Monday, December 2, 2013

Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones

Brian Jay Jones. Jim Henson: The Biography. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.

On “Sesame Street”, which used Jim Henson’s Muppets, sets were six feet high so puppeteers could operate the puppets while standing.

Many enjoyed it when Muppets interacted with children. Children were not subjected to the high sets. The puppets were then hand operated behind sets.

Henson was born to a Christian Science family They bought a television in 1950. Henson found inspiration he took from his childhood from stars such as Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, and Ernie Kovacs. In addition, he was drawn to the puppets “Kukla, Fran, and Ollie” as performed by Burr Tillstrom and starring Fran Allison.

Henson was also a fan of the comic strip “Pogo”. Henson learned from “Pogo” that one may expertly play to both young and adult audiences. He further learned from “Pogo” that audiences would accept controversial statements if they were made with a smile.

Also in 1950, the Christian Science Monitor published a comic that 13 year old Jim Henson submitted.

Henson read library books on puppetry. He used the lessons by auditioning for a puppet job on a local television station. He got the job and began working at age 17 on a program the “Junior Morning Show”. The show was cancelled after three weeks when it was discovered three other puppeteers were underage which violated child labor laws.

Fortunately, Henson worked long enough to impress Roy Meachum. He hired Henson to have puppets lip synch records on his “Saturday” show. Unfortunately, that show was cancelled soon afterwards.

Henson also tok classes at the University of Maryland.With the show canceled, he put his efforts into his studies, where he learned about television production and design, puppetry, and arts education, which was then the Home Economics Department, later renamed Practical Arts which included arts courses. This department had less math and sciences than required in other schools which appealed to Henson. Henson was one of six males in the program with 500 females. The puppetry teacher, Ed Longley, was informed his jewelry class that they was hired to teach, which was his specialty, also required him to puppetry, even though he was not a puppeteer. Henson became a leader in the class helping students on their group projects.

The local TV station WRC began a variety show “Afternoon” in 1955. On March 7, 1955, the puppeteers Henson and Jane Nebel were listed as the Muppets, a technical mistake since Muppets are the puppets and not the puppeteers. Still, this was the first ever mention of the Muppets.

Henson had to essentially develop new material for a live daily show. Show host Mac McGarry claimed Henson did so in a manner of minutes. Often a Muppet would lip sync to a novelty song.

Henson was uncertain of his work and asked to be added to the floor crew. Yet the show personnel loved his Muppets. It is claimed he was told if he kept up his Muppets that Henson would “get very rich.”

Nine weeks afterwards, the Muppets had their own show “Sam and Friends” on the 11 pm news with anchor Richard Harkness. Sam was a Muppet with friends that included Henson’s favorite character, a purplish Kermit made from a felt coat and two ping pong balls as eyes.

With TV, Henson realized that theater was what the camera presented, Henson watched his performances on a monitor so he could make immediate changes to make his act better. The Muppets had movable mouths and could show expressions.

Henson first was paid $5 a week. He was soon making $100 a week. At age 19, he was paid $5,200 yet took his set and puppet construction out of that money.

Henson was still in college and eyeing a television job in production and job design. He then did not think he’d be doing puppetry for long.

“Sam and Friends” was canceled in the summer of 1955. There were enough phone calls and letters upset over the cancellation that the show was returned and, instead of being on three nights a week, it was increased to five nights a week.

Jim Henson’s brother died in an automobile accident. Jim Henson realized there was a small time to accomplish things. Henson began working harder.

Word of the Muppets spread. They were signed to do a guest appearance on the “Tonight Show” with Steve Allen. The audience roared its approval of the Muppets.

“Sam and Friends” was added to the last minutes of the early evening news, thus appearing at 6:50 pm and 11:25 pm. In addition, there were appearances on other shows and public appearances. Henson had a job promised by WRC in its sets and scenes department, so he ended he college studying.

Henson experimented with camera tricks and angles and used different lens types. A wide angle lens made a Muppet moving forward appears to be running faster.

In 1957, Stan Freberg learned that his records were being used without credit or payment on the Muppets. A cease and desist order was issued. Yet, when Freberg saw the Muppets, he telegraphed “I take it all back. This is the greatest act I’ve ever seen. I am honored to let you use my records for ever and longer.”

Henson developed a Professor Madcliffe, a Muppet that Henson voiced. Thus a Muppet could interact with others.

The early Muppet humor was the Muppets lip singing to a song ending with either one eating the other or both blowing up.

Jim Henson and Jane Nebel, who dated and were then engaged to others, had a strictly business relationship. They became business partners in 1957.

The Muppets were hired by the John H Willkins Co. to be in commercials. A Muppet named Wontkins would refuse to sample Wilkins coffee and then be hit, shot, blown up, decapitated, etc. with a slogan such as “Use Wilkins coffee...or else!” As he learned with Pogo, one may be controversial if entertaining. WIlkins coffee sales increased 25%. Henson and Nobel won a local advertising excellence award. Wilkins Coffee sold Wilkins and Wontka puppets in 1958 as a promotion using the Muppets name. Henson and Nobel received no proceeds from the promotoin yet they were not bothered by it.

