Thanks as always for your Friday Questions. Here are some answers.
I've been reading a lot of multicamera scripts, and often see the transition "RESET TO" at the end of a scene.
I understand CUT TO and DISSOLVE TO, but what is actually being "reset" when this transition is used?
When you CUT or DISSOLVE you stop filming (or taping). When you RESET you keep filming for a few seconds while the camera move to new marks. Generally this is in multi-camera shows.
Let’s say you have a scene in a living room and it continues into the kitchen. As the characters move from one set to the other it’s hard to move all four cameras with them. So generally they will enter the kitchen, the director will yell, “Reset!” the cameras will roll across the stage to their new positions in the kitchen, the actors will back up a few steps, the director will yell, “Action!” and the characters enter the kitchen and the scene continues.
Whenever you yell “Cut!” you can expect at least a three or four minute delay before resuming – and usually much more. Hair and make up people swarm around the actors doing touch ups. The director will often have last second notes to the actors. At times the writers huddle to quickly come up with a new joke to replace one that bombed. And when you’re ready to shoot again you have to wait for sound to be up to speed, and you have to slate the new scene.
So if it’s a continuous scene in two adjacent sets it’s often more prudent to just reset.
Frank from Silly Cone Valley wonders:
Hey Ken, could I send you a one-page draft of an idea I am working on? I would love you to go all Dennis Miller on me.
Frank, unfortunately my one rule is that I don’t read unsolicited submissions. No ideas, treatments, scripts. Two reasons: One is for legal purposes. You may have an idea similar to something I’m already working on and think I stole your idea and sue me. I don’t need that headache.
Also, if I read yours I have to read everybody’s and the floodgates would open. I would have no time to do anything else. Even sleep. So please understand it’s nothing personal and I wish you the best with your project, but I can’t read it.
That said, I’m happy to continue answering your questions and providing blog posts that hopefully you all find helpful.
I recently applied for a radio job. I've never been in that business before, so I probably won't even get an interview. But just in case they happen to like something on my resumee or the mp3 I sent, any advice, Ken? What do radio people look for in an interview? Someone who's outgoing and well spoken, I guess but what else? Thanks in advance.
Especially when breaking in, radio pays crap. Beyond that, I’d say do your homework. Know as much as you can about the station, the format, the market, etc. And maybe mention my name. I’d be curious to know if that helps. But seriously, just be yourself. That’s always the best advice. Good luck.
And finally, friend of the blog Johnny Walker has a CHEERS question.
In Season One there's at least one episode where we see the "fourth" wall (where the audience is in reality). How did this work on a practical level? Didn't pulling the fake wall out obscure the audience's view?
There was a lot of experimenting that went on the first season. One of the things we tried was having a fourth wall. It was really just a wall on rollers that could easily be moved wherever we wanted it.
But we only used it during pick-ups after the audience had been released. So there was no interruption or obscured views during the filming.
After using it a couple of times the general consensus was that it didn’t add much, and was time consuming to set up (the cameras had to be wheeled into the set, furniture moved, and new lightening set up).
Besides, when you announce that the show is filmed before a live studio audience, who are you fooling that this is a real bar?
You’ll notice as you watch that first season that director James Burrows gets some amazing shots, some long tracking moves as he really established that bar as almost another character in the show. So much of the success of CHEERS is in the mood set, the depth of field, and the interaction of the characters – and that was all James Burrows. He deserves his 395 Emmys.
What’s your question? Leave it in the comments section. Thanks.