Time for more of your FQ’s and my FA’s.
Eric E. Durnan starts us off:
I've read on here where there have been complaints/comments about the color on MASH. Now that all the episodes save the finale are on Netflix, have you seen the quality presented there? I think the color is very good on Netflix. The episode where everyone dyes their hair and wear red for Hawkeye really stands out compared to syndication.
On a side note, have you ever had MASH scripts rejected, and if so, what were they about?
That episode where everyone dyes their hair is called "Peace on Us" from season 7 (written by me and David Isaacs) and stemmed from an actual incident we found in the research. But to your question...
I haven’t watched MASH on Netflix. But I will say this, the color on the DVD’s is considerably better than when the show originally aired.
Don’t know if it’s like that now (haven’t paid much attention) but back in the ‘70s you could tell which network a show was on just by looking at it. NBC was warmer. ABC was a little brighter. And CBS was a tad muted. I think the CBS signal had a touch of red in it.
At the time, we filmed the show in 35 mm. We delivered a 35 mm print and a 16 mm print that CBS would run as a back up. When it left us the color was brilliant. Then we’d see the same episode on the air it never looked great.
It really wasn’t until I saw the DVD’s that I said, “Yes, that’s the print I remember delivering.” I suspect that’s the version Netflix is showing.
On a couple of occasions I complained to CBS about the color and they said I was crazy.
In this digital age it’s hard to imagine that back in those days a network would take a 35 mm print and 16 mm print, physically cut in the commercials, and run both simultaneously off a special projector called a “film chain” just in case the film broke.
As for rejecting scripts, yes. There was usually money in the budget for us to eat one script a year. I don't recall the specifics, but usually it was because we just couldn't get the story to work. It wasn't the writer's fault. It was ours for developing a story that just wouldn't come together.
From blog regular, Hamid:
You often mention Steven Spielberg, notably in your Oscar reviews. So I have to ask the inevitable: have you met Spielberg? And if you have, what did you talk about?
I met him once and he was delightful. It was at an industry charity picnic. Jim Brooks introduced us. I was way nervous to just walk up and introduce myself. To be honest, I don’t really remember what we talked about. I do recall he said he liked CHEERS. I probably said something stupid like, “And I like SCHINDLER’S LIST.” But we must’ve chatted for five minutes. He was actually very approachable and gracious. Of course I didn’t ask him to sign anything and this was before selfies.
Steely Dan (one of my favorite groups) has a question.
Can you explain the difference between an agent and a manager? Are they interchangeable? If not, do they work together? Do you need both?
Also, I've read that Bill Murray does not have an agent. How common is that for someone of his stature in the industry?
Managers can’t negotiate contracts. Agents do that. In theory, managers have smaller lists of clients and are there to really guide your career, provide more personal attention, and see that your agent is giving you the proper attention and service.
I think a manager is more useful for an actor. Several of my actor friends complain that they’re just “types” to their agent. They’ll be sent out on things along with ten of their other clients who are similar “types.” A manager focuses on you and your needs and desires.
If you’re a big enough star to where you just get offers, then no, you really don’t need an agent. An attorney can negotiate contracts.
And finally, from Jim S:
With Coach returning, Boy Meets World becoming Girl Meets World, the X-Files returning, and Full House Returns rumors hitting the net, what show would you like to see come back, and which show of yours would you like to work on again. If the answer is none, why?
They're also redoing BEWITCHED for the ninth time.
I understand why the networks do this. It’s the same reason there are movie and theatrical versions of TV shows – because in this era of so much product, any franchise or project with name recognition going in gives you a leg up. That said, as a viewer I would prefer new shows rather than retreads. We really need another version of FULL HOUSE?
If I could reboot one of my series I would do ALMOST PERFECT again. I would not want to reboot CHEERS, MASH, or FRASIER for the same reason I would not want to make a hip hop version of “Rhapsody In Blue.”
In general I like to move on, not go back and redo things I've done.
What’s your FQ? Leave it the CS (comments section). T (Thanks).