Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moving Day With OLTL - Frank Valentini Interview

We Love Soaps had the opportunity to visit the new ONE LIFE TO LIFE set in Manhattan on February 16th and tour the new digs.  During this time we spoke with several cast members about their current experience on the show, the big move, and reflections on their time in Llanview.  Please enjoy this series of interviews.

FRANK VALENTINI - Executive Producer

We Love Soaps: This past week on the show has been pretty intense.  There’s a huge blizzard, everyone has been affected.  Do you like doing these huge high stakes events?
Frank Valentini: I love doing them. I love being challenged production wise.  Doing Stacy crashing through the ice was challenging but it was fun and because it was warranted story wise it was the right thing to do. 

We Love Soaps: What are the biggest challenges of doing this huge kind of event?
Frank Valentini: Whenever there is water and simulated ice — normally I’d say let’s go on location, but you can’t bring actors and a baby into the freezing cold onto a frozen lake.  So we had to make it up and do in the studio.  Everyone said, “How are you going to do it?” We just figured it out and made it happen.  It looks great. 

We Love Soaps: What are some of the biggest rewards for you of producing this show over the past seven years?
Frank Valentini: The biggest rewards are always the interpersonal relationships and friendships that you form with the people you work with.  I really care a lot about everybody who works here and we are very lucky.  We have a tremendous crew.  And since I’ve been with the show for such a long time this is like my second home.  I know that’s an overused term and I even mock it once in awhile, but I really care about them.  They are my friends, and I choose to be here with them doing things that we love.  Other than that, it’s always nice when the ratings are good, it’s nice to get paid every week.  In this recession a lot of people don’t have jobs.  We are all extremely thankful and I remind my crew all the time how lucky we are all to be working and doing something we really love.

We Love Soaps: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face as Executive Producer?
Frank Valentini: There are always artistic challenges with story and working with the writers and the talents and making sure everyone’s vision comes together.  Then there are the practical concerns of studio space, contracts, and time constraints.

We Love Soaps: How did they convey to you that ONE LIFE TO LIVE would be moving?
Frank Valentini: I had dinner with Brian Frons, we talked about it, and I was very excited.  We have a great upgrade in equipment and studio space and overall the facilities are tenfold better than what we had.  It’s a great thing for ONE LIFE TO LIVE. 

We Love Soaps: We saw previews that there will be a musical episode featured in May.  What can you tell us about that?
Frank Valentini: It’s going to be called “Starr Crossed Lovers,” and it will involve Starr, Cole, Langston, Markko, and Dani, Destiny, and Matthew. 

We Love Soaps: One of the great things about ONE LIFE is the balance between the generations.  I like how the younger  generations get a lot of time, but the veterans also get meaty stories. 
Frank Valentini: We have all good actors so we like to spread it around.  Sometimes certain people are heavier than others but it all comes back around.

We Love Soaps: If you could go back seven years to the beginning of your role as Executive Producer and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?
Frank Valentini: "Slow down."

We Love Soaps: How come?
Frank Valentini: I wanted everything to be perfect, and it’s a sprint and a marathon.  It’s always important to remember that.

We Love Soaps: Are you applying that now?
Frank Valentini: Yes. Very cautiously.

-Moving Day with Brett Claywell
-Moving Day with Terrell Tilford
-Moving Day with Kristen Alderson
-Moving Day with Florencia Lozano 
-Moving Day with Kassie DePaiva
-Moving Day with January LaVoy

Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve". He is re-imagining a world without "shoulds" at www.shouldless.com.