and it is up to us to keep fighting to make them attainable for the sake of the hundreds of jobs they represent. This limited time inherent to the format, if on the one hand it can be seen as a difficulty, on the other it forces the director to exercise other skills that are fundamental to the good performance of his function. First, the ability to quickly identify what is accessory and what is fundamental in each scene. This clarity in the objective or function of each scene within the narrative structure makes us more effective and allows us to understand where we should invest some time. But going back specifically to the issue of project duration, working on a telenovela is like running a marathon. We must be aware of the distance to be run, and in this sense, it is fundamental to know how to manage energy throughout the various stages of the project. It is very easy to start a project highly motivated, but it is difficult to maintain that motivation during the 6/7 months. And between recordings, reading scripts, meetings, scouting, editing, etc., it is very easy to get swallowed by the production machine and start feeling that we don't have time for everything. I confess that this management was difficult during my first projects, but nowadays, with the method I developed throughout my professional career, I feel quite comfortable with the demands inherent to the making of a telenovela.
What new challenges is the telenovela TIMELESS LOVE" giving you?
At the beginning of a new project I always ask myself how to do it better than the previous one? How can I innovate and improve within the restraints that are inherent to the format? How can I mask, in the good sense of the word, an industrial product in a handmade product? And if in some moments of my professional life I felt a little isolated in this search, I had the pleasure to find here, at SP Televisão, a directing team that shares this need with me. Coordinated by Jorge, myself, Bruno Marques de Oliveira and Ricardo Inácio, we spent much of our pre-production time finding those answers. In this novel, this process was highly productive, and I dare say that TIMELESS LOVE is the most successful novel we have ever done together. Since the first day of rehearsals a positive wave around the project was generated, a shared desire among actors and technical team to do differently, to do better. This wave has been maintained throughout these months and has fed us all. The talent of the actors, but above all their implicit attitude in the process, has been fundamental. In relation to the challenges that this soap opera presents us with, I would like to highlight the street that we built in the studio. It was a risky bet, and raised many doubts at the beginning of the process, but this did not take away the motivation and commitment of all those involved in the construction process. And if today it is clearly a winning bet, it is more than fair to give credit to the scenography and decoration team that made it possible. And since I have already mentioned some of the sectors of our team, it is fundamental to do justice to the entire technical team that has been working with us for a few projects now, and that obliges us daily to raise the bar.