Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Steadicam Operator's Handbook by Jerry Holway and Laurie Haybell

Jerry Holway and Laurie Haybell. The Steadicam Operator’s Handbook. 2nd. Ed. New York: Focal Press, 2013.

Steadcam filming allows imaging what a film shot should look like and moving the camera accordingly.

Garrett Brown created the first Steadicam in 1973. It consisted of a t bar made from plumbing pipe attached to a camera. This was supplanted by a parallelogram mini-crne with a fiber optic viewfinder.

The Brown Stabilizer emerged as a prototype. The first movie using a Steadicam was. “Bound for Glory”. “Rocky” followed.

An Oscar in 1978, and am Emmy in 1988, were awarded to Garrett Brown and Cinemax Productions for their technical work.

Wearing a Steadimcam puts pressure onto legs yet allows free movement.

One can not grab a Steadicam’s center of gravity. A mass added allows the operator to control the center of gravity. Once this is done, it moves with little force.

A three axis gimbal balances the Steadicam independently of lifting it. This allows avoiding angular movements while lifting, allows aiming with less force, and remains balanced while carrying.

A mechanical arm minimizes bodily movements and gives the camera spatial isolation.

A cage should allow for easy access to controls, batteries, and video operating.

High mode is when the camera is over the sled. This is the method used most. Low mode is when the sled is upside down. Super Low is when the lens is on the floor. The Missionary position places the camera and operator in the same direction. The Don Juan is when the camera points towards the operator The Goofy Foot is when the camera (usually held on the left side) is held on the right side. The Long Mode is when the post is lengthened. The Hard Mount is when the operator sits on a socket block attached to a vehicle. The Soft Mount is when an operator shoots from a vehicle.

To build a Steadicam, the docking bracket attaches to the study stand. The docking ring slides into the docking bracket. The battery and monitor are added. The force and aft, and the side to side adjustments, are centered with turned stage knobs. The camera is placed on the sled using a dovetail, or camera mounting plate. Note the camera’s center of gravity (c.g.) The dovetail plate is placed in the side to side mark’s center. Add mounting holes with screw(s) and an anti-rotation pin. Position the dovetail in the dovetail grabber. The same force and ft is positioned around 3/4 of an inch behind the center post’s centerline. The camera is locked.

Static balance, which determines how much tilt or roll there will be, is determined by the fore and aft, side to side, and top to bottom. Use knobs to balance the fore and aft. Sliding the gimbal along the central post, or making the post longer, creates top to bottom balance. Place the sled’s components and the camera close into their proper positions.

If he monitor needs to be repositioned, it can be balanced according to the line dance, which involves putting the gimbal 2 inches away from the post’s top and placing the monitor two thirds along the rod. It can be viewed best along a 45 degree upward tilt.

The Steadicam can be balanced while the rig is worn with the docking bracket’s balancing stud, sliding the gimbal handle into the studs and using sand bags to hold thing, For and aft balance is achieved by fine tuning within the fore and aft knob Side to side balance is achieved with the side to side knobs. If side to side balance cant be reached, move the dovetail plate.

Top to bottom balance is achieved by releasing the gimbal clamp. This should only be done when the post is horizontal. The rig should be moved back and forth so that the rig achieves horizontal balance. Once neutral balanced is found with the rig being horizontal, the gimbal should be moved a half inch closer to the stage and clamped. With the rig vertical, move the fore and aft as well as the side to side nobs so the rig in vertical.

A drop test should have the sled drop vertically to the rig’s bottom in two to three seconds. Catch the rig before it reaches the stand. Lowering the gimbal increases the drop time while raising the gimbal increases the drop time, Some fore and aft balance and side to side fine tuning may be necessary.

A flat pan occurs when a rig is in dynamic balance. Dynamic balance is obtained with a long drop time of three to four seconds. A rig should spin in balance. If it does not, change two of three big masses until both achieve static balance and dynamic balance. The camera is moved slightly, and the camera moved in the other direction form the balance. If the battery will not move far enough, either move the monitor or use a heavier batter.

To walk with the Steadicam, accelerate your speed smoothly. Start and stop walking with your weight on one foot.

The operating hand points the camera and keeps the rig level. Grasp the post with the meat of finders and not the fingertips, Te thumb and forefinger are on opposite sides of the post.

Squeeze the thumb and forefinger to begin panning.

Tilot up with the pinkie finger placed in the post’s center and then push tilt down by pulling the post mostly with the second and third fingers holding properly so it doesn’t fall.

Always keep your hand near the c.g. Keep the operating hand on the post. Hold with a light touch and not a death grip. The pinkie finger is always used and should not relax. Do not drop the thumb or put it on the both of the post.

The hand that grasp the gimbal handle, the arm hand, steadies the Steadicam, begins and stops spatial moves, and keeps the camera on path while moving. The arm hand pushes in the desired direction The operator and rig come to an immediate stop together.

To switch form the Missionary to the Don Juan, use a line dance, which is aiming the camera, walking around the camera while keeping the post at a constant angle, and then standing up straight.

The operator has ore control in Missionary.

The arm hand can change the lens height on the same axis or by moving the bam.

Pan with the gimbal.

Visualze what the shot should be before taking it. The Director or DP will often describe it. Know the dialogue and what shot is required accordingly.

The F-bracket reverses the gimbal plus moves the arm where it works with the rig. A high low mode occurs by not the F-bracket. The F-bracket must be installed with a double shear safety pin. Some F-brackets lack a safety pin and thus must be drilled and pinned on.

The Panavision Lightweight II is best for low mode. Also acceptable are the Movie Compact, the Arriflex 435, and other cameras with an integrated low mode mount.

For low mode, the plates should be separated to raise the c.g. of the camera mounting platform. The side to side should be as thin as possible and the fore and aft as long as possiblel.

Sometimes it is easier to shoot low mode upside down and correct it in editing.

Switch to low mode by placing a dovetail plate on the camera’s top, move the monitor upside down, static balance, release the gimbal clamp, and move the gimbal about half an inch away form the camera, tighten the gimbla, clampg, check he drop time, and attach the F-bracket.

Scout a shooting location and determine a correct way to make the needed shots.

A hand tilt can change a view and a bent neck can rotate the field of view so the operator may keep viewing the monitor at all times.

A mark on a floor is often a V. An X is harder to see.

When moving backwards, use holding the gap, where the gap guides camera placemnt Similarly, holding the plane is used to judge shots.

Use visual and tactical clues in assuring the camera is level.

A spirit level that is parallel to the bottom frame line can be adjusted for levelness.

Note that a babble level also measures acceleration, so when accelerating, it will indicate the level is off when it is still level.

Use good posture when operating a Steadicam.

An operator needs to design a shot and configure a rig accordingly. A path is chosen and any obstacles in that path must be removed.

Known what the Point of view is for the shot.

A more rational shot moves through space, and shows spatial relationship. A lock step without a panning shot is less naturalistic and more graphic.

It should be decided if it is better for the camera to be steady as the characters move or it one should move the camera.

Moving a Steadicam involved maintaining balance, using proper tension, noting that focus is achieved with slower moves, and creating the proper space using correct turning and using proper foot placement.

When moving, track shots to make certain the focus on actors is correct, there are no racing backgrounds, watch horizons, maintain top to bottom balance for slow moves, and pull the arm hard for sharp accelerating or deceleration.

Lean with the Steadiam while shooting while walking up stairs. Lean back for shooting while walking down stairs.

When making slow moving shots, use arm movements more and walk to catch up with the shot. Steps have to be very concise.

One should learn to shoot from either side. Shooting from the right side is called “goofy foot” operating. To go goofy, the socket block is flipped and the threads are changed. Be certain there is a bottom screw.

When filing in areas with limited sace, it is advisable to reease the wlak and commit to “muscle memory” the walk.

Spatial movements affect more the foreground while angular moves more affect the background, Booming corrects for background changes.

Steadicam operators consider the frame edges more than the subject when panning. Look at the trailing edge to have time to move and frame precisely.

Matte box rods or straws can help point the camera.

To get a locked frame, be still, and let the camera become still with a loose grip.

A whip pan requires a full but light grip to start it and a hard grip before it stops so it ends with a loose grip. A half circle pan may best use a switch. A body pan is done in Missionary,

Using a longer lens requires more balancing, A motorized stage ay be required.

The zoom control on the gimbal handle can change focal length.

By keeping the center of rotation inside the frame while moving the center of rotation along the frame catches an organized show with low angular change.

Raising the appearing point above center without moving the sides angles the lens downwards. This makes what on the screen seen as being passed over in importance. Moving the side or moving the appearing point slightly higher or lower frames a subject. A moving appearing point makes people look around the frame. A fixed appearing point makes people focus on the frame.

Directors often communicate directly with Steadicam operators. Some Directors of Photography (DP) may feel slighted and should be kept advised on what is happening One’s attitude in communicating with actors and others can make a difference, It is generally advised to speak little and speak when required.

It may be useful to get advice from the A-camera operator on the the DP prefers to frame and on technical issues, Do not consume too much of the A-camera operator’s time as to become an annoyance,

Use a longer arm post to increase lens heights range in high mode,

Raise the socket block and use a slightly short arm post to increase the lens height in low mode.

Lower the lens height’s range 6 to 10 inches using the upside down F-bracket or J-bracket to lower the lens height range.

Superposts are posts 5 feet or longer.

A motorized stage has four buttons for changing the rig balance and moving the stage. Pots set the motor speed. A Level Assist can help level the stage.

If more inertia is needed to move a rig, a small extension can increase inertia. This will increase vibration andWeights or Antlers and gyros can increase inertia.

Kenyon stabilizers are gyros. They are usually used two or three at once. The best way to prevent tilt, roll, and pan and roll is to place one Kenyon unit vertical and another 90 degrees horizontal. A third gyro placed at right angles from the others increases smoothness.

Isoelasticity increases iif the Ride Knob is unscrewed.

An arm post usually should have some friction to better operate the gimbal. Freeing the aro post allows it to not be in the way when squeezing into tight spaces.

