Friday, 26 August 2016

Different length programs play differently

From Coffee Break 3 min eps to full length Programs

There is a class system in the UK almost as strong as India. Ask any director or actor who works in TV. Those constantly trusted with 30 minute programs find it hard to move to the hour slot. Those in the hour slot often can't make it into the specials and multi parters. There are exceptions and these are normally exceptional people, however, the number of times actors leave say a soap to try and move on, then return two years later after they could not climb higher.

I spent 26 years on Emmerdale as well as the films and TV shows I did, but as an action coordinator we seem to be immune from that which is unique. Actually for us in effects and action we are trained on big product shows and the smaller shows love to have the huge accident. I joined Emmerdale to plan the Plane crash and stayed on retainer for a quarter of a century.

Shades OF Bad was a suggestion of my wife and co owner of INDYUK Films which has made features and never before ventured into TV of any form. I had sat at the British Screen Advisory Council meetings and lectures for a few years and the web was being extensively researched. So, I agreed and we started a coffee break show that was meant to always be three minute episodes.

I did cut the first 5 together to make a mega introductory episode but after the followers were way into episodes in their 40's, though new viewers may have watched or started via the longer episode it was still only 11 minutes.

However it was obvious it worked better, was more powerful and drew you into the story more. I have just just episodes 56 to 61 together and they make, even with some harsh cuts, a 27 minute episode. I have not released it as it is for discussion with our distributors Opera and Daily Motion before we decide what to do with the series.

However it is very interesting because you can cat more harshly as you have so much more product. However the grading and mixing done for three minutes needs to be rematched across the longer episodes.

I guess because we wrote the series from longer form ideas and cut them down, they do add up back together, but the exorcise is hugely interesting. I have just come out of a screening and two notes that toped up in the long form were never mentioned in the short form. In other words, the three minute coffee break episodes are not scrutinised as harshly as the show is in longer form.

One note that bugged a few in the longer form was the time between two incidents happening seemed wrong in the longer form. I can see that, but in the short episode as it stood alone, that never mattered. Long form is more demanding and the edit will be fun, what comes out of it will be interesting, but Shades Of Bad has way over 4 hours of material which we know can cut, work and play totally different. It is like a master class in editing.