Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 4:00 PM ET by Scotty Gore
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — If you have noticed some new, character-driven bumpers at the mid-point of each “One Life to Live” episode recently, you’re not alone. And, although only a handful of the show’s contract cast members have been featured in them thus far, Executive Producer Frank Valentini promises that “We’re going to do one for everybody. We just have to fit making them within the schedule. We have a couple of other bumpers that are coming up.”
The EP tells Soap Opera Digest that “Doing the bumpers — not all of them, but most often — is extremely iconic, like Natalie and the pool table, because that represents where she met John. It represents the kind of girl she is. In another bumper, Cristian is seen painting. “Sort of the abstract way that he does it.”
The new bumpers, which “have to be done rather quickly and as inexpensively as possible” given the ever increasing ABC Daytime budget crunch, began airing in early May, and have so far included nearly a dozen characters, including Starr, Ford, James, Markko, Layla, Cristian, Bo, Nora, John, and Natalie (both John and Starr have two separate new bumpers). More are expected to debut in the coming weeks and months.
According to Valentini, “We actually had a movie camera for something else that we were trying to do, so it worked out. It’s just about being resourceful. The one with Melissa Archer (Natalie) took a long time, because it was the first time we were doing it. We were trying out a lot of different stuff, but once we got into the groove, we knocked them off pretty fast.” One of the more recent ones filmed featured Markko (Jason Tam) eating popcorn while while setting beside an old movie projector. “Jason happened to be late that day, and we had a little extra time, so we just knocked it out.”
One of the more animated bumpers, featuring Llanview’s super cop John McBain (Michael Easton), has been extended into several promos of various lengths (up to thirty seconds) for both the character and the show, and was the brainchild of ABC Daytime and SOAPnet Senior Vice President of Marketing Adam J. Rockmore, and animator Michael Roberts (husband of “OLTL” star Bree Williamson [Jessica]).
In case you may have missed any of the new bumpers that have aired so far, you can watch them here.
In other news…
Terrell Tilford’s (Greg) announcement, which he said he would be making this week (leading some to speculate that he was leaving the soap), turned out to be about the launch of his new website. On a related note, Tilford tweeted today (July 27th) that he was “Filming today, with Everyone! Ok, 8 scenes to go! Just ran into Snoop (Dogg) in the bldg… Heading to ‘The View’…”
ABC Soaps in Depth reported earlier this month that a spokesperson for “One Life to Live” has told them that there are no plans to cast the James and Robert Ford’s oft-mentioned father “at this time.”
Hillary B. Smith (Nora) states that she got to tape scenes with Jessica Leccia (Inez) last Friday (July 23rd). On July 9th she tweeted that “Jessica (Leccia) and I will definitely be crossing paths…right, Ron?”
And Kassie DePaiva (Blair) has tweeted that she is currently on vacation. Brittany Underwood (Langston) was off last week. And Brandon Buddy (Cole) was recently on vacation as well.
“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.