When shooting a vehicle from another vehicle, watch the horizons. If shooting on a vehicle, train, boat, us, etc., note that shooting by looking at the horizon gives a human perspective Some movies call for bumps and motion.

A soft mount on a vehicle reduces vibrations.

When filming a moving vehicle, start moving the camera before the vehicle moves and kiss off when the shot ends.

One generally does not lean when filming from a motorcycle discuss this with the motorcycle operation on how to best shift weight.

A camera dolly can be useful Note they can flip over.

Filming on a Western dolly is good if movement precision is not necessary.

Filming on a modified golf cart is quiet. The carts are slow and have a rough acceleration.

Do not step off a crane until it is safe. The crane must land and the bandolier removed from its central column. Practice first at half speed and make certain it is safe.

Skyman is a rigged wire that can absorb vibrations. It can be rigged for use as needed.

Do not use an unmodified snowmobile, It can easily tip over, It is also loud.

It is very dangerous to work on an American Tuli crane. They tend to fall over.

Do not work on the things that easily tip over like cranes, kayaks, rafts, and small boats.

Do not film from a helicopter. The mount would need to be FAA certified. It is hard to shoot in the wind created riding a helicopter. It is hard to hald onto a camera as helicopters bank.

The Segway-for-Steadicam can use a soft mount or hard mount,

In 1985, a Steadicam and accessories cost about $60,000.

Wind can ruins shots. Keep the rig away from shots.

Liquid crystal display screens freeze and don;t wor in below freezing temperatures.

Batteries do not work well below 40 degrees F.

The Steadicam Tango adds two sleds on a central gimbaled spear This creates a wider boom range and horizontal sweep.

The Steadicam is “an instrument infinitely and wonderfully responsive to the will and commitment of the operator, When the operator is inspired and focused, there;s a great image on the screen.”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On the Technique of Acting by Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov. On the Technique of Acting. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1991 (originally published in 1942).

Chekhov states an actor needs to “go beyond the playwright or the play” to discover the character’s true nature. Chekhov’s acting technique used a “linguistic approach” using imagery. Stanislavsky told actors to find the “truth” in actual reactions. Chekhov wanted the actors to use their imagination,

Stanislavsky wanted actors to use actual memories to drive their performances. Chekov urged for fictional stimuli to produce the emotions in acting.

Chekhov believed an actor had to leave one’s own character, or ego, and find a Higher Ego for the character being portrayed. He using imagination to do so, instead of the Affected Memory that Stanislavsky urged  be used.

Chekov taught actor to use sensory stimuli from external feelings, called Atmosphere and Qualities, that are added to instincts in order to produce a role. Qualities of feelings would be added to the motions or gestures. The Psychological Gesture would emerge from one’s subconscious into one’s performance.

Actors should use movements, dialogues, ideas, stands, and shapes, or the Composition, to channel their work. Actors need to be aware of the plan’s nature and reality, using a Feeling of Style, as well as opening themselves to a Feeling of Truth, plus with a Feeling of Ease, a Feeling of Beauty, and a Feeling of Entirety that composes a finished performance.  The acting essence involves Radiating acting strength and Receiving performances from other actors. Chekhov urges Improvising when preparing work to explore a character. The actor should recognize other actors in a feeling of Ensemble. The actor should be aware of the Focal Point, which is usually designated by a director s to what should receive the audience’s greatest attention.

Characters have a Objective and a Super-Objective which involves action.

The Atmosphere is the environmental senses an actor feels.

Chekhov write that our imagination and observing our surroundings broaden our awareness and makes us more creative, The actor should develop an instinctive sense of creating a true and logical performance. An actor should have a flexible imagination. He is the Higher Ego that simulates the imagination.

The actor should derive inspiration from Atmosphere. This stimulates Feelings that create the art of acting.

Action and Will shows what happens while Quality and Feelings demonstrate how things happen. Each Action and gesture emerge from a Will-impulse that stimulates the Will. Gestures and Will-impulse are more expressive the more they’re used.

Actors lean he chest’s “Center” is a center of an entire active person, An actor’s body is used constantly when acting.

The Will exists and is expressed in feet and legs. They move the body with a pace that can be varied The entire head is used toward’s expressions, Hands, arms, and the chest show feelings.

An actors’ psychological state carries through in Action or Gesture with correct Qualities and Images. Movement is physical Gesture plus psychological Qualifies and Images. Movement is physical Gesture plus psychological Qualities and Iages, Gesture with Feelings is the Psychological Gesture.

An actor must be dedicated and patient in transforming Transactions to a subconscious that drives the actor.

An actor should find that Psychological Gestures produces power, charm, beauty, and significance.

Actors must observe other characters. The actor changes into a role.

It is an actor’s Objective to show the Will-impulses according to what is required in acting. The Objective can be found from one’s Will or appealing to one’s Will through experiencing the Objective. The Objective is found through the Psychological Gesture.

The actor achieves an awakening and increase in inner Activity through Psychological Gesture, Speech Formation, Objective, and Atmosphere. When they appear human when acting, it can appeal to show simplicity in the character.

With the correct Activity, an actor will Radiate emotions, Will-impulses, Feelings, and Images.

An actor who understands Preparation and Sustaining when acting should give a “significant and harmonious” performance.

An actor must use the correct tempo and pause.

The stages of the creative process are using the Atmosphere to activate the Higher Ego, using imagination and Psychological Gesture, apply Qualities to acting, and inspre the actor with a Divided Consciousness.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Last Word by Tom Lazarus

Tom Lazarus. The Last Word: Definitive Answers to All Your Screenwriting Questions. Studio CIty, Ca.: Michael Wiese Productions, 2012.

It is important to develop the main “A” story. The story should be hidden. A serious mistake is to concentrate on presenting the backstory, setting up the story, and focusing on presenting the backstory, setting up the story, and focusing on composition. Lazarus recommends presenting the main story upfront before showing the backstory and any necessary exposition.

Actors should be described visually, showing a reader what is shown on the screen.

It is better to have the main character cause events, rather than having events occur independently from the main character or by “acts of God”.

When writing an adaptation, concentrate on the script. Do not sacrifice the script for adhering to the original source. It is better to take “poetic license.”

The antagonist should develop and progressively worsen. The antagonist should have an arc.

Dialogue should be appropriate to the character. Consider the education level, geographic location, and background of the character.

Backstory is often not needed in scripts.

A script has to be true to the original idea and reach the idea’s potential.

Beginning a script with the climax seldom works. The viewer had yet to appreciate the characters.

How shots are filmed are to be left to the director. They are not part of the screenplay. Any descriptions should make sense visually.

Capitalized words in scripts should be used for the first tie when a character is mentioned, for sounds, for opticals, and for titles.

The protagonist has to be the heart and soul of the script.

The main character must undergo changes, evolve from them, and have a character arc.

Avoid having a minor character that take the scene’s center away from the main character.

Write original scripts and avoid cliches. Keep the protagonist proactive throughout the script.

Write face to face discussions rather than conversations by phone, letter, or email.

Characters’ emotions should resonate through the script.

Description should describe what is important.

Dialogue should sound authentic when spoken.

The viewer should learn things as the protagonist leans them, not beforehand.

Dream sequences often make an audience feelIt as if they’ve been fooled.

It should be determined if an establishing shot will be establish any location charge.

The main story must be a part of useful information moving the story forward in every scene. No scene should not be shown that does not accomplish this.

It is better to use an action or dialogue rather than exposition.

Scenes are often better when shorter, often 1 to 2 pages. A key scene could be 3 or more pages. None should be more than six pages.

Do not write something already familiar to audiences.

Scripts should have a narrative pull that keeps readers reading the script.

Avoid writing “on the nose”. Write as people speak, not what they think.

Stories unfolding only around the main character, called a closed story, are usually better than doing otherwise.

The use of parentheses in screenplays is only for explaining dialogue.

Stories should resonate.

“Writing is rewriting.”

The “old model” is to use 30 pages to establish characters, backstory and the environment. Now it should be 3 to 5 pages with 10 pages maximum as audiences should understand that all quickly and appreciate reaching the story.

Write to always be increasing action rather than writing to fit a formula.

The screenplay’s title and the screenwriter’s name should be on page one. Then comes “FADE IN.”

Each scene needs a slugline that include “EXT” or “INT”, the location, and time of day.

Time deadline is often an effective means of increasing drama in action films.

It often takes about ten great scenes to create a good movie.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Celestial Trek by Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall. Celestial Trek: What Being on Star Treak Taight me. My Publisher. (2012).

The author was Yeoman Martha Landon on the “Star Trek” TV series. Her character dated Chekov. Her character portrayed a strong woman during the 1960s, which was an era where women were being portrayed more often as having strength. She even had a fight scene.

“Star Trek” presented many lessons, Yarnall demonstrates. The show taught hoe it is important to show love towards each other. The need for harmony led the author to explore, research, and write about holistic health care for people and animals.

She believes the show’s slogan “Live long and prosper” applies to our planet. We need to protect and improve our planet. The crew on “Star Trek” were presented as working together. We all need to work together. The show also encourage people to use their imaginations and find new and bette ways of doing things. The show further taught people to be tolerant of others.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Excellent Adventure of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s by Diane Franklin

Diane Franklin. The Excellent Adventure of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s. Los Angeles, Ca.” OSD Publishing, 2011.

Savage Steve Holland, a director, states when casting for “Better Off Dead”, that he when he saw the author he felt like Shakespeare imagining Juliet. He found her as a “bewitching beauty with the necessary girl next door charm” Franklin portrayed several temptress roles, yet notes they are movies and not her real personality.

The author was born deaf in one ear.

The author’s parents took her to a talent agent at age four, yet the agent didn’t sign her. She studied ballet, tap dancing, and piano.

At age 10, a talent manager Barbara Jarrett signed her after meeting her for 15 minutes. She learned to handle cattle calls by being punctual, patient, and learning to stand still for photographers and seamstresses. She appeared as a model in several catalogues. he learned from Brooke Shields that several people may achieve their goals and that even if someone gets a job you wanted that your abilities will find you other work.

Franklin moved into acting in commercials. As her first commercial, she got the name of the product wrong in early takes. She improved and by age 16 had feature roles in commercials.

