Hard to believe it’s December already. Here are this week’s FQ's:
KAS gets us started with a question on everyone’s lips:
Where do you keep your Emmy? Can it be the featured photo in questions, please?!
Yes. See: above. I keep it in the dining room on a cabinet. If I were single I’d keep it around my neck.
Mark is up next.
My wife and I stopped watching a one hour drama because it seemed the characters never evolved and because of that it got rather boring.
But it seems that characters in comedies can't really develop, can they? What good would Norm be he stopped drinking beer? Or if Hawkeye started behaving like a Captain? Or if Frasier figured out his issues with women? Still, they need to kind of evolve, don't they? How do you handle that?
Characters have to evolve very slowly. And it is a dance. On the one hand, viewers might respond to a certain character for some reason and you want to keep fulfilling their expectations. But there is the danger that the character gets stale and the viewers lose interest. You’ve got to read the tea leaves.
Actors understandably get tired playing the same thing week after week. But remember, in success you’re looking at a hundred-plus episodes. You can’t make too many drastic changes.
There have been instances where shows have made significant changes and they've backfired -- in some cases killing the show. Better to go too slow than too fast. (Of course that's easy to say until you're trying to break stories for year five and everything has already been done.)
What drives the decision of whether to do holiday themed episodes? Does the network like them and will request them? One of the writers has a great idea for a turkey getting stuck on someone's head?
As a showrunner, I tend to find them a pain-in-the-ass. How many variations of Christmas stories can you do? Same with Thanksgiving? And they usually have to end with warm fuzzy moments. Ugh!
One year on ALMOST PERFECT, we had Christmas decorations all around but made absolutely no mention of Christmas. It was just a regular episode that happened to take place in mid December. Personally, I think that was the best holiday show we ever did.
I was wondering how "Point Of View" was filmed? Was the actor playing Private Rich wearing a helmet cam or something?
No. There were no helmet cams in 1978. It was a pretty bulky camera the cameraman hoisted on his shoulder. Charles Dubin did a masterful job of directing that episode. I lost the Emmy for that show, but it still pisses me off more that HE lost the Emmy for that show.
And finally, from Grace:
Ken: how do shows handle it when one season picks up where the previous season ended? For instance, in the seventh-season finale of Frasier, Daphne and Niles decide to run off together in the Winnebago; in the season eight opener, they're in the same places in the same Winnebago in the same clothes as though the two scenes were made together. So I guess my question is are those sorts of scenes generally made together? Do you send the audience home and have the actors stay so everything looks the same? Do you take tons of photos and use the episode to restore everything when you return to work? I can't imagine how the writers would necessarily KNOW that they needed to do all that work, but I've seen it on a lot of shows, so obviously someone's planning.
But sometimes waiting until next year creates problems. I worked on a series that had one of these cliffhangers, but did not film the “B” side at the time. And during that extended hiatus, one of the lead actors had cut his hair significantly. They had to make a custom wig for him (at considerable expense you can imagine).
At least that was fixable. A stickier problem is when an actor gains or loses twenty pounds during the hiatus. And that happens more than you think.
What’s your Friday Question?