Other companies wanted to use Muppets in advertising. Nash’s Coffee paid $20,000 for eight commercials. Other coffee companies and a soda company around the country used Muppets. Henson reshot a commercial for each ratner than redubbing the company’s name.

“Sam and Friends” won an Emmy in 1959 for Best Local Entertainment Program.

Henson still preferred a career creating and painting sets. WRC asked Henson to keep “Sam and Friends” yet to have someone else perform the puppets. Henson asked a college friend Bobby Payne and then trained him to do the show. Jane Nebel ran the show.

Henson went on a European vacation. He marveled at numerous Punch and Judy puppet shows and how they interacted with audiences. He realized puppets were an art form. He returned excited to go back ino puppetry.

Henson returned to college in 1959. During his absence, the Muppets became part of the “In Our Town” daily afternoon variety show where they made regular daily appearances.

Henson and Nebel formally created Muppets Inc. in 1958 with Henson owning 60% and Nebel 40%. Engagements for both Henson and Nebel. They began dating and then married.

Henson added more voices. He never asked Nevel to provide voices.

The Muppets appeared on the ‘Today” show with host Dave Garroway in New York via a feed so they could stay in Washington, D.C.

Jane Nebel left performing after the birth of their second child.

The Henson family attended Puppeteers of America conventions. They befriended Mike Oznowicz, who had fled from Europe during the Nazis. Jim Henson got to know their son Frank, who was a high school senior expert on marionette. To Frank, this was a hobby. He had performed without pay at Fairyland Amusement Park and the Oakland Recreational Department. Jim Henson saw Frank perform and advised that Henson thought the ending was weak. Frank lated observed “That was Jim. My endings were a bit artsy, whereas Jim liked things to be blown up or eaten.”

Frank would later shorten his last name to Oz and would work on the Muppets. Jim Henson also met Jerome Juhl at the conventions. Juhl bcame the first full time employee at Muppets, Inc.

Henson and Juhl went to a weeklong U.S. Food Fair in Hamburg, Germany to perform. In some scenes, Henson and Juhl worked with Henson controlling a puppet’s mouth with his right hand and operating the puppet’s left hand. Juhl would operate the puppet’s right hand. They had to learn to work together.

For the Food Fair, Henson and Juhl performed a chef speaking mock German who frantically cut things up including a handkerchief and put them into a bowl that exploded in the end. This would later develop into the Swedish chef character,

“Sam ad Friends” ended December 15, 1961. The final showed the set exploding.

In 1962, Jim and Jane Henson, Jerry Juhl, and Bobby Payne filmed a TV pilot “Tales of the Tinkerdee”. No network bought it.

Jim Henson was elected President of the Puppeteers of America in 1962 at age 25. the youngest President they ever had.

The Muppets became regular on the “Mad, Mad World” TV program They also began appearing on the “Today” show about once a month.

The Muppets did seven Purina Dog Chows ads for Canadian TV. Henson asked master puppeteer Don Sahlin, to build the dog Muppets. Henson was impressed that he hired Sahlin as the Muppets main designer and builder. Sahlin was known for creating Muppets with abstract expressions and they were sewed with seams that were undetectable.

Purina offered Henson $100,000 for the rights to own the Rowlf dog Muppets shown in the commercials. Henson declined, realizing the importance of the business end of his work. He knew to keep ownership of characters.

Henson moved the business from Maryland to New York City. He moved into his new apartment at 5 am after driving all night and proceeded to appear on that morning’s “Today” show.

Henson, Juhl, and Sahlin opened a Muppets, Inc. office at 303 E. 53rd Street, Manhattan. A secretary was later hired and then 19 year old Frank Oz was hired. Oz worked part-time for $100 a week while taking college courses at City College of New York.

The “Today” show appearances ended. Fortunately, the Muppets were hired to be on seven episodes of “The Jimmy Dean Show” on ABC. Dean remembered the Muppets form seeing them on local D.C. television. Fan mail, especially for Rowlf, came in. Rawl was the first Muppet to perform with a human, Jimmy Dean. Rawl received more fan mail than did Jimmy Dean.

Jimmy Dean bought the Muppets on tour with him.

Dean paid the Muppets $1,500 per show for the first sven shows in 1963, then $1,750 for the remaining shows The pay was increased on the third season at $1,800.

It was observed that Muppets were popular with adults as well as children.

Commercial income ept the Muppets operations proceeding Alden Muvrey was hired to manage business and contracts. Under a year, Henson decided to handle the business end himself.

The Muppets did commercials for over 50 companies in under a decade.

Henson believed in reshooting until the shot was correct. A commercial could be shot over four days at $12,000 studio cost.

Over time, it was discovered that Jerry Suhl had writing talent as well as performing. Juhl began writing many of the Muppets scripts.

