Come and get ‘em.
Houston Mitchell starts us off.
I always wondered why MASH kept the same opening screen shots despite all the cast changes. Sure, they would cut in a shot of Mike Farrell, but you could always see the arm of Wayne Rogers in the opening titles long after he was gone. Why do you think they never bothered to shoot something new?
There were some new shots inserted along the way over the years, but the MASH opening titles were great. Why change them? They were our “Golden Arches.”
I happened to be out at the ranch where they filmed the exteriors the day they re-shot the helicopters coming over the mountains. I heard the sound, looked up, and there they were. Needless to say – COOL!!!
And while we’re on the subject of Opening Titles, Courtney asks:
An opening title sequence (often with a really good theme song) used to be essential to enjoying a TV show. Care to weigh in on your favorite-ever?
It’s hard to pick just one. But if I could select a few: the aforementioned MASH would rate, along with CHEERS, MIAMI VICE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, (the original) HAWAII FIVE-O, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, and currently it’s tough to beat GAME OF THRONES.
I mentioned once that Ted Danson was not allowed to attend CHEERS editing sessions. That prompted a question from Scott:
Why wasn't Ted allowed in the editing session? Is it a union thing? Or just a personal/show rule that you didn't want anyone involved in what you were editing to be present, so that he wouldn't (consciously or subconsciously) affect what you were doing?
Showrunners need to be able to edit shows objectively. Let’s be honest, showrunners and actors would emphasize different things. Actors might favor shots that show them in the best light as opposed to shots that better tell the story or sell a joke.
Plus, if you have one actor who has say in the editing, his fellow cast members may feel slighted if lines of theirs are cut. Dissension within the troops is often the result. You're just asking for trouble. Better to let the showrunner be the bad guy.
However, actors do participate in editing on occasion. If an actor directs an episode he’s entitled to see a rough cut and offer suggestions. Or if an actor is an executive producer or has contractually authority he can attend sessions.
But generally, actors are not welcome in editing bays. I always say to my casts that if they have a problem with the way the show is edited come talk to me about it.
So far I’ve never had an actor complain about the editing. A couple have grumbled because lines they liked were cut, but that’s a creative call. They have to remember that when we're cutting their lines we're also cutting our lines.
And finally, from Allan V:
I've recently seen a few articles arguing that MLB needs to take away the job of calling balls and strikes from umpires, and have an automated system (like PITCHf/x) do it. The claim is that there's still other work for the umpires to do during games, and the system could call the pitches more accurately.
What is your thought on this? Without an umpire calling the pitches, it wouldn't seem like baseball to me, and I think bad calls generally even out over time.
What’s your Friday Question?