Chris starts us off:
What is up with the numerous old water towers present in studio lots? Why were they there in the first place and why are they still around?
Fire protection. A fire can wipe out all production so studios are extra cautious. And back in the day when films were filmed on film, they were very flammable. Not to mention all the flimsy wooden sets. And nearby brush fires. Studios still hold their breath.
Terrence Moss wonders:
Do you use final draft or another program to write scripts?
I know the script format enough not to need it, but was once forced to because my collaborators insisted on it.
Personally, I HATED using the program and felt better off with just a Word document.
What are your thoughts?
I now use Final Draft. It’s pretty much become the standard industry program although it still has bugs that drive me crazy.
I used to use Movie Magic Screenwriter, which I found to be superior, but I always had to convert the files because everyone else had Final Draft.
Still, when I think of what we had to do when using typewriters (back in the Pleistocene Era), Final Draft is a gift from God.
Roger Owen Green asks:
Have you ever been involved with an episode that was postponed because of a tragedy (accident such as a plane crash, murder of police) where the episode had to be postponed? If so, how long was it shelved? Were any shelved permanently?
And whether this ever happened with you, what should be the criteria for deciding?
Dramas generally have a greater likelihood that they’ll mirror a tragic news event. Comedies might contain unfortunate inappropriate jokes considering the circumstances, but the storylines are rarely at risk.
In terms of deciding whether something should be shelved, it’s a sensitivity issue, but if there’s a gray area I always say err on the side of caution. It's just a television show.
And finally, from Jahn Ghalt:
TV broadcasts are very reliable in my experience, so to lose the video doesn't happen much. I recall one time that the announcer seamlessly slid right in to radio-speak at a basketball game.
At the time, I thought, "he's old school, we got lucky this time."
But now I wonder, maybe that's the standard way for a TV announcer to come up - at least for national and major sports home announcers.
So finally: It is unusual for ANY TV sports announcer to have considerable radio experience at least enough to slip in to radio speak without a hitch? Maybe estimate a PCT?
Most young play-by-play broadcasters get their start in radio, doing minor league baseball or high school or college football or basketball.
So in a pinch they can convert to a radio call.
But if you ask me, these young broadcasters don’t do enough radio. Radio teaches you how to tell stories, be descriptive, develop a little personality. Most young ESPN and FOX announcers are generic and completely interchangeable. They can call the rudimentary play-by-play and stay out of the way while the ex-player analyzes the shit of everything, but they themselves have little to offer other than a pleasant voice.
Even though it pays less and offers less exposure, any great sportscaster will tell you he prefers radio. As the great Ernie Harwell said, “In TV you’re just adding captions to pictures. But in radio nothing happens until I SAY it happens.”
How many times have you watched a sporting event and turned down the sound to listen a better, more entertaining radio broadcaster? I do it all the time. Bet you do too.
What’s your Friday Question? You can submit it in the comments section. Thanks.