Henson filmed a short movie “Time Piece”. It run for 18 months in New York’s Paris Theatre. It was nominated for Best Short Subject, Live Action Academy Award The Muppets filmed a second pilot, “The Land of Tinderdee”.

Jerry Nelson was hired to give another voice to the Muppets. Frank Oz refused to do voices until about a year later.

Henson wanted a shot of an arrow sticking to an apple on top of a Muppet’s head. He hired a professional archer who needed five takes. Henson was not afraid while Jerry Nelson ducked as far as he could get. Jane would declare of Jim, “Oh, my God, he’s crazy.”

Frank Oz was drafted into the military. Jerry Nelson was hired full time. Frank Oz was rejected due to a minor heart condition just after his own farewell party had concluded.

The Muppets made regular appearances on the “Ed Sullivan” and “Tonight” shows along with other show guest appearances. Henson noted “our material does hav ea certain similarity” as characters still brlw up and dance to songs.

The Muppets co-hosted for a week on “The Mike Douglas Show” in 1966.

The Ideal Toy Company made Kermit and Rowl puppets. In a TV commercial for the puppets, a Kermit puppet advertised “buy us...(or) we’ll bite you in the leg.”

Henson saw his Muppets as tools that could be taken apart and used as needed. Unneeded Muppets were put into his children’s toy boxes. Eventually one of these toys would be salvaged and is now in the Smithsonian Institution.

Henson pitched TV show ideas “Moki” about an adrogynous man mistaken for a woman and for “Inside My Head” which showed montages of brain functions, and two Muppets themed shows, “Adventures of the Snerf-Proof from Planet Snee” and “Johnny Carson and the Muppet Machine”. None of these ideas sold in 1967.

NBC, though, had a TV series “Experiment in Television” for experimental film. They liked Henson’s “A Collage of Today”. NBC gave a $100,000 budget and produced “Youth 68: Everything in Changing, Or Maybe It Isn’t.”

It required 20 hour work days for two months. The program ended with a long haired young man declaring “Nothing will be changed. The people who watch a broadcast like this aren’t going to learn anything.”

The Muppet Inc. moved to two floors at 237bE. 67th St. The offices were renamed Henson Associate with amusingly amed divison HUM! (Henson Universal Music), HIT! (Henson International TV), HE! (Henson Entertainment), and HO! (Henson Organization).

In 1968, Henson aired “The Cube” on NBC, another experimental show. It was about a man trapped in a cube he learns he is on a TV show.

The Children’s Television Workshop (TCW) sought to create a school that would educate children, especially inner city poor children. Educational TV so far had been class lectures. Children’s TV had been entertaining but not very educational. The CTW sought a TV show with slapstick humor, avant garde videos, and would teach children. Jim Henson was approached. His first reaction was of disinterest as he did not see himself as a children’s puppeteer. He was offered creative avenues more than puppets including short teaching films. This got Henson’s attention. He was intrigued with creating “educational commercials” eight seconds long that would repeat two to three times hourly teaching about letters, numbers, body parts, etc.

Henson agreed to have Muppets on the show yet insisted on retaining character ownership. This caused some concern among the CTW attorneys. It was agreed they would share profits from seeling any Muppet-related items from the show.

Henson billed CTW $40,000 for the first batch of films, even though they cost more than that to make. He did not want to bill them for overages above their initial agreement.

Henson created the Muppet characters Bert and Ernie for “Sesame Street”. Big Bird was created to represent the awkwardness of childhood. Oscar was created as a grouch o the show would not be all sweetness.

Henson attended the 1969 Puppeteers of American annual conference. There he watched Puppeteer Carroll Spinney performing experimental interactive puppeteering and was impressed even though a spotlight ruined his animation. Henson tod Spinney I liked what you were trying to do”. Henson asked Spinney to join the Muppets. Spinney had been asked to talk with Henson four ear earlier. Spinney realized when Henson talked he meant to do it. This time, spinney responded he would do it. Spinney was inside the Big Bird costume.

“Sesame Street” began having already covered in Life magazine. It was a hit from the start,

The Muppets created a special “The Great Santa Clause Switch” with Art Carney. The script had been in progress for six years.

More people were hired as the Muppets expanded.

Some have wondered what educational lessons are taught by Muppets slapstick humor. Yet it got children watching the show.

A newspaper critical comment about Kermit caused Henson to keep Kermit off the show for almost a year. Herbert Birdsfoot filled the void but didn’t seem to work as well as Kermit. Kermit returned.

Monsters had long been a part of Muppets routines, often devouring other characters. A monster that would appeal to children, and not frighten them, was introduced as the Cookie Monster. A monster previously in the crowd, Grover, then stepped forward.

The show writers were often too idle. The Muppets would ad lib scenes with children.

In the second season, seven children watched “Sesame Street” in the U.S. It was shown in 50 countries, but not in Great Britain, where BBC labeled it “undemocratic and possibly dangerous.”

TV Guide estimated, accurately according to the author, that Henson Associates earned $350,000 in 1969, including about $25,0000 per commercia. Henson began devoting his energies to “Sesame Street” and vastly reduced his commercial work.