Franklin acted in high school plays. There she learned how to project her voice.

The author was cast in her first professional play at age 15. The success of Brooke Shield shifted the previous tendencies which, prior tended to show preteen females as tomboys like Jodie Foster or Tatum O’Neal. The next trend was for more sexy Brooke Shields types, and Franklin was among those who benefitted from this trend.

At age 17, Franklin was cast as a character on the “As the World Turns” TV soap opera. She learned to memorize lines, cry on cue, and handle pressure. She earned about $500 per episode in 1979.

Franklin played several ingenue roles. She believes people remember these roles because the ingenue teaches lessons to the characters and to the audience. She portrayed a female role model character in “Better Off Dead” that demonstrated that a woman could be both strong and feminine.

Franklin filmed a pilot that was not picked up by a network. She learned how to perform comedy and the importance of comedic timing. She won the lead in a TV movie This have her a good TVQ, a rating based on viewership. This led to more roles. In one role she lied about being a good swimmer. When she got the role she quickly hired a swimming instructor to teach her to swim.

Franklin notes “my best acting came when I am totally focused on the work.”

Her first role requiring nudity was in the movie “Last American Virgin”. She fought nerves and found the filming experience “anti-climatic”.

Franklin liked being in “Amityville II: The Possessio” and even enjoyed playing dead. She found the incest scene “unsettling” as she felt her character lacked emotions. She portrayed the role as in a trance.

Savage Steve Holland, as a director, considered ideas from others. He agreed to Franklin’s idea that she be blindfolded when being brought into a burger joint in “Better Off Dead”, giving the scene more appeal.

“Terrorvision” was a movie that used a monster that was constructed. Actors liked performing with a visible monster rather than a green screen. A problem developed during filming in July heat that tended to melt part of the monster.

Dino De Laurentiis was involved in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. He did not grasp the humor and let others who better understood the move take over.

Franklin believes her roles in many of her 1980s movies had a message that one should “Dare to be different” She notes the prevalent roles of females being “helpless or gullible” shifted then into roles portraying woman as more “outspoken and strong”.

The ingenue was “passive” in the 1980s and was portrayed move “prepared” in the 1990s. Women were presented as having more empowerment in 1990s movies.T

Monday, October 29, 2012

In All His Glory by Sally Bedell Smith

Sally Bedell Smith.In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting. New York: Random House, 2002.

Paley  managed CBS for almost 60 years. He was very involved in programming decisions, As the author notes, “since programming is an instinctive, almost mystical process Paley was viewed by many underlings not so much as an executive but an oracle.”

In the 1940s, Paley moved CBS towards mass appeal.He rejected the advice of his top aide that CBS establish itself asa more elite network that would attract fewer viewers. Still, Paley insisted in certain standards. He demanded the news department be top notch. CBS News thus became known for delving into important topics such as politics, war, and race, The programming included programs of class along with those with more general entertainment value.

Paley intensely scrutinized programming decisions, He would call his employees multiple times about similar issues Often, though, the questioning process led to a programming schedule similar to what was originally proposed.

Paley attended the Wharton School, which he considered “ a farce”. After graduating, he worked in his father’s cigar company.

Paley was fascinated with the emergence of radio. WKDA was the first commercial radio station in 1928. 2.3 million radios were purchased in 1923. There were 1,400 licensed broadcast stations approved by the Commerce Department in 1924. The Federal Radio Commission began in 1927. Many early stations were broadcast in department stores, laundries, stockyards, and poultry farms to reach listeners. The fist station to sell advertising was WEAF (Wind, Earth, Air, and Fire) in New York. Other stations then sold ads, which was called “toll broadcasting”. AT&T owned WEAF and other stations which made a $150,000 profit in 1925. The craze diminished in 1926 and the number of radio stations fell to 620.

The Radio Corporation of America, formed by General Electric, Westinghouse, AT&T, and United Fruit Company distributed RCA radios manufactured by General Elective and Westinghouse. RCA had a radio network. AT&T sold its network stations to NBC.

David Sarnoff convinced the RCA Chairman that RCA should become involved in broadcasting as well as selling radios Sarnoff became General Manager of NBC. NBC began with two networks, the Red and the Blue, with 25 stations total.

Leon Levy and Isaac Levy, who were brothers, bought WCAU which was broadcasting from the Philadelphia Hotel at 39th and Chestnut. In 1927, Arthur Judson and Andrew White joined them. NBC had formed a network of mostly the larger stations yet WCAU, which was important in PHiladelphia, was not included in the NBC network. WCAU attempted to join NBC but was turned down because they lacked the $1 million to join The Unite Independent Broadcasters created as a network and sought out WCAU. The network would pay WCAU $500 a week to broadcast ten hours of network programming Leon Levy recruited 15 other stations for the network. The network was spending $18,000 weekly to 16 stations yet failed to find enough sponsors, Victor Company, which manufactured record players, was moving to merge with RCA. This caused another record player manufacturer, Columbia Phonograph, in 1927, to invest in United Independent which would promote Columbia. Columbia insisted the network change its name to the Columbia Phonograph Broadcast System. Columbia was then responsible for 10 hours of network programming weekly. Five of the hours were the Howard Barlow Orchestra and five were the Donald Voorhees dance band. Broadcasting began in 1927. Thunderstorms and static disrupted some broadcasts. The flagship station WOR in New York used its only soundproof room which the mens bathroom. The network lost $100,000 in its first month and Columbia Phonograph withdrew from the network. Leon Levy turned to his father in law Sam Paley. Sam Paley invested $50,000 and Isaac Levy invested $50,000 into the network.

Sam Paley was pleased that advertising on this network resulted in higher cigar sales for hi company. Sales rose form 400,000 a day to 1,000,000 a day. The Levys spent $235,000 to control Columbia. Jerome Loychheim invested almost $500,000. The network lost almost $1 million. Vitaphone provided $750,000 in advertising just days before the Ike Levy and Louhheim were going to abandon the network.Louchheim fractured his hip and requested Leon Levy to take over his job as Columbia’s President. The network was placed for sale and Bill Paley bought it after his father declined doing so. Bill Paley paid $45,000 which he would lose if he did not come up with $503,000 for 50.3% of the company in ten days. Paley met with advertising personnel who were pessimistic about radio’s future except for John Orr Young and Raymond Rubican. William Paley informed his father he wanted to spend what was half his fortune on the radio network. Sam Paley approved and invested Sam’s own money. In 1928, William Paley paid $417,000 with his father two uncles, and an uncle’s wife putting up the rest. Bill, Sam, and Jay Paley invested $150,000 in a third interest in WCAU.

Paley changed the network arrangement. The network would provide 20 hours of network programming yet the station would not be paid their $50 an hour until the end of the sixth hour. There were no sponsors for the first five hours that were provided by the networks were thus broadcasting without being compensated. The networks then provided 15 hour of sustaining programs. Columbia, unlike NBC, required stations to broadcast network programs.This requirement pleased advertisers.

12 independent stations in Southern states liked the 20 hours of programming and joined Columbia.

Paley leased time for programs from WOR and WABC. Paley decided to use and own one flagship station for all programming. WABC, the lower priced of the two stations, was bought for $190,000. A two floor soundproof windowless studio was created. A headquarters was leased for ten years at $63,000 annually.

Political campaign advertising became an important revenue source. CBS received almost $200,000 from the two 1928 Presidential candidates. NBC receive even more campaign advertising revenues.

CBS offered discount rates for ads that were on the entire CBS network. This increased revenues.

CBS merged United Independent and Columbia into Columbia Broadcast System in 1928. CBS announced in 1929 hat it was the largest network although NBC was larger with 49 stations.

“Amos ‘n’ Andy” was one of the first popular radio programs on NBC. It was recorded and distributed to 30 stations It was not originally a network show NBC then signed “Amos ‘n’ Andy” in 1929 for $100,000 a year, It attracted 40 million listeners.

Paley realized CBS needed comedy programming, music, and soap operas.

Paramount offered to buy CBS for $4.5 million in Paramount stock, Paley refused the offer. Paramount purchased a half interest in CBS for $3.8 million of Paramount stock in 1929. In 1932, Paramount bought their stock back for $5 million. Paramount also received one hour of free CBS broadcast time weekly.

Paley received $40,000 a year as Columbia’s President. He also received a 2.5% bonus of any after tax profits over $600,000.

The largest advertiser on NBC was American Tobacco. American Tobacco then sponsored a military music show. Paley pretended to be indifferent about creating the show knowing it would entice American Tobacco into jumping at the show as it would appear to its customers.

In 1930, the Association of National Advertisers created a rating system through using telephone surveys to determine audience size and composition. NBC shows were initially the more popular. NBC’s “Amos ‘n’ Andy” had 53% of listeners. NBC’s “Rudy Vallee Varieties” was the second most popular show with 36.5% of listeners. No CBS show attracted more than 3.3% of listeners. Paley called for an audit of the survey. Paley hired Price Waterhouse to conduct a postcard survey of 240,000 radio owners. 40,000 stated they listened to CBS most often. NBC responded that the survey was paid for by CBS and was sent only to cities with CBS stations and not to cities where there was no CBS station.

CBS received $14.5 million in advertising revenues in 1931.

In 1932, CBS persuaded some NBC stations to switch to CBS.

Federal Radio Commissioner Sam Pickard allowed some CBS affiliates to have greater transmission power. It was later discovered that Pickard had a part ownership of a CBS affiliate in Albany, WOKO. WOKO’s license was rescinded.

Morton Downey became one of CBS’s most popular performers, receiving the most fan mail at CBS. Paley alsoput Fats Waller, Kate Smith, the Mills Brothers, and the Boswell Sisters on CBS. Bing Crosby had six 15 minute shows weekly at 11 pm for $1,500 a week. Most other radio performers received $100 weekly. Crosby’s drinking problem affected the show. Paley hired guards to successfully keep Crosby from drinking.

CBS also presented George Burns and Grace Allen, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, as well as Goodman and Ace. CBS persuaded Al Jolson Nelson Eddy, and Major Edward Bowes to move to CBS from NBC.

