The digital media scriptwriters belong to a group of specialists whose voice and image are unknown to the audience of these programs and still are the backbone of media creation. When they achieve an impact and fame beyond their physical death and they prevail inside the collective memory with characters and stories embedded generation from generation in the collective imagination of listeners and viewers.
On November 19, 2010, members of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) at a meeting of the Film, Radio and TV Section, learned about Abelardo Vidal´s death, a privileged screenwriter in our radio, television and film history.
When in 1966, Vidal started working as a drama radio program adviser and started in the program direction, he would become a scripwriter. Among his early plays as a writer he appears at the original version of a Sector 40 program in the serial Clave Escorpion, which opened the theme of military counterintelligence in our radio, a trend to be continued in Operacion Trasbordo- dedicated to Alberto Delgado’s life- which was also broadcast on television and finally taken on a movie with his own script in the memorable film El Hombre de Maisinicu. Furthermore, in one of our national radio stations Abelardo along with Julio Batista produced an experimental radio newscast which was a hit at that time.
Suddenly, his tales became into stories, serials and documentary films focused on our social problems and a huge humanism winning several awards in several contests and established his reputation as a great creator in our media.
In the late 70’s last century, he had an offer from the Cuban Ministry of Interior – sponsoring its production and implementation – to produce a tv serial to honor the twentieth anniversary of the State Security Agencies, to be finished on March 1979: “En Silencio ha Tenido Que Ser” directed by the outstanding television director, Jesus Cabrera, a paradigm of such serials on our television , which turned out to be a phenomenon repeated over and over again in every serial for the whole audience It had two chapters. The first was made by Vidal along with Nilda Rodriguez and the second, “El regreso de David” was completely produced by him, counting on an excellent technical and artistic staff and a successful casting.
Its impact moved to insert other television serials like “Julito el pescador” and “Juego en defensa propia”, created by the imagination of Vidal, where the characters stood as symbols of courage, humility and talent for many Cuban generations.
First, he adapted the stories and then created his own stories by boasting a particular skill for the design of the ideology of the revolutionary project of revolutionary men and women since 1959, laden with a peculiar ideological, emotional and communicative impact.
In an interview some time ago, I asked for his opinion on the Cuban writer’s social media responsibility, and he replied: “The writer has the privileged to whisper the listeners the sounds or show them the images, ideas or feelings through fiction. When that fiction reflects their reality, the responsibility is even greater. Each new work provides me a new proposal every day to look for creative ways to engage audiences and achieve the desired objective. ”
When asked about his personal perception about the success of En silencio ha tenido que ser, his response was: “Its success surprised me. I had worked a little of television and this serial was made in a very short time. I think we have some new elements that made it attractive beyond the sense of patriotism. It was `produced initially by a team of writers and the director respected each specialist. ”
He created a new television aesthetics : the video camera was used as in movies. We recorded everything out of the studios and it was the first time music was composed for all situations and characters.
David, the leading role, was an anonymous hero, inspired following a real person but gathering the qualities of a great number of others. It was the epitome of many characters. He had defects and desires, made mistakes and these elements were used to turn him it believable, truthful, and as a human. It was as if telling the Cuban people how all those unknown heroes were like.
Among other union and social functions, Abelardo Vidal wasfor a while head of UNEAC’ Section of Film, Radio and Television. In the 90’s, he worked as a Venezuelan television´s scriptwriter for plays and soap operas, there he improved his experiences while learning from the industry mechanism of producing soap operas in this nation without making him break away with his social project , which was evidenced in his project Sueños which provided culture for the poorest neighbourhoods in Caracas, long before Hugo Chavez´s presidency.
Vidal gave a special room to detective stories where the ordinary men and women struggled as undercover agents to derail counterrevolutinary or criminal actions paying a price in human lifes before the eyes of relatives and friends who did not understand the changes in their social life. Many of them died without revealing their real mission.
Contents, genres and types of stories are seldom related to media scripwriters. Abelardo Vidal Rivas made the artistic creation become another way to defend his nation and devoted all his essence, awareness, conviction and practice to thee, keeping consistently this attitude until the end of his life.
With the same passion and energy in his personal life he fought the adversity in the progressive deterioration of his body and physical disability, this Cuban passionate loved life and women without losing his humanity, wit, will and perseverance.
In his early years – like so many children in Republican Cuba – the lacerating polio marked his body but not his spirit, vitality and Cuban like behavour. Vidal continued fighting even when the disease affected his motion abilities. And he won due to his his intellectual, ideological, patriotic and artistic grandeur and was loved by all of his friends and mates with admiration, respect and affection.