“Sesame Street” released records. The album won a Grammy for Henson singing as Ernie the song “Rubber Duckie”, which peaked at #16 on the hit list. Merchandising followed. Topper Toys earned over $5 milin selling “Sesame Street items.

The Muppets got their own TV show, “The Muppet Show”..A young executive Michael Eisner approved creating a pilot .

Henson estimated each show would require about $32,500 to create. It turned out each “Muppet Show” episode cost about $125,000. Eisner recommended approval of the show. “ A “Muppet Valentine Show” was shown on ABC to critical acclaims.

The Muppets made several appearance on the “Cher” show. The Cher” show producer raised the idea of CBS showing “The Muppets Show”. A pitch reel with Cher and Cher’s daughter Chastity was filmed with Muppets. CBS considered “The Muppet Show” for Sunday night but went with “60 Minutes”, a move that doomed “The Muppet Show” on CBS.

The Muppets were cast on a new show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). The Muppets sketch was critcially condemned for jokes that didn’t work. Henson was upset that he had no script input as only SNL writers were allowed to write the skits. Write Alan Zweibel claimed wirters didn’t want to write the Muppets skits. Actor John Belushi referred to them as the “mucking Fuppets”.

“The Muppet Show” was accepted by Lord Lew Grade for his ITC/ATV produciton company for prime time syndication. At a time when most TV shows cost $80,000 per episode to produce, Henson was given $125,000 per episode. “Saturday Night Live” let The Muppets out of their SNL contract.

“The Muppets Show” became very successful in England. Two years later, they became a hit in the U.S. They then became a global hit.

“The Muppet Show” ran for five years. There would be three shows in soe stage of production including post production at most any one time.

The show placed character and visual interactions over jokes.

Meanwhile, the Muppets won two Emmys for their “Sesame Street‘“ work.

“The Muppet Show” began in the US. on five statons in 1975, and nearly162 stations in 1976.

The American Guild of Variety Artists named the Muppets as Entertainer of the Year.

Henson looked towards amking movies. Lord Lew Grade was agreeable to financing the movie. Henson asked for $8 million at at time when Disney films average $1 million. Henson didn’ tell Grande he had two movies in mind.

Frank Oz received more responsibility. He wasn’t a writer yet he would meet with the writers and would let them know what wasn’t working. Oz was given a Creative Consultant credit.

“The Muppet Movie” had a finale with 250 Muppets. 150 puppeteers were hired, including Tim Burton and director John Landis.

“The Muppet Movie” was released in 1979. It grossed $65 million in its first release.

“The Muppet Show” had 235 million viewers worldwide.

Henson wanted to d a non-Muppet movie. Lord Grade wanted to have another Muppets movie while their popularity remained strong.

For the movie “The Great Muppet Caper”, Muppets rode bicycles on radio controlled bicycles with some held together with rods so they could stand up together.

It took 20 weeks to film “The Great Muppet Caper”.

A scene in a hot air balloon was filmed using characters in one hot air balloon 1,000 feet in the air with remote control oerators in one helicopter and a camera operate held onto the bottom of another helicopter. The scene took a week to film.

Muppets Inc. developed a TV show “Fraggle Rock”. This show was carefully planned. HBO accepted it.

Henson began filming a movie “The Dark Crystal” which Henson had been working on for several years. Henson had the lead role and directed. Filming took almost six months while there was also filming for “Sesame Street”.

A corporate raider Robert Holmes a Cort took over Associated Communications and fored Lord Grade out. Holmes a Court was not a filmmaker. Henson wanted to move “Dark Crystal” away from Holmes a Court. “Dark Crystal” had most of what was created for it turned into “Fraggle Rock”.

“Fraggle Rock” began on HBO in 1983. It was a critical success. It lasted five years. It was seen in 90 countries, including the Soviet Union, making it the first Western TV series shown there. “The Muppet Show” was later added to Soviet broadcasting.

Henson bought back “The Dark Crystal” paying Holmes a Court $15 million. Universal released it in 1982. It opened to mixed critical acclaim. It grossed $40 million over its initial nine week run.

Henson began working on the next Muppets movie, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”. It began filming in 1983. The movie had Muppet Babies, which also led to profitable marketing. It grossed $25 million on $8 million costs.

Marvel Productions approached Henson about having a “Muppet Babies” animated children’s show. Henson wanted the show to “have a nice reason for being”. He noted “Fraggle Rock” was meant to promote “harmony and understanding”. “Muppets Baby” was designed to promote creativity.

CBS paid $250,000 per hour for the first 13 episodes of “Muppets Babies”. It led its Saturday morning time slot and did well in ratings running second behind “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and won an Enny for Outstanding Animated Program in each of its first four years. The show lasted seven years.

Kermit becae spokesfrog for the National Wildlife Federation.

Holmes a Court still owned the first two Muppets movie, all 120 “The Muppet Show” episodes, and 10% of Muppet merchandising net income. Henson bought his Muppet property away from Holmes a Court for $6.5 million. This proved to be a wise decision by Henson.