In 1936, NBC received $26 million in advertising revenues leading to a $3.5 million profit. CBS received $18 million in advertising revenues in 1936 for a $3.9 million profit.

In 1937, NBC received $46.7 million in advertising for a $3.7 million profit. CBS received $4.2 million profit. CBS received more profit from less revenues by spending less on unsupported programming.

Ed Klaauber was Paley’s Administrative Assistant. In 1936, Klauber’s salary was $71,000. Paley’s salary in 1936 was $140,000.

The National Commission on Education by Radio urged Congress to require that 15% of radio channels be for education. Paley testified before Congress against the proposal. Paley noted only 22% of the CBS schedule was sponsored programming, although they were on when there were the largest numbers of listeners. Much of the rest of CBS was the last expensive shows to present, namely symphonic music. Paley also spoke of freedom of speech. Congress did not pass the requirement for educational shows.

The public affairns programming resulted at time periods where sponsored programming was unavailable. In 1932, NBC spent $2 million and CBS spent $827,00 on cultural programming, Arthur Toscainni conducted the New York Philharmonic at $35,000 a year during Sunday  afternoons when no sponsors bought time. Paley hoped the show would bring ore upper class people to becoming radio listeners. NBC broadcast the Metropolitan Opera at $191,000 a year on Sunday afternoons.

Classical music was 26% of CBS programming in 1930 and 10% by 1935.

In 1933, Senators Robert Wagner and Henry Hatfield proposed reassigning all radio licenses and giving 25% to educational operators This was defeated.

Paley created network standards. Commercials would be limited to 10% of nightly broadcast times and 15% of daytime broadcast times. Children’s programs could not glorify gangsters. CBS would not broadcast ads that advertised deodorants, laxatives, or other internal bodily functions. All of CBS’s children’s shows moved o NBC CBS then loosened some of its standards for children’s shows. Further, the CBS prohibition on advertising was for new advertisers and not existing advertisers This allowed laxative advertising to continue on CBS. NBC felt compelled to follow the CBS rules.

NBC’s David Sarnoff detested comedy programs and refused to listen to “Amos ‘n’ Andy”. Paley had a good understanding of programming for mass appeal and enjoyed his own programs.

CBS began selling limited public shares in 1935. 7% of CBS was sold for $1.3 million Paley’s share of CBS fell to 26.3%. Paley sold 100,000 more of his shares to the public in 1940 for $2.4 million, Paley’s share of CBS fell to 20%.

CBS bought its former co-owner Columbia Phonograph for $700,000. Ted Wallerstein was hired to manage Columba Records. Wallerstein lowered Columbia record prices which created huge sale increases. RCA followed by lowering its prices.

Frank Stanton reported that 78% of the 24 million radios were turned on daily. They were on for an average of 4.5 hours. The popularity of shows were variety, then comedy, then popular music, then classical music, and then drama. Women listened more and did so while doing housework. Men listened while eating, resting, or reading.

Frank Stanton and Paul Lazarsfeld, with a $75,0000 Rockefeller Foundation grant, developed a listener response survey. Radio listeners would hit a green button when hearing something they liked and hit a red button when hearing somethign they didn’t like. Stanton’s research became a part of CBS reserach. CBS would make changers according to the analysis stating the results were about 85% accurate.

NBC had more listeners and better radio dial positions CBS was more aggressive in getting advertisers, NBC offices closed at 4:30 pm. CBS would work later and on Saturdays working with potential advertisers.

In 1931, CBS called itself “Columbia, The News Network” as it had 415 special news events compared to 256 on  both NBC networks. This happened even though CBS broadcasters mostly read rewritten wire services news with soe analysis by H.V. Kaltenborn and others.

Father Charles Coughline broadcast on Detroit’s NBC station WJR. Paley got WJR to switch to CBS and agreed to a condition to let Father Coughlin pay to be on CBS. Coughlin’s anti-Semitic remarks caused CBS to cancel his show despite CBS receiving 400,000 letter supporting Coughlin. CBS then rotated Catholic, Protestant and Jewish speakers.

CBS broadcast a show “Voice of the Crusaders” which featured attacks on the New Deal. In 1935, CBS broadcast the “Ford Sunday Evening Hour” which played classical music and featured William J. Cameron attacking the New Dean and defending Henry Ford and his anti-Semitic views. CBS cancelled both programs as they became too controversial.

Advertisers could sponsor journalists on CBS. Sun Oil produced NBC news. Edward Murrow was among gthe first to protest these arrangements.

Paley moved CBS toward more favorable broadcasts towards Franklin Roosevelt’s politics in 1936. NBC but not CBS gave the Republican National Chairman airtime to respond to President Roosevelt’s State of the Union. CBS commentators were generally favorable to FDR. H.V. Kaltenborn endorsed FDR’s reelection.In 1937, Palye decided CBS would be non-partisan.

Wire services, under pressure from newspapers, stopped providing news to radio broadcasts in 1931. CBS had to create its own news service, General Mills paid half of the CBS news expenses up to $1,500 a week in return for being the only news sponsor. Paul White led a group of 600 mostly part-time reporters worldwide. Lowell Thomas broadcast the news. Walter Winchell broadcast crime and gossip stories on Sunday evenings.

In 1933, an agreement was made that CBS end its news organizations and  that wire services would supply radio with news. Radio could not use more than 30 words from any news wire item. Radio networks could broadcast five minutes of news shows after 9:30 am and after 9 pm. The broadcasts were required to tell listeners to obtain more details in the newspapers.

Edward Murrow and William Shirer worked on CBS’s international news. Shirer was repeatedly rebuffed on attempts to air inside information on Hitler’s rise and instead had to concentrate on arranging children’s choirs programs. CBS finally allowed Shirer to broadcast from London once Germany invaded Austria Murrow and NBC’s Max Jordan broadcast from Vienna. CBS created “World News Roundup” with broadcasts from several nations.

CBS tried to get Winston Churchill to be on CBS for 15 minutes. Churchill wanted $500 and CBS offered $50. The broadcast never happened.

The news programs attracted advertisers. Camel’s sales increased following their broadcast advertising,,

CBS had a rule against broadcasting from tape recordings. They feared a taped show would decide to then market itself, This rule applied to the news division which argued for taping news events for later broadcast.

Paley was slow to consider the growing importance of TV. It took CBS executives, especially those connected to major shares owner Paramount’s interests, who were concerned that CBS was falling behind NBC, to get Paley to move into TV. Paley, in 1929, thought TV would be shown in theaters on large screens, He saw it showing things like live sports events, He did not see TV being used at home.

Sarnoff at NBC, saw TV as a mass communications means in 1923. NBC and RCA created a TV station W2KBS in New York in 1930 that showed “Felix the Cat” cartoons. Vladimir Zvodrykin, who had working on TV in Russia, was provided $1 million to develop an electronic NBC system.

CBS created the TV station W2XAB in 1931. It showed a variety show hosted by Ted Husay nightly from 10:15 pm to 11 pm. Mayor Jimmy Walker appeared on the first show. There were about 7,500 TV sets in the New York area.

A TV transmitter just for CB was built in 1937. Paley still was uncertain about TV’s future.

RCA had a Hall of Television at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. Visitors watched NBC programs on RCA sets. The sets had screens ranging from 5 to 12 inches and cost from $200 to $600.

CBS kept its costs down by airing ost movies. By the early 1940s, CBS spent around $700,000 on its TV network with a staff of 30.

The FCC allowed commercials to be sold in 1941.

During World War II, an excess profits tax which reached 90% of excess profits was created to deter war profiteering, This caused several companies to reduce profits by increasing advertising spending. Radio and TV networks benefitted.

H.V. Kaltenborn editorialized against Hitler. This controversy caused General Mills to withdraw sponsorship of his program in 1939. A new sponsor, Pure Oil Company, emerged. Kalternborn and Pure Oil switched to NBC in 1940.CBS banned tye word “commentator” and used “news analyst” instead.

Elmer David commented on the news from 8:55 to 9 nightly. Paley often felt David provided too much opinion. Davis became the head of the U.S. Office of War Information in 1942. CBS worked with this office to broadcast in 18 languages in Europe.

CBS tackled race issues with a 1943 broadcast entitled “Open Letter of Face Hatred”. It included Wendell Willkie equating racism to fascism. Several CBS Southern stations declined to broadcast this show.

CBS dismissed Cecil Brevin for his commentaries in 1942. CBS feared the commentators would scare advertisers away.

In 1941, the FCC proposed to prevent what it saw as NBC and CBS from having too much control over the radio industry. The FCC moved to prevent networks from taking over local stations’ schedules. It also sought for NBC to divest one of its networks.

The FCC then decided to divide the broadcast day where three hours could be controlled by the networks, The Commerce Department filed suit against NBC and CBS declaring them together as being a monopoly. RCS sold its Blue Network for $8 million to Edward Noble who owned WMCA in New York. This network became ABC.

Paley expanded stations into South America. 64 stations in 18 countries joined his network, La Cadena de las America. The U.S. Inter-American Affairs Coordinator Nelson Rockefeller oversaw broadcasts, These were to counter Nazi infiltration.

Paley became an Honorary Colonel consulting the War Information’s Psychological Warfare Branch in Eisenhower’s Algiers headquarters. BBC provided 107 of its 1,100 weekly broadcasts to American programming. Paley insisted propaganda had to be truthful. Lies would permanently damage one’s reputation. When Germany surrendered, Paley controlled the de-Nazification of their media.

The amount of CBS network time with corporate sponsorship was one third before World War II and two thirds afterwards. 85% of revenues came fro CBS’s own stations.

Paley moved CBS from programs produced by advertisers to producing the networks own program.s This would require more money and staff. Paley made Frank Stanton CBS President. CBS developed shows such as “Our Miss Brooks” and its largest listenership to shows by Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey, at his height, had two niightly shows and one daytime show. CBS’s “My Friend Irma” joined “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scout” as a second Top 10 show in listenership in 1947.

The tax rate of income over $70,000 then was 77%. CBS sold its physical assets including scripts and characters as it would be taxed as capital gains at 25%.

