This month we interview Ivan Mercadé, chief scriptwriter of Cites, the new TV series of Televisió de Catalunya.

A large number of scenes occur along Barcelona. What image of the city do you want to project?

The idea is to show all the faces of Barcelona: from the most modern to the most classic, but always trying to set aside the Barcelona of the postcards. We did not want to show the typical Barcelona of the guidebooks with the Park Güell, Las Ramblas, the Sagrada Familia. Instead, we emphasize our Barcelona, the people of Barcelona.


Can we say that Barcelona takes part in the series?

Of course. In fact, each episode reflects the atmosphere of the neighbourhood where the action happens: Gracia’s terraces, Pedralbes’ silence, Raval’s nightlife and Born’s modernity act as the perfect context and in perfect harmony. For us it was important to reflect the uniqueness of each location.


How did you choose the locations of the dates? What criteria did you follow to determine it?

Firstly, we chose the neighbourhood that would frame the dates. Then, the writers thought about where to locate the event in a bar, restaurant or street. There are countless factors when choosing the best location: financial restrictions, schedules, lighting…


Can you tell us how you handle the making off?

This is one of the most complex aspects in Cites. It was a little bit difficult to organise the making off because we filmed in real locations, which in most cases only appeared in one chapter. This involves a lot of pressure. Except for a couple of chapters with more complexity, each date is filmed in two days.


On the website of Cites the audience can find an interactive map, which is weekly updated, with the locations of the episodes. Also they have the opportunity to upload their own photos of their dates in Barcelona. Which purpose do you follow with this proposal? Is it a way of projecting the city and generate buzz through social media?

Yes, this is the idea. We understand the current importance of social media and we want to create this interactive map to collect a virtual picture of our series. The idea is to end up with a full map of Barcelona representing hundreds of dates, whether they are real or fiction.


Barcelona Film Commission was in charge of the production of several shootings, such as the Sant Pau Hospital or Hotel Omm. What do you expect from the Barcelona Film Commission?

The scriptwriters always prefer to shoot in the best locations to transmit the history. In this case, the Barcelona Film Commission has done a good job managing everything.


Which are your favourite locations that appear in the series?

I really enjoy spending my time in the streets of Barcelona, no matter which one. In Cites we filmed in La Virreina, Plaça de la Concòrdia i Plaça de Sant Pere. Also I like the Parc de la Ciutadella; after a long period shooting at night, it was so nice to film during the day. Ah! And the Rambla of Poblenou, where we shot the best day of the year, Sant Jordi.

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