Henson began working on the movie “Labyrinth” with Executive Producer George Lucas. Maurice Sendak sent a cease production legal request as he thought the ployt of “Labyrinth” appeared close to his book “Outside Over There”. Henson was hurt by his friend’s actions and Henson renamed “wild things”, a term Sendak used, as “fiireys” and gave Sendak an acknowledgement in the credits,

“Labryinth” cost $25 million o film. It grossed $12 million.

Henson next produced a one hour TV special “The Tale of the Bunny Picnic” for HBO and BBC.

Henson created a TV pilo “The Storyteller” which cost $943,000 for a 30 minute show.

NBC agreed to broadcast “The Jim Henson Hour” in 1989 yet with major format revisions. NBC wanted a mixture of skits, Muppets, and “Storytellers”. Henson began working on the new show for NBC a year before it aired. It was shown on Friday nights, a low viewership night. Some critics liked the “Storyteller” part yet not the rest of the show. This was the first time The Muppets were not the hit part of one of their productions. It was cancelled after a few months.

Henson realized he was spending an increasing amount of his time on the business end of obtaining funds, signing distributors, etc. Henson decided to sell to Disney. He sold it for $150 million. The “Sesame Street” characters were not included. Henson Associates changed its name to Jim Henson Productions to sound more like a movie produciton company. It had 150 employees.

Henson produced a 3-D Muppet movie for Disney theme parks, “Muppet Vision 3D”.

The sale to Disney meant Bernie Brillstein no longer could represent him. Henson gave Brillstein $10 million and pledged to pay him $500000 to continue serving as his personal advisor.

Henson, for the first time ever, called in sick one day. He had pneumonia with a rare infection, He was later hospitalized yet died a few hours later.

Negotiations with Disney continued years after Henson’s death. Disney bought The Muppets. Jim Henson Company kept the Creature Shop, which created the “Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles” characters, “Fraggle Rock”, “Labryinth”, and “The Dark Crystal”.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Elinor Glyn System of Writing by Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn. The Elinor Glyn System of Writing - Bppl I. Redditch, Worcestershire, England: Read Books Ltd, 2011. (originally published in 1922)

Glyn was a screenwriter (then referred to as a photoplay writer beginning in 1920. She created the term “It”, designating a person who has an appeal of “animal magnetism”.

The author wrote then that “anyone, anywhere is welcome in the profession” of writing movies. She foresaw, before the invention of Internet accessible writing such as blogs, there would be a time when there will be millions of writers.

One need not be a genius to write prose, she argued. It is quite possible to learn photoplay principles which were then the forbearers of screenwriting principles). Everyone has a story and a movie story inside them, which is a fact D.W. Griffith proclaimed.

Glym predicted that “stories of the West will always be popular.

The movie industry then had created thousands of photoplay writers.

A writer, Glyn wrote, observes what is around, absorbs it, and writes. One doesn’t have to go to college to become a writer.

The author advises writers to write about that which is most meaningful to the writer. What is written should be something that is natural to write. An observant writer draws from past observations. A writer should present writings from the writer’s own unique perspective. Details may relate information about true meanings. Glyn advised that the simplest ideas often are the best.

It is important to have a good and understandable plot. The author should add a unique inventiveness to the plot.

One must write from one’s imagination of things the author knows or has experienced, Glyn argued. Otherwise, it may come across as unreal.

Writings should be original and not contrived.

An exercise Glyn recommended was, after viewing a movie, to consider different climatical endings.

A character should be developed with sympathy and written reacting with emotions.

Glyn advised writing a character who calmly approaches subjects without bias. The character should not have prejudice.

Glyn advised writing with a sense of humor.

A story must have a theme. Themes are sometimes about life’s problems. The theme relates the story to a foundation of an idea.

Stories require characters, incidences, settings, emotions, and ideas.

A story is told from a  point of view. It could be from a character’s view, an observer’s view, or a combination of these.

There should be captivating characters. They should appeal to the audience. They should have multiple traits. The characters that are most appreciated are typical and strong. A writer should decide what a character is like in behavior, appearance, and speech. The interactions among characters is important. the audience should feel sympathy for the characters.

A plot should result from q natural progression of situations. The plot entails the Preliminary Situation, the Climax or Culmination, and the Conclusion or Denouement.

There should be suspense in the plot. It should create curiosity. There should be a calm before the climax. Consider ways to intensity the conflicts and create some humor i conclusions.

Elinor Glyn, The Elinor Glyn System of Writing - Book II. New York: The Author’s Press, 1922,

A strong should have a strong, dominant beginning. Do not keep an audience bored and waiting. Maintain interest throughout the story. The story should conclude logically, clearly, and in an entertaining manner.

Glyn argued against moralizing in the conclusion. The conclusion should settle the theme’s end or terminate from the climax.

Characters must be clearly identified in good dialogue. The dialogue shows their moods. the dialogue should only be such for further developing the story, Dalogue is not like real talk.

There should be a proper setting. The settings influence incidences and how characters act.