In 1948, Jack Benny, was feeling unappreciated at NBC, where Sarnoff never socialized with him.CBS offered $2.6 million paid to his Amusement Enterprises as well as $10,000 weekly salary for Benny and co-stars salaries. CBS had kept dividends low and had $10 million in cash. NBC countered with a $4 million deal. Paley called and asked to fly to California to meet with Benny in person. Sarnoff refused to make a similar trip. Benny signed with CBS.

CBS made a capital gains arrangements with Benny’s company, The deal was contingent on approval by the American Tobacco Company which sponsored Benny’s program. The sponsor was worried that CBS and its stations with weaker signals reached fewer listeners. Paley personally met with American Tobacco executives and promised a publicity campaign that would increase listenership. Benny’s program switched to CBS, CBS spent $100,000 promoting Benny’s show. Benny first CBS show reached 27.8% of homes, more than the 24.1% it reached on NBC. Ratings, though, slid and CBS was required to pay rebates to American Tobacco. The Internal Revenue Service did approve the capital gains rte, The courts later would uphold performers becoming corporations subject to capitl gains,

Paley then bought 25% of Bing Crosby’s company in 1948 for $1 million. Crosby had left CBS for NBC and then went to ABC Chesterfield agreed to pay $1.5 milion for 39 weeks of Crosby’s show.

CBS then got George Burns and Gracie Allen, Red Skelton, and Edgar Bergen to switch from NBC to CBS. The questionable capital gains proposal was not made in any of these cases.

In 1949, CBS had $105.4 million gross revenues, an increase of $7 million from 1948. The CBS net income fell from $5 million to $4.2 millioni in 1949 because of higher TV development costs.

Pale wanted radio to dominate as long as possible. He sought to slow the rise of TV.

Of CBS radio shows, only Jack Benny made a popular transfer to TV. “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was on CBS for two years until the NAAC and others brought CBS to drop the racist show, even thought it had high ratings among Blacks.

NBC had Red Skelton return to TV in 1951. His show became the fourth most popular TV show.

CBS surpassed NBC as the leading network in ratings in 1955 with 10 of the top 1 shows. Ed Sullivan’s inept introductions of acts won viewers and Sullivan’s connections brought i leading guests to his successful show. Arthur Godfrey’s informal-ness appealed to viewers and his two prime time plus his daytime show reached 80 million weekly.

Jackie Gleason was brought without an appointment to see Frank Stanton, where it was insisted Stanton meet with Gleason before he passed out fro alcohol. Gleason jumped from the Dumont network to CBS for $66,175 a week for 13 weeks, even though CBS did not have a firm sponsor on hand. No sponsor emerged for months,Spots were sold to three different advertisers. Gleason’s show was in the top ten in 1953, became the highest rated show in 1954,and then was the top show. Gleason received $11 million and a house for two years. CBS agreed to move the show to Miami at Gleason’s request so he could golf daily.

Lucille Ball formed a television company with her husband Desi Arnaz for her CBS radio show “My Favorite Husband”. Paley did not want Desi Arnaz to play the husband and thought Ball would work for salary on TV. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz spent $5,000 on their own pilot. Philip Morris bought sponsorship of the TV show “I Love Lucy”. It was the top rated show in 1952.

CBS had 120 people, including 50 who were scientists, engineers, and physicists working on two building floors developing color TV in 1945.

There were 6,000 color TV sets in 1945. Almost all were in bars.

In the 1940s, CBS formed a TV network with stations in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Sarnoff and NBC spent $50 million developing electronic black and white TVs. H felt color TV appeared murky ad was not feasible..Sarnoff believed when color was ready it would be able to reach existing electronic black and white sets, CBS foresaw consumers needing new color TV sets.

RCA sold 10,000 TV sets in 1046 at $385 per set.

CBS went fro 20 hours of TV shows over five days to 38 hours over seven days in 1948. Almost all of it was shown live.

CBS developed the long playing 33 1/3 rotations per minute vinyl line record. RCA then announced it developed a 45 revolutions per minute smaller size record. RCA accepts the long playing records two years later.

The FCC approved using CBS’s color adapters, which cost $150 for two devices. The RCA system’s colors were less natural. CBS sued The US. Supreme Court let the FCC decision stand,

CBS began color broadcasts in 1951. Of the 10 million TV sets, only 25 could watch color.

Korean War production needs halted the development and production of color TVs.

Leon Levy and Ike Levy sold their radio shares to the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper in 1946.

CBS lost $30 million over ten years in Hytron color television sets. It stopped production in 1956.

Edward Murrow wanted TV to show commentary. This violated the FCC’s Mayflower Doctrine in place since 1941 that did not allow broadcasters to present their opinions. The FCC eventually allowed commentary.

A weekly newsletter “Counterattack”, launched in 1947, claimed Communists were involved in broadcasting, Sponsors feared buyer retaliations. Liberal voices were silenced. The “Counterattack” people distributed a list of 131 journalists and entertainers they considered as Communists.

Edward Murrow went to Korea and reported the military was in chaos and in retreat and that the U.S. was unnecessarily  involved in a civil conflict. Murrow abandoned his own previous beliefs on the war in editorializing against it.

CBS engaged in secret screenings for communists at CBS. People suspected of being communists were eliminated from employment. Rumors costs people their jobs. Suspected communists were kept off CBS shows. One accused of being a communist, Dan Hollenbeck, anchor of the “CBS Views the Press” radio show committed suicide.

The CIA sometimes posed as CBS correspondents, The CIA used the Paley Foundation to over funds overseas.

Paley was unable to join the Metropolitan Club of Washington in the early 1950s because he was Jewish.

CBS News had 14 full time employees in 1950 and 376 in 1856. In 1956, the annual budget fof CBS News was $7 million, CBS News lost about $10 million annually through the 1950s.

“See It Now” hosted by Edward Murrow showed clips of Senator Joseph Kennedy making demagogic statements Murrow concluded on air “this is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent.” Public support swung towards Murrow’s position ABC, but not  CBS, broadcast hearings led by Senator McCarthy. ABC had fewer daytime programs. ABC won praise for showing the hearings which brought new advertisers to ABC. The hearings led to further condemnation of McCarthy. In 1956, “See if Now” expanded from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

The Murrow criticism of McCarthy helped bolster support for CBS from people who earlier were angry at CBS for its blacklisting.

“Where We Stand” included Howard K. Smith and Eric Severaid delivering commentary. Paley did not object to show being broadcast yet was often upset by what they stated.

Murrow also had a celebrity interview show “Person to Person”.

Paley was friends with Dwight Eisenhower. When Eisenhower announced he was running for Preident, Paley sent CBS News to cover the announcement live. Eisenhower at first declined as he was uncertain how he would do before cameras yet allowed it when realizing the efforts CBS travel to Abiline, Kansas where the announcement was made.

Murrow secretly gave Adlai Stevenson, who ran for President against Eisenhower, advice on how to appear on television.

The CBS game show “The $64,000 Question” appealed to both wealthy and poor viewers who appreciate contestants winning money for answering increasingly difficult questions, The sponsor Revlon saw its sales increase.

To attract smaller advertisers who could not sponsor shows, Sylvester “Pat” Weaver in 1953 crated the shows “Today”, “Tonight”, and “Home” for NBC. Each show sold commercial tie by the minute instead of using show sponsors. CBS followed with selling advertising time in 1954.

In 1958, a stand-by contestant on the CBS game show “Dotts” let it be known that contestants were advised by show official how to answer questions. This followed an earlier accusation that had not been widely noticed by a contestant that NBC’s “Twenty One” gave correct answers to some while telling others to give wrong answers. Congress and the District Attorney launched investigations. Edward Murow, whose show had been earlier cancelled, attack Paley and CBS over their hypocrisy.

In 1959, CB began the monthly “CBS Reports” The show later ran weekly.

The CBS symbol The Eye was conceived by graphic designer William Golden and approved with a simplifying adjustment by Frank Stanton in 1939.

Stanton, as CBS President in 1946, earned $94,010 salary while Paley earned $66,000. In 1955, Stanton received $281,522 in salary and bnous while Paley received $225,000. Paley earned more overall due to his stock ownership earning $796,132 in dividend in 1950 compared to Stanton’s dividends of $151,168.

In 1956, Paley and Stanton received the same salary of $510,000. In 1957, they both earned $299,807. Paley blamed Hyton’s failure on Stanton Paley wanted both to have a symbolic same salary. Stanton was the visible leader while Paley had the power.

Paley contributed $25,000 to the Richard Nixon for President campaign in 1960. He hoped to gain a diplomatic position,

In 1960, the CBS news of Douglas Edwards fell from first to second place in news show ratings. NBC’s Chet Huntley and David Brinkley became the top rated news show. Paley decided to replace Edwards with Walter Cronkite. Cronkite, for CBS, had covered the Korean War, hosted political coverage beginning in 1952, hurt his journalistic image by hosting the historical recreation drama show “You Are There” and then became the chief correspondent of the “Eyewitness” public affairs show. Cronkite would return CBS News to the top ratings four years later.

Howard K. Smith presented a documentary on race issues in 1961. CBS affiliates in Southern states were upset. That concern upset Paley.

When President Kennedy was assassinated, Stanton stopped showing commercials on CBS. NBC President Robert Kintner was livid yet NBC and ABC also canceled commercials for four days. This cost the three networks about $4 million each.

Walter Cronkite’s long verbal analysis at the 1964 Republican National Convention drew poor ratings against Huntley’s and Brinkley’s coverage. CBS had Roger Mudd and Robert Trout anchor CBS for the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

CBS’s profits were $25.2 million in 1959 and $49 million in 1962.

CBS TV President James Aubrey programmed successful show offerings. A CBS employee wrote the formula was a basic one of “broads, bosoms and fun”. All series were filmed as live dramas ended. CBS became the top network with shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Petticoat Junction”, “Green Acres”, and “My Favorite Martian.”CBS had 9 of the top 10 shows. Paley hated “The Beverly Hillbillies: but showed it up to air.

