....as I do every Friday.
Let’s start with Matt:
I have quite a few MASH scripts in my collection and in reading through them, none of writers indicate Stage 9 vs. Fox Ranch locations. How did the production staff decide which location to shoot scenes (aside from the obvious: EXT. CHOPPER PAD - DAY).
The key factor was “time of year”. We could shoot exteriors of the Swamp and Mess Tent right on the stage if we had to (they didn’t look as good but we occasionally did it). I wanted to have helicopters landing in Stage 9 but no one was willing to build the giant removable sunroof that would require.
In the summer when it was light from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. we shot one day for every episode at the Malibu Ranch location. But in planning the scripts we knew that meant a maximum of eight pages. So we laid out the stories accordingly.
And once we went of Daylight Savings Time that was it for location shooting the rest of the season.
If there was an episode that contained mostly interiors (say a poker game show), we held it back. If you have the MASH DVD’s you’ll see a lot more actual exterior scenes in the first half of each season.
sophomorecritic has a question:
When I first saw Mark Feuerstein in Conrad Bloom, I found him to be a likeable actor. Then the show got cancelled and I don't remember seeing him again until Royal Pains where he's really found a niche.
You have any comments or reflections on his circuitous route to stardom? I also thought Conrad Bloom was a good show, what went wrong?
Mark has done a lot of things. I first worked with him before CONRAD BLOOM on FIRED UP where he was a regular.
For some reason he has had the misfortune of being in quite a few series that never took off. In addition to the two I’ve already mentioned there was THE HEART DEPARTMENT (I don’t even remember that one), GOOD MORNING MIAMI, and 3 LBS.
He’s also been in movies with scumbag Mel Gibson and sweetheart Sandra Bullock. I also saw him on stage starring in a Neil LaBute play last year and he was riveting.
As you said, Mark has an incredibly likable quality. He’s also very real. And having directed him numerous times I can tell you he’s a complete gentleman and professional.
I’m happy ROYAL PAINS is starting to catch on. Mark is really one of the good guys. And off the subject, but his wife Dana is equally terrific.
It’s hard to say just why CONRAD BLOOM didn’t work. Probably my directing.
But seriously, it had some good people and good writers. My guess is it came along the year there was such a glut of sitcoms (or as I like to call it – “the Golden Age when we all could make our car payments”) that it got lost in the shuffle.
Aw, who we kidding? It was my directing.
From Vermonter17032 :
Ken, your desire to be Hawkeye raises an interesting question: Is Hawkeye Pierce the coolest TV sitcom character ever?
No. I would have to say the Fonz and maybe Daryl from Larry, Daryl, and Daryl. Not that Daryl. The other Daryl.
Brian Phillips wonders:
Up until the 1990's, I could tell the difference between videotaped shows and filmed shows. Video shows usually looked bright, like news and sports shows, while the filmed shows' colors and lighting are subtler. Are all sitcoms all on film now or have some merely converted to a high quality of videotape?
To my knowledge, all sitcoms – single and multiple camera – are taped in High Def now. With the proper lightening, you can pretty much simulate that softer film look. If only it could make the jokes funnier.
And finally, from Ed Blonski:
Kelsey Grammer just tweeted a show idea about the Crane brothers' sons with guest appearances of Frasier characters.
I'm wondering what you think of the idea and if you would write for such a show?
First off, it depends on who writes it. If it’s Peter Casey & David Lee or the Charles Brothers then I would certainly entertain it. Otherwise, I highly doubt I'd get involved. And I can’t speak for those four gentleman obviously, but my stab-in-the-dark guess is you’d have to put a loaded gun to their heads to get them to consider it. And even then I dunno.
This idea sounds like the MUPPET BABIES but with FRASIER, which brings to mind an idea I always had – CHEERS BABIES. See baby Norm and baby Cliff at the bar drinking beers. I think it would be a delightful show for the kiddies.What's your question???