The style should fit the story. A story should have a clear appeal to the audience’s senses, have emotions, and create beauty within people’s minds.

There should be unity in a story’s tie, place, and actions. The story should create a unity of impression with a harmonious tone. It should create enthusiasm. Expectations should be met, such that romances should not become tragic and melancholy stories should not become joyous. There should be a unity of impression.

A title should be short yet compelling. Avoid using names as titles, as names are not interesting. A title should infer a story’s tone.

A mystery story should present puzzles, maintain suspense, provide hints, and have a clever villain.

The writer should write what the writer intends and means to say. Things unimportant or redundant to the story should be removed.

Photoplay is showing a story in pictures, rather than words. Only actors performing are presented (in the silent films of that era). There must be action.

The viewer looks for gestures, facial expressions, and other actions in viewing a silent film.

Photoplay writing requires that characters act.

A photoplay needs a plot. A photoplay needs a Synopsis presenting a story, a Cast of Characters a Scene-Plot so the Producer knows how many sets are required, and a Scenario. A photoplay writer, in that era, should not have written a continuity in a manuscript submission to an editor.

The plot must depict opposition. It could be characters opposing each other, or a characters against nature or society or temptation. There must bve clearly defined struggles. The plot should present a simplification from life It should have a unified structure.

A photoplay / screenwriting, Glyn recommends, should keep audiences satisfied by letting the audience know what is going to happen next Audiences want understandable, orderly stories, she argued.

A plot should be interesting and suspenseful. The needs to be some complications in the plot. That complication should build to a climax.

A plot should have a beginning, with a complication, a middle with more complications or a major knot, and an end with an explication that unties the knot.

A photoplay should begin naturally but some something interesting. The climax should make an audience breathless in anticipation. The end often occurs shortly after the climax. An audience must feel satisfied that the ending shows what happened to the characters and what it happened. It should be a natural ending.

There must be unity and consistency in a photoplay. The audience must know where the story is leading them. A predicament must create suspense. A solution to the predicament must be shown.

A plot must be strong, Glyn stated. 99% of manuscripts fail due to lacking a good plot. Real life is not always good for plots. A strong story often arises from unordinary events. Yet the unordinary must feel like a true event.

A synopses is important in a photoplay. This, rather than continuity, is what is submitted.

Elinor Glyn. The Elinor Glyn System of Writing - Book III. Auburn, N.Y.: The Authors’ Press, 1922.

Continuity, also known as the Scenario, in movies then, was controlled by the Director. Continuity included the action that was shown on the screen.

In movies earlier than then, writers wrote the scenarios. Producers found that writers often were better at writing either plots and creating characters or that they were better at building plots in synopsis continuity form. Thus, there were often two classes of photoplay writers: 1.) those who wrote plots and ideas and 2.) those who developed the plot into continuity as it would appear on film.

Most big studios had a Scenario Department, as well as departments for Art, Architecture, Electrical, Research, etc.

Producers handled mostly the business side of producing films.

The Scenario Department searched for ideas it could use. Authors were paid for ideas that were bought. Two or three continuity writers would then write what actions would appear on film. Continuity writers also determined camera angles and when to use a long shot or close up shot.

Continuity writers often added their own ideas for what should be shown. Their script would be presented to the Board of the Scenario Department. The Board would then present the script to the Director. The Production Department would usually select two actors and the Director selected the rest of the cast. The cast, Director, and Production Manager would determine the sets and gives the studio set instructions to the Architectural Department. Some other scenes were filmed on location, which were handled by the Location Department.

The Art Director obtained furnishings from the studio store or hired from large emporiums that served studios. A Wardrobe Department created the wardrobes.

Movies then took from three weeks to two months to be photographed. The Cutting Department found the most usable film. The Director picked which film was used in the movie. The Titling Department wrote titles. The Board of Censors reviewed the film.

A continuity writer had to visualize what would be seen in the film. This writer wrote what the characters were to do.

Glyn advised presenting characters as soon into the movie as possible, They should initially remain on film long enough so the audience would become familiar with them.

Glyn advised against presenting too many preliminaries. This bores audiences. She advised beginning with action. The plot should begin during the first scene.

The action should easily progress along each scene. Everything characters do should move the story’s action, reveal motives, or show their inner nature. There should be a logical flow. The action should not be too rapid or jumpy.

Sub-titles were used for showing either spoken dialogue or showing descriptions or explanations. Sub-titles take action away from the movie. It was advised they be used sparingly They also should be able to be read quickly. It was advised they at most have 15 or 20 words.

It was advised against stating something in a sub-title and then showing it. Never use a sub-title when it can be shown.

Sub-titles should be as short as possible while being instructive. They should not be vague.

Sub-titles were advised to not use monotonous exposition such as “the next day”, “two years later”, etc.

Sub-titles brought conversation to a silent movie. Superflous titles, it was advised, should be avoided.

It was once the belief that movies should present the entire figures of characters on the screen, D.W. Griffith demonstrated that details can be interested, He used Close-up Shots.

