November 8, 2002

BLUBO from a coffee house to your television

By Mariana Martinez

What do a chemical engineer, a filmmaker and an architect have in common? They are all part of the team at Galatea audio/visual, the producers of a new show on Univision called BULBO, which started on October fifth.

Bulbo as guests on a tv show done by Iberoamerican Univ

Galatea was born two and a half years ago, by a group of childhood friends, neighbors and classmates that gathered, like many; to go camping, go to the gym or drink coffee at Sanborns.

This group of friends graduated from college, and started their adult life, in the not very promising working scene. Jose Luis, Sebastian and Omar started talking about a better way to live and not work “for other people”, creating a fertile ground, for them to explore their passion for film and music.

The result of those “coffee house talks” changed over time: First, Galatea audio/visual was conceived as a party and concert organizer; then it shifted towards video productions, fiction and documentary, and in March of 2002, they come up with Bulbo, a weekly TV show on Tijuana’s channel 45: no directors, no specific subject, just different stories in documentary format, letting the main players talk about their experiences.

A side from the fact that Bulbo shows the work of the members of Galatea, it has an open forum for work done by other people, and has a special segment called the “guest video” where amateurs, high schoolers and college students can show there work.

The idea is, by compiling the different voices around the city, they create a mosaic of views, told by those who live it: a painter, a skater or “La parca”-a famous wrestler- who show us who they are.

Jose Luis Figueroa, filming local multidisciplinary artist Tania Candiani working in one of her recent exhibits, that was mostly sawn and woven pieces- dolls, masks, dresses.

The average age of those involved in the project is 26, most with no administrative experience what so ever. But behind them is a man who’s been around, David Figueroa –father of one of the members- Mr. David had worked most of his life for huge pharmaceutical companies, that provided experience but failed to provide the quality of life he was looking for; and by that he doesn’t mean money, rather satisfaction, closeness to his tasks and freedom.

Incomprehensibly for some, he got on the boat, with a “wet behind the ears” team of young entrepreneurs: they work in a house on Hipodromo -in Tijuana, near the race tracks- with the computers and cameras they could afford, a coffee maker and the guerrilla way of administration; they started an adventure where everybody had to do everything.

Contrary to common belief, working among friends has been an enriching experience for them. All though they won’t deny that sometimes, with fifteen stressed out persons, in one room things can get pretty ugly.

The adrenaline of being on their own seams better than the job offers they had.

In the beginning, Bulbo was tough of as a show for young (17 to 35) Tijuana residents, mainly high school, college students or working, middle and upper class, but reality struck them hard: kids, stay at home moms and older people form working class neighborhoods were writing about the show. They were all so surprised about the San Diego audience, getting more and more involved in what’s happening this side of the border.

When Bulbo went to tape events in SD, people started asking them for flyers and schedules of the show and they realized they had an unexpected audience and hopefully collaborators in the other side of the border. The Tijuana/San Diego area is immerse in a lot of joined journeys, TV and radio signals are part of those that can’t be stopped by a fence, so, above the differences, images can be understood.

Having nothing to loose, Galatea shows his work to Univision, the project was a big surprise and was approved for showing. Saturdays at ten thirty, Bulbo can be seen on channel 17. The show will be a selection of shows previously seen in Tijuana-Bulbo will keep transmitting Thursdays at 11 on channel 45-until December. New shows are expected to start running January of next year.

This new phase means a new challenge and a lot more pressure for Galatea and its members, but allso an opportunity to fill a void in entertainment, and a platform for people in Tijuana-San Diego area, to show what they are capable of.

What’s next?

Full of music lovers, Galatea goes back to its sonic search, starting Tuesday, Oct 29 Bulbo will allso be a radio show.

Taking advantage of the restructure of 102.5 Radio Frontera, radio station, they put forward a project for a show, with similar flexible format, as that of the T show, the hosts of the show will be Omar and X : with interviews, surprise dj’s –people from the audience who tell about there music taste-and an “album of the week”.

Bulbo will be on the air, every Tuesday from 1 till 3.

Galatea, radio is perceived with a tad of anonymity, and a romp with the imagination that lets them explore new ways of connecting with people. They are hopefull that now, people will participate more, showing there music and being guest dj.

Another project-the most ambitious one- for them is film making. Many of Galatea’s members are communications, visual arts and literature graduates and have the goal of producing a series of three short films, written, filmed and edited by them. The first one, they did for a contest for “Radio imagen” and the second one will be done during December, and shown in January.

Galatea, a group of fifteen people that are making there ideas, actions, are leading the way into U.S television, in an intent to diversify what you can watch and show the work of there peers. It’s all so, an invitation to take advantage of this new forum, or create a project in there own interest. Don’t whine: work and learn, it can be a success.

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