Jack Benny’s show’s ratings fell. Benny was upset when CBS changed his time period for his show. Benny left CBS for NBC where his show ha lower ratings against CBS’s “Gomer Pyle”.

A gossip magazine accused Aubrey of taking kickbacks from Keefe Brasselle of Richeliou Productions for scheduling three Richekiou shows without seeing the pilots. The FCC was concerned. Stanton hired a detective who discovered Aubrey had a chauffeured limousine owned by Filmways Productions and that FIlmways paid for paid of Aubrey’s apartment. Stanton concluded there were conflicts of interest but not illegal. The FCC did not pursue this.

While Paley liked having rate rated shows, he wanted more quality shows. Paley get “The Defenders” on the air but only after Aubrey delayed it for a year, Aubrey also stopped the previous practice of having 10% of programming for public service and goodwill.

Paley attempted to keep “The Munsters” off the air, as he considered the premise silly. Yet the show was found by many to be very comical. A programming executive Oscar Katz argued it was his “intuition” that “The Munsters” would be an instant hit. Paley responded “You used the only argument I can’t answer.”

NBC and ABC caught up to CBS in ratings in mid-December 1964. Aubrey realigned the CBS schedule,, including canceling two of the three Keefe Brasselle shows. He showed more movies in their place. Aubrey was fired and replaced by Jack Schneider, who had led CBS stations in Philadelphia and then New York.

Aubrey was later President of MBM for four years and then went into making low budget films.

CBS worked to improve its scheduled. It added a new show “Hazel” that became popular.

Paley in 1965 hated the CBS show “Trials of O’Brien” with Peter Falk. Paley did not like the anti-hero protagonist and felt that audiences were not ready for such a character. Six years later audiences were ready when Falk brought the character back in “Columbo” on NBC.

Paley did not like that Clint Eastwood was given a larger role and that Blacks were added to the cast of “Rawhide”. The show’s ratings slipped. “Rawhide” was canceled at the end of the season.

Ratings also fell for “Gunsmoke”. Some CBS executives wanted to cancel it. Paley objected. “Gunsmoke” remained a successful top ten show show for five more years.

In 1965, CBS had 9 of the top 10 highest rated shows. In 1966, it had 5. Net income was $49.6 million in 1965 and $49 million in 1966 for CBS. In 1966, they moved to $64 million as CBS had 8 of the top 10 shows.

CBS had a lot of cash.CBS. It had $5 million cash in 1963. CBS sought acquisitions to avoid high taxes. Michael Burke became First Vice President in charge of diversificaiton at CBS. CBS bought 80% of the New York Yankees for $11.2 million and later bought the remaining 20% for $2 million.

CBS bought the publishing company Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc. in 1967 for $280 million.

In 1963, Aubrey got Paramount to sell CBS the rights to 200 films for $40 million. Paley declined the deal. In 1964, when CBS needed movies to fill its schedule, it paid about $30 million for 100 films from several studios.

CBS invested $360,000 for 40% of “My Fair Lady”, a Broadway show, in 1955. It earned CBS $33 million. CBS then invested in over 40 shows, with a particular emphasis in producing CBS cast albums. CBS made profits in 25% of the shows, larger than the 10% to 12% profit rate of Broadway shows. CBS invested in “Cabaret”, “Camelot”, “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Mame”.

Paley wanted to have CBS produce feature films CBS bought 70 acre Republic Corporation’s 76 acre studio for $9.5 million. Cinema Center Films was created with the designation of producing about ten movies per year for around $3.5 million per movie. Their first film was “With Six You Get Eggroll”. Facing criticism that the studio only wanted to make films that would later be shown ot television, the studio deliberately produced a movie “The Boys in the Band” which could not be televised. The studio also produced successful films as “A Man Called Horse”. “”Little Big Man” was well received yet went over budget at $9 million and was not a financial success. It also produced “Royal Hunt of the Sun” which was a financial and critical failure.

The New York Yankees lost money until 1969. CBS sold it for $10 million in 1973. While Paley argued that with tax deduction the Yankees brought a $5.4 million product. It is noted CBS sold the team for less than what they paid for it.

Peter Goldman in 1960 led the creation of the Electronic Video Recording (EVR) that could show a miniature film onto a TV screen. Paley approved it for education use but feared it could threaten TV broadcasts and denied recommendations on marketing it for home use in 1960 and again in 1964. In 1965, Paley became more interested. IBM produced EVR players that used CBS cassettes. Paley then killed the project when European investors moved ahead with the project and offered CBS a minority interest. Palye approved moving ahead but instead with CBS having 50% interest. Paley refused to invests in software so no products of consumer interest were presented. CBS lost $14 million on the early videocassette venture and in 1972 CBS closed its EVR company.

Stanton’s and Paley’s salaries were $150,000 in 1967 and $210,000 in 1968. They both received identical bonuses of $160,000 in 1968. Paley’s divided income was $2.5 million to Stanton’s $455,000.

The Nixon Administration was upset over networks’ coverage of the Vietnam War. Jeb Stuart Magruder, a Nixon aide, urged the FCC, Justice Department, and IRS to go after CBS, NBC. and ABC.

CBS presented “The Selling of the Pentagon” about the Defense Department’s $30 million propaganda machine. The House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee demanded to see the outtakes from the documentary. Frank Stanton refused to provide them. The committees voted that Stanton cite Stanton for contempt of Congress. Congress voted 226 to 181 not to cite Stanton.

The Justice Department filed an anti-trust suit against CBS, NBC, and ABC. The suit sought for the networks to divest five local stations.

Paley pressured CBS News into limiting its negative news on the Nixon Administration.  This upset CBS News personnel. Stanton was forced tp the reduced role as Vice Chairman. He then became a $100,000 a year consultant.

Jack Scheneider  became CBS Vice President and presumed future President. He moved CBS towards broadcasting more in color over Paley’s objections that this would increase the sales of RCA color TV sets. The switch to color upheld CBS shows’ rtings.

Paley began to distrust Schneider . Schneider asked to return to his previous position as President of CBS broadcast Group.

Charles “Chick” Ireland, Senior Vice President of ITT, was next hired as Executive Vice President. CBS was a $1 billion business and it was felt a strong business manager was needed. Ireland made moves that made financial sense but did not grasp what CBS wanted for its image. Ireland’s proposal that CBS buy Josten’s, which made high schoo rings nd jewelry, was turned down by the CBS Board of Directors.

Paley met with President Nixon’s aide H.R. Haldemann, He later agreed to White House criticisms and removed post-speech analysis of Nixon’s speeches by CBS commentators. Paley had been against instant analysis before the meeting. The author believes criticism that Paley caved in to pressure are wrong, Even commentator Eric Severeid noted that Nixon’s generalities in speeches made instant analysis difficult. Paley changed his mind and reinstated instant analysis five months later.

In 1970, CBS President Robert Wood argued that while CBS had top rated shows, they appealed to rural America. He wanted CBS to appeal more to urban audiences. “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Petticoat Junction”, “Green Acres”, “Red Skelton”, “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry RFD” were canceled. CBS found new hits in “All in the Family”, “Mary Tyler Moore, “MASH” and “Magruder”. In 1974, 9 of the top 10 shows were on CBS.

Paley at first did not like the bigorty expressed in “All in the Family”. When it became a hit, he then loved the show, Paley ignored a study showing the show was causing an increase in bigotry.

Fred Silverman, who helped develop many of the CBS hit shows, wanted greater recognition. CBS denied him that. ABC offered Silverman that recognition, Silverman helped ABC develop such hit shows as “Harry Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter”. CBS used great talent, writers, and expense in developing “Beacon Hill”, which lasted 13 episodes. CBS fell to third in ratings.

Paley agreed to pressure from religious groups and  set early evening advertising for family shows. This required moving “All in the Family” and “Kojak to later hours where their ratings decreased.

CBS began showing series featured beautiful women. CBS ran a slogan “Turn us on. We’ll turn you on.

Paley wanted to run his company. He often distrusted the people he put in charge which caused much friction, Paley often waffled by approving and then questioning his decision, slowing it down and then often change of what he gave prior approval.

Paley wanted CBS to venture into a cultural cable channel. Others wanted to expand CBS news into a cable news program.

Paley liked “The Paper Chase”. It was kept on the air despite low ratings to please Paley, Paley disliked “The Dukes of Hazard” that became a hit that anchored the CBS Friday night lineup.

ABC attempted to lure CBS correspondent Dan Rather, then earning $300,000 annually, to become the news anchor for $2 million annually. CBS was considering Rather and Roger Mudd as its next news anchor. CBS then offered Rather $2.2 millionannually over ten years to be its next news anchor. Paley objected. It was pointed out that a one point drop in CBS News would cost about $5 million annually.

CBS Cable operated at a $20 million loss in 1981.

Paley retired as Chairman of CBS Management. He was no longer routinely briefed on business matters and saw many of her perks taken away, He kept an office that he went to daily but he was out of the management loop.

CBS profits were $110.8 million in 1983 and $212.4 million in 1984.

Larry Tisch and William Paley arranged a takeover of CBS. Tisch had $780 million and Paley $257 million of CBS holdings. Paley offered to lead CBS again at age 85.

Paley worked on CBS programming in 1986. His problem with short term memory loss were evident He questioned programs up to eight hours at a tie which frustrated staff. He objected to scheduling “Tour of Duty”, fearing it would fail, and it was scheduled and it did fail.

Tisch chose the new CBS News leader in Howard Stringer. Tisch also gave Diane Sawyer a raise from $400,000 o $1.2 million annually.

Tisch moved to sell CBS Records, which could have brought in $1,25 billion. He also sought to see its publishing which might have brought in $600 million. Palye and others objected. This helped Paley demonstrate his control, Yet Tisch showed he was in charge by closing the acquisitions department and by closing CBS Foundation, both being parts that Paley favored. Tisch also removed $50 million from the $295 million CBS news budget.

A year later, Tisch proposed selling CBS Records to Sony at $2 billion Paley could not argue against that price, Tisch also sold CBS Publishing for $650 million.

CBS sanks in ratings with one show only attracting 8% of viewers.