A Fade-Out and Fade-In indicates a time lapse. A Dissolve-Out and Dissolve-In is similar except the scene ends and then a scene appears with a mist or haze in-between. This is known as a Lap Dissolve.

Double Exposures were part of the movie photography then for special effects.

The Flash is a scene that appears briefly This is a device to speed the film’s action.

The Vision is used to show a character’s vision, perhaps while a character meditates. Double exposures accomplished this.

Reverse Action shows what was filmed backwards.

A Cut-Back interrupts a scene with another scene, This is used to create suspense, show a gap in action, or was used instead of using a sub-title.

The Board of Censorship then would not allow a crime to be shown. Cut-backs were used to show before and after a crime.

A character should be worth knowing. A writer should deeply love the character being written.

Some characters are found from direct observation, indirect knowledge, or from one’s imagination.

A character should evoke moral sympathy. The audience must sympathize with each character, even the antagonist.

A photoplay with too much sex was not then appropriate. Photoplays were not to delve into intellectual sciences and arts that would not appeal to many viewers. Characters should exist in a natural environment. Characters should be modern, as “yesterday is dead”.

Heroines had to be modern, They had to be sophisticated, wholesome, innocent yet not ignorant, have ideas, be independent, be active, not masculine, vivacious but not coarse, and have a sense of humor. It was noted that then earlier heroines were often blonde, angel-eyed, frail, fruitful, yet were also drab and lifeless.

A heroine then could flirt or kiss, but could not be a vamp. The flirting could not be deceptive. She could be animated but not silly, but should have had wholesome humor.

A heroine should not smoke. She should not be a prude, She may dance. She may wear powder and rouge, dress in respectable low necked gowns, and may bob her hair.

A heroine may be married. A common theme then was about women adjusting to marriage She should dress and retain her beauty as she would before marriage.

A married heroine creates conflict for a husband who wants others to admire his wife yet  not flirt with her. Many stories about these feelings were popular then.

Some photoplays dealt with women with children, for people realized then “that a mother can care for children properly and still maintain interest in other things.”

Write thinking of good characters. Do not write thinking of a particular actor who should play the part.

No hero should be of questionable character. an adulterer, or one who makes love to many unmarried women. A hero should have one woman and he would revere her. He should overcome obstacles to obtain his love. A hero should have some faults, yet not ones that would keep him from being held in high esteem.

A hero should be admired, sincere, and not conceited.

Most photoplays have 5 to 18 characters. A varied cast is often best as the contracts create interest. A large cast may confused audiences.

Heroes and heroines should be young or in their prime ages, An extreme hero or villain usually doesn’t work. People have shades of good and bad. Characters should be realistic.

Setting, or Atmosphere, refers to the place, time, and conditions in which he move depicts. The setting affects how characters are chosen and behave. Glyn advised then against writing photoplays uncommon to American settings Distant, expensive setting s were then often rejected for cost reasons.

An audience generally likes beautiful, pleasing settings.

Settings mattered less in the then earlier movies as films were a novelty. Settings developed from previous cheaply made sets to more elaborate screen settings that then cost thousands of dollars.

Setting should emphasize emotions.

D.W. Griffith advised photoplay writers that “you do not know about the streets of Belgium in 191 or Fifth Avenue in 1820. You do know Main Street today. Write about it.”

Exterior settings con lift an audience’s spirit.

A movie’s title should attract public attention. Avoid titles that are too general, too depressing, or too revealing as to what happens.

The Photogply stage is what is viewed by a camera.

Photoplay writers would include lighting instructions. It was advised they avoid difficult lighting schemes.

Do not write scene that would create risk for an actor, Glyn advised.

Audiences like movies with a human element. There is a charming hero and a dislikable hero in what Glyn advised movies should be. There is laughter and crying.

David Wark Griffith noted the simplest story resonates. A boy and a girl falling in loe has appeal, Glyn observed that “two shall look and tremble; afterwards, nations follow.” People love a good love story.

Popular problems have public appeal, such as marriage problems and everyday d difficulties. Misunderstandings between two people who love each other can create good stories. Photoplays about ambitions, desires, and dashed expectations often work, Glyn advised.

Glyn noted that movie audiences prefer American stories than foreign stories, such as “Les Miserables.

Write about familiar subjects. Research when writing about topics you don’t know.

Avoid writing about commonplace themes that viewers have already seen.

Avoid writing the grotesque.

Do not make the villain appear too sympathetic.

A movie should have a happy ending. there can be any element of tragedy in the plot. Yet the characters must find happiness at the end.

A Picturesque Element, such as a beautiful background, is importnat even as it is of secondary importance.

The mind considerably slows after 30 minutes of explanatory details Movies should not have long speeches Move should depict action.

A photoplay submission was advised as being a clear story of 500 words or less.

Close-ups of more than two people are impossible, Glyn advised then Do not have too many characters in a scene.

A mob scene works only if the audience knows a character in the mob.

Photoplays must show action. Keep action moving rapidly.