In 1999, Tisch closed WCAU, the radio station that in 1927 launched CBS.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger with Peter Petre. Total Recall:My Unbelievable True Life Story. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

The author was born in rural Austria in 1947 to parents who sometimes had to spend days searching for food He became interested in bodybuilding as a way to attract gils He entered competitions and won competitions His request to leave the Army to further pursue bodybuilding was granted, in part, because he had crashed a tank he was driving. He took steroids which was then the norm in bodybuilding. He today warns against them as they can cause harm and death.

The author won the Mr. Universe Competition. He appeared on the the “Merv Griffin Show”. Lucille Ball saw him and asked if he would read a script for a TV special playing the role of a masseur. He was hired He was frozen when he first appeared as it was live TV. Lucille Ball improvised until he remember his line and the rest of the scene worked well. Lucille Ball advised him “when hey say “No”, you hear “Yes” and act accordingly. Some one says to you “We can do this movie” you hug him and say thank you for believing in me.”

Schwarzenegger appeared as the lead bodybuilder in the movie “Stay Hungry”. He won a Golden Globe for a new actor. His agent worked hard and got him a meeting with producer-director Dino DeLaurentiis, who has an Italian accent. DeLaurentis complained that Schwarzenegger had an accent. Schwarzenegger replied “What do you mean I have an accent? What about you?” to which DeLaurentiis replied “This meeting is over.” The author’s agent complained that the 40 second meeting was the shortest meeting he’d ever had. The author took the agent’s advice from then on to be agreeable and make producers feel good about working with him, rather than the reverse.

A year later after “Stay Hungry” he got another acting job on an episode of “The Streets of San Francisco” portraying a bodybuilder who is a murderer. His work in a movie about bodybuilding “Pumping Iron” which increased his name recognition.

The lead role in “Conan the Barbarian” followed. Expert stunt director Terry Leonard, production designer Ron Cobb, and plastic parts expert Colin Arthur helped make the movie operate along with a $20 million production budget that included 1,500 extras, a 90 piece orchestra, a 24member choir and various animals. Dino DeLaurentiis was impressed with the author;s performance, ending his period of disliking the author. He did his first love scene which was daunting with so many technical people around even on a closed set. Actors James Earl Jones and Max Von Sydow provided the author with acting advice.

Schwarzenegger’s net role was in “The Terminator”. This was director James Cameron’s second movie. Cameron learned a lot form director Roger Corman and impressed the author with his technical knowledge. The author found this knowledge as visionary. “The Terminator” had a $4 million budget which was increased to $6.5 million. O.J. Simpson was originally considered for the role, The author hestitated before accepting the role as it only had 18 lines. He finally accepted the role He avoided developing chemistry with his co-stars since his character was a machine. A car stealing scene was quickly filmed on a Los Angeles street as they lacked a filming permit.

The author appeared in “Red Sonja” where he had an affair with co-star Brigitte Nielsen. That movie did not do well financially, yet “Conan” and “The Terminator” both had $40 million in domestic revenues. He then married Maria Shriver.

“Predator” was the author’s next movie. The special effects department saved money yet created a creature the author and others felt wasn’t correct. It was redesigned which helped the movie have the second best opening gross in 1987 which had a final gross of $100 million. The author declined to do the sequel, feeling the script was wrong. The sequel did poorly in attracting an audience.

Success increased the author’s pay. He received $750,000 for “The Terminator”, $1 million for “Conan the Barbarian”, $3 million for “Predator”, $5 million for “The Running Man”, $5 million for “Red Heat”, and $10 million for “Total Recall”, $14 million for “Terminator 2”, and $15 million for “True Lies”.

Many of the author’s movies did better in foreign revenues. The author often kept the foreign market in mind when acting, such as not having facial hair which could hurt his appeal in Asia.

The author believes Paul Michael Glasser, who was hired to replace a fired director for “The Running Man”, being from TV and lacking the feel for movies in what was Glasser’s first movie director job. Glasser lacked the time to consider his directions and had to work in the rushed style more common to TV.

The author learned comic timing in the comedy movie “Twins. Danny DeVito is an expert comic actor.

The author appeared in “Terminator 2” which was the biggest grossing movie in 1001. His movie “Last Action Hero”, released in 1992 with high anticipation, was killed in the box office by “Jurassic Park”. His career bounced back with a success in “True Lies”. He escaped serious injury when his horse was spooked by a falling camera while the horse was near a roof’s edge. Stunt director Joel Kramer quickly reacted and grabbed and calmed the horse.

THe author had heart surgery to correct a hereditary condition. Some incorrectly jumped a conclusion that the author would no longer be able to do action movies This hurt his image with producers.

California Governor Pete Wilson in 19994 encouraged the author tor run for Governor, stating someone who has played “Kindergarten Cop” already has the requisite experience to deal with the legislature.” A financial crisis caused the state government’s revenues to decrease 40%, hurting the popularity of then Governor Gray Davis. The car tax tripled which angered Californians who love their cars. The author ran for Governor after completing promoting “Terminator 3”. 135 candidates filed for Governor. Governor Davis was recalled and the author won the election to replace him. The author hired John Max to write one liners to use in his campaign.

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton refused to attend the author’s inaugural. The author asked him to “forget the big fighting in public let’s find things we can work on.” He worked with legislators yet found the more effective way to get his agenda passed was using ballot and initiative. He used this means to cut workers’ compensation expenses He realized calling legislators “girly men” was a mistake because he needed to work with the then insulted legislators. He also admits that declaring war on public employee unions was a mistake as they were good at fighting back. He lost his four ballot initiative proposals that year. He realized he had to work with opponents to gain his primary goal of improving California’s economy. He picked a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Davis, Susan Kennedy, as his new Chief of Staff. A proposal was developed to use general obligation bonds over ten years to rebuilding highways, schools, housing, and prisons. The bond proposal was approved.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Accidental Feminist by M. G. Lord

M. G. Lord.The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth  Taylor Raised Our Consciousness. New York: Walker & Co., 2012.

The author contends that several portrayals by Elizabeth Taylor brought awareness that challenged conventional views regarding the roles of women in society. In “National Velvet”, Taylor challenged that only men can be horse racing jockeys by posing as a male jockey. Her character in “A Place in the Sun” provides arguments favoring abortion. In “Butterfield 8”, her character is a woman who controls her sexual fate. In “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”, she shows a woman’s angst at her life’s difficulties. In her personal life, she was devoted to combatting AIDs.

Taylor’s acting style often presented strong presentations of strong women. The author favors theories of feminism that considers the role of women in social and economic contexts. While Taylor may not have consciously been acting towards feminism, the content shows per personal power helped define that women could become more powerful. The roles shoe had showed gender discrimination, abortion, and sexual freedom during an ear where more females were traditionally more feminine.

Taylor filmed during times of sexual repression in movies. MGM hired people to make certain Taylor did not expose too much bust line. They placed an orange between her breasts and no show showing the orange was allowed.

The Production Code Administration was a private organization that, between 1934 to 1966, fought to see that movies avoided criticizing marriage and religion. In 1966, the organization became the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures that became less aggressive on insisting upon movie morality. The movie studios promoted marriage, even requiring gay actors to engage in phony marriages.

Taylor commanded the most pay for a female actor and could choose her own roles afte 1961. She chose to portray controversial characters.

Taylor was, at age 11, an MGM contract employee when her mother advocated her being in “National Velvet”. The role of a girl who disguises herself as a male jockey sent a message to girls to not let gender hold back their aspirations.

In “A Place in the Sun”, Taylor’s character works courage to ask a doctor for an abortion.

In “Suddenly Last Summer”, the author observes “Taylor’s character stands up for herself following a traumatic rape and refuses to accept a lobotomy.

The author describes Taylor in “Butterfield 8 as a “sex positive feminist”.

Taylor portrayed women of strength and intelligence in “Giant” and in “Cleopatra”. “Cleopatra” grossed the most money for any movie in 1963 at $22 million, yet it cost $44 million to produce.

Taylor portrayed bisexual characters in “Secret Ceremony” and “X, Y, and Zee.”

In 1968, Taylor no longer was in the top ten of stars in box office revenues. The author observes tht Taylor lost some of her confidence and she began choosing less successful roles until she performed in “Ash Wednesday” in 1973 where she boldly showed what plastic surgery can achieve. Her character defends plastic surgery if done for the proper reasons, It can make an aware woman feel better but it cannot guarantee a desired change in life such as improving a marriage.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck

Ivanna Chubbuck. The Power of the Actor: The Chubbock Technique. The Twelve Steps That Will Take You From Script to a Living, Breathing, Dynamic Character. New York: Gotham Books, 2004.

The author advances an acting technique where the actor channels emotions towards accomplishing the character’s goals. It is the convincing portrayal that distinguishes excellent actor from lesser portrayal achievement levels. the actors must understand what the character wants to accomplish and then tap into those emotions. A actor uses the actor’s own emotion yet presents the character’s emotions and objectives.

Chuddock recommends an actor discover the character’s scene objections and then portray these objections over an entire scene.  The actor should examine how the character handles objectives, channelling the actor’s own emotions that fit the character’s objectives, tap into the actor’ inner mind, consider beat thought and changes, be physically and emotionally prepared before a scene, use an one’s physical reality to sensibly be portrayed, handle props, costume, hair, etc appropriately, channel inner non-verbal monologue while performing, be consistent with the character’s past, and then create a real role.

Chubbock stresses that actors must use their emotions as a tool towards achieving good performances. If the emotions are what results, the actor is presenting the actor’s emotions rather than the character’s emotions. The character is what needs to be properly portrayed.

When an actor seeks  a character’s objective, the actor should seek that primal urgency that drives the character’s needs. The character’s overall objective is a simple one, and should be consistent throughout the story. An actor should have an objective that causes others to react.

Objectives should be about relationships. Communicating is important in reaching scene objectives. Every scene will always have a scene objective Obstacles to objectives create drama. Obstacles can be physical, mental, or emotional. An actormay create an obstacle not mentioned in the script.

Chubbock recommends substituting elements of an actor’s life, often involving subconscious feelings, and using these emotions when acting. Substitution is a tool and need not always be done each time. It should be used when it allows the actor to reach a catharsis about a role. Different substitutions can be tried in determining which works best.

The beats and actions in acting can become part of a scene objective and overall objective. Emotions should be tapped before performing a scene. This is a tool that can be changed just before a scene.

An actor should view the fourth wall as part of the history and reality of the scene.

It is important how an actor behaves in a role, including when using props. A characters words may be false, yet the actions should show the truth. The actions should accelerate as their importance increases. Acting is visual and actions can provide the audience with important clues. The actions must be consistent with the scene objective. Quirks can provide insights into characters. These can expose the neurosis a character faces.

An actor should consider inner dialogue and use it towards observing the scene objective. An actor should recall the previous circumstances and past emotions of the character.

An actor, having determined the scene objective, should “let it go” so behaviors occur freely.

The author advises, when auditioning, that one should listen to the dialogue, consider how to respond, and speak after consideration of the response. One should not rush the dialogue.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not Young, Still Restless by Jeanne Cooper

Jeanne Cooper with Lindsay Harrison. Not Young, Still Restless. New York: It Books, 2012.

Cooper was born in 1928. Both her parents were part Cherokee. She became interested in theater. She attended the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theater Arts by staying with her Aunt Celia. When Celia moved her sister and brother in law invited her to stay with them so she could study at the Theater of the College of the Pacific. She performed in theater in Stockton Her friends that she would be successful in Hollywood. Without her knowledge, they renter an apartment for her in Hollywood and moved all her belonging to her new apartment.

Cooper acted at the Gallery Stage and attracted studio attention. Universal offered her a contract of $250 a week. She was quickly informed that the studio is a business. Newly signed actors learned various aspects of filmmaking from image making, wardrobe, horseback riding, and post production.Cooper planned to perform theater work until realizing her six month Universal contract did not allow that. Her first movie was “The Redhead from Wyoming”. She realized the star, Maureen O’Hara, was reducing her role in a scene. Concerned, she asked director Lee Shelem about it He explained that a newcomer can make an established star feel old. Copper then complimented O’Hara and tensions were reduced. O’Hara later gave her advice while moving her in a scene telling her “if you can’t see the camera, the camera can’t see you.”

Actor David Jansson advised Cooper to forget a future in theater and instead to concentrate on the growing television industry

In 1952, Cooper and several actresses were went by Universal to a promotional tour in Alaska. They returned to discover that roles that normally would have been given to them were given to several newly signed Miss Universe contestants, including Anita Ekberg. This added to the lesson that this is a business.

After six months at Universal, Cooper wanted a raise Universal refused and she did not resign with them.

In 1953, Cooper appeared in three episodes of the TV show “The Adventures of Kit Carson”. She met Barbara Hale and they became friends through today. She later appeared in five episodes of “Perry Mason”, which had Barbara Hale in the cast.

Cooper once played a practical joke on actor Raymond Burr. She stole a trophy he had won, had it inscribed “Fuck you” in Japanese, and had it sent ahead to an Army base where Burr would going to appear, The base commander stunned Burr with his own lost trophy and drew cheers from the troops when he read the inscription in Japanese and then the English translation.

Cooper appeared in over 40 TV episodes and over 12 films, She dated several actors including Robert Taylor, Hugh O’Brien, and Raymond Burr.

Actor Leslie Nielsen made his own “fart machine” he could hide in his path, He used it to reduce tensions on the sets.

The producers of the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” approached Cooper with a three year contract shooting in Hawaii. She quickly accepted.

When she started wok on this soap opera, scenes would be shot several times. Today, scenes are shot in one take unless something disastrous happens.

Her character went into rehab. She is glad that this role inspired many viewers to seek help with their dependencies.

Cooper credits writer Bill Bell for creating and writing successful “Young and Restless” characters and stories. She notes he would observe when a character didn’t work and knew when to drop a character, One character went to wash her hair and disappeared for good. Bell created tag lines to end scenes and refused to change them.

Cooper has a face lift. Her character thus had a face lift, Her bandages were unwrapped for real on the show.

Cooper was nominated for an Emmy in 1987 for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Drama Series the same year her son Corbin Berenson was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor.

After eight Emmy nominations without winning, Cooper finally won a Daytime Emmy in 2008.

Cooper pinches some costars on the buttocks during tapings to remind them to enjoy their work.

Costar Eric Braden does not read the script until the day of shooting He changes lines he believes are ouf of character. This requires others to pay attention and improvise to the changed dialogue.

Costar Esther Valentine also works as a United Airlines flight attendant.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Killing Willis by Todd Bridges

Todd Bridges with Sarah Tomlinson. Killing Willis: From Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted. New York: Touchstone, 2010.

This is the autobiography of a TV star who became a drug addict who once concluded the only option in his life was suicide by cop. He was a drug dealer who grabbed his gun when stopped by police, deciding it was time to die, He was delivering drugs after being tipped off that the police were searching for him. Bridges, who once had a police commemoration for his services to the Burbank Police Officers Association, chose not to die by enticing police bullets, and he was arrested by the Burbank Police. The Judge offered his jail or rehab. He chose rehab which was the beginning of turning his life around.

Bridges knew when he was about five years old that he wanted to be an actor. His mother acted and she taught him some acting skills, including how to cold read and act to a script one had never seen before. He had a line in a commercial filmed with his mother at age 7. Other commercial work followed. The Mary Grady Agency signed him. He won several roles because he could be emotional and cry or yell when needed.

Bridges did an episode of “Barney Miller”. He then appeared in a TV movie. At age 12 he appeared in the TV series “Roots”. He later had a recurring role on “The Waltons”. Producer Danny Arnold was impressed with his work and hired him for the TV series “Fish”. In between shooting “Fish”, he did a TV movie with O.J. Simpson called, ironically, “A Killing Affair.”

Willis toured with a live show with other teen actors, He was crushed when someone called hi a racism name while he was performing, feeing anger while continuing his performance.

At age 12, his publicist sexually abused him. He soon fought back and his mother chased off the publicist while holding a butcher knife. His father did not believe him and continued being friends with the publicist

“Fish” ended after two seasons when actor Abe Vigoda’s demands for a higher salary were met by canceling the series.

Bridges then got a role on a new series “Diff’rent Strokes”. He was not iin the pilot yet it was felt there should be an additional role for an older brother. The network bought 26 episodes from the pilot, something that was never done before.

“Diff’rent Strokes” reached 27th in the Nielson ratings. It also received some racist mail from people who did not like the show’s premise of an interracial family.

Bridges once found himself mobbed by fans in Chicago. Police were called and they formed a double line to control the crowd so Bridges could leave a restaurant and reach his limo.

Bridges believes his star status made him a target for police racial profiling He was pulled over by police while driving his bike on several occasions, once being accused of riding a stolen bike. Once he was given a ticket for riding on private property and the Judge dismissed the ticket and called the police officer a racist for ticketing Bridges and not his white friend.

Bridges starting drinking beer, smoking marijuana, and making out with costar Dana Plato at around age 14.

Bridges befriended Janet Jackson who was filming the TV series “Good Times”. When her show was canceled and a role was created for Bridges to have a girlfriend, Bridges insisted they cast Janet Jackson. She was cast in the role. They then dated in real life. He gave Janet Jackson her first kiss. He states he cared about Janet Jackson but was still fooling around with Dana Plato.

Bridges noted that costar Gary Coleman’s parents were changed by Gary’s fame. They hired managers, agents, and lawyers who started making demands that caused embarrassment to Gary Coleman. His parents and bodyguards for Gary Coleman were always on the set. They kept Gary Coleman away from the others. His parents wanted Bridges off the show and Bridges notes he was not in four episodes.

John Hughes told Bridges he wanted Bridges to appear in the movie “Sixteen Candles”. One of the associates stated “I just don’t see how to put a Black character int he film” to which Bridges replied “You write for Blacks the same way you write for whites”. He was not cast in the movie.

Bridges bought a Porsche. He was once arrested by the police who assumed he had stolen it. He hired Johnnie Cochran and sued the Los Angeles Police Department for harassment. Some African American police officers warned him the police were instructed to find what they could on him.

“Diff’rent Strokes” was canceled in 2004 after seven seasons. ABC then picked up the show. Bridges believes Coleman’s representatives kept Bridge off the final two episodes.

Dana Plato;s drug use affected her more negatively. She once drove her car through the spinning tunnel on the Universal lot. The spinning made her nauseous. The tunnel, usually open to tram tours for the public, had to be closed while it was determined how to remove her car. Plato got pregnant and was fired from the show, appearing on only a few shows afterwards.

Bridges discovered his accountant had mishandled his financial accounts. He owed the IRS over $200,000. He clais the accountants stole over $400,000. His drug problems kept him from working to pay back the IRS, He had several accidents on his motorcycle, including one that gave him amnesia for eight hours.

Bridges discovered that crack cocaine let him feel high continually which was a feeling he liked Bridges began working with a large scale crack dealer. His life fell so low his own mother was prepared, with a loaded gunm to shoot him if he went to her house. He was arrested for attempted murder when another crack dealer was stabbed and shot.

A neighbor, who was an uninterested party, testified seeing Bridges outside the building when the victim was shot. The jury acquitted him on the attempted murder and manslaughter charges and deadlocked on an assault charge. A mistral on the assault charge was declared. Bridges fell back into the line of drug dealing. He was retried on the assault charge. He was acquitted.

Bridges got a role on the TV series “The New Lassie”. His publicist stole $25,000 from him. Bridges discovered crystal meth and began using that when he hallucinated seeing little green men. His mother showed him the Black outfit she had picked for his funeral. He still kept using days. He once left a hotel for what he thought was an hour and learned he was been gone for three days. He was arrested. He went to prison and vowed never to return to prison, He went to rehab ad improved his life It took his sixth trip to rehab to recover.

The 1992 riots make Bridges analyze his life and community He started the Todd Bridges Youth Foundation to hep youth where he had been a drug dealer. He returned to act appearing and TV movie and then did theater. He started a production company with his actor brother Jimmy.