A character could die, yet this depressed audiences. Glyn advised against having too many characters die.

Stories about working women are often interesting.

Comic relief adds to movies.

Characters should be natural.

Some directors advise that scenes should contrast from the previous scene. This creates an emotional audience.

A writer should write what the market determines.

Glyn then advised: Do not writ movies that would be expensive to produce. Avoid writing about children and animals. Avoid stories requiring expensive costumes. It was required they write stories that would approved by the National Board of Censorship, A movie about crimes depicting a repulsive crime or had a horrid murder could not be then shown.

Among other things that could not be shown were a presentation of a unique manner to create a crime, anything that featured suicide, showed theft (a burglar could break in that it could not be shown the burglar stealing anything), was vulgar or suggestive, involved mischievous joking on the young or invalid, involved property destruction, showed lynching (unless in a Western), showed deadly weapons except in historical contexts, or showed kidnapping.

 A movie could not be suggestive, bt then only when proper. Glyn observed “a woman might unnecessarily reveal more of her ankle then not customary, and make the scene objectionable.”

Avoid depressing subjects such as having too much death.

A photoplay could not then afford a political or religious view. A photoplay could not favor socialism. Glyn advised “if you write a political theme, politics should not predominate.”

As for race, Glyn advised “it is permissible to make light humor of certain racial characteristics, but, if you do this, you must be careful to make audienes laugh with the characters and not at them.”

Do not be too obvious in stories, Avoid hackneyed theme, Avoid such plots, Glyn advised, as a child stolen by gypsies and returned to parents by a ridiculous method, a child who keeps parents from separating or who brings them back together after separating, a woman choosing between two men who creates a task where one cheats and she marries the other, a rich crippled child and a healthy poor child get together, a husband jealous or an in-law who grew up in South America, a vengeful discharged employee who is hired back for doing something heroic, a couple in love who discover they are brother and sister, a marriage met with disapproval that become approved when they have a baby, a young boy who is mischievous, a burglar who is thwarted by his own child now living there as an adopted child, a convict escapee who steals clothes and gets the man whose clothes were stolen into trouble, someone who pretends to be a hero when someone else wa the hero in order to love a friendless person at Christmas or Thanksgiving, a man winning the love of the boss’s daughter by gaining favor at work against a scheming foreman or parter, or a man who falls in love with the daughter of a man he arrested.

Also to be avoided, Glyn advised, as movie about labor problems, that require trick photography, have uncommon influences, or involved a pair of baby shoes. She also advised avoiding Bible stories as well as stories about sex, drugs, and alcohol which, while had been been dealt with then in the past were then no longer subjects filmed.

Elinor Glyn, The Elinor Glyn System of Writing - Book IV. Auburn, N.Y.: The Authors’ Press, 1922.

This book presented examples of photoplays with comments

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Silent Movies by Peter Kobel

Peter Knobel and the Library of Congress.Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of the Movie Culture. New York: Little Brown and Co.2007.

Silent films were designed to be seen with lie music. Live music is better than teater sound systems. Silent film viewing was a pleasure that many of today’s audiences fail to recognize.

The Library of Congress is working to preserve many silent films so they may continue being enjoyed,

Kevin Browlow observes there were many bad silent movies. Many of the bad ones wre cheaply produced and designed for audiences paying lower admission prices. Many of those today are found distributed under the Aywon, Mastodon, and Chesterfield labels.

Brownlow also believes D.W. Griffith has been overly criticized for the racism depicted in his film “The Birth of Nation”. Brownlow observes Griffin toned down the racism of the original play and novels. While “The Birth of a Nation” glamorized the Ku Klux Klan, Griffin also directed “Rose of Kentucky” which made the Ku Klux Klan villains. Griffin, despite his statements against reform movements, directed two films advancing social reforms, namely “Intolerance” which was critical of people who hates others due to their religion or being labor strikers, and “Broken Blossom” which presented prejudice against Chinese immigrants.

Many greats of the silent era were not educated yet had the intelligence to produce popular and great films. This included D.W. Griffin, Charlie Chaplin, Mack Sennett, Great Garbo, and Buster Keaton.

The silent films looked better when originally released than they do now with aged film quality. They were shot at various speeds. Shown today the speeds are often off a bit. The films may appear jerky today yet that jerkiness was not originally there.

Eadweard Muybridge developed motion series photography using multiple cameras in the 1870s. Some of his series were of nude women where he used hired prostitutes. Etienna-Jules Marcy in 1882 developed the Chronophotographic Can camera that can take a serioes of photographs. William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson headed a team that developed the Kinetoscope. Thomas Edison presented the Kinetoscpoe to the public in 1891 where moving pictures were viewed through peepholes.

August and Louis Lumiere on March 22, 1885 showed 800 colored slides projected over a minute’s time in a film “Leaving the Lumire Factory.” The first showing led to requests for more showing,

The first film shown in New York was shown on April 21, 1895 by Otway and Gary Latham. It was shown on a Panoptikon.

The Latham brothers had the public public exhibition where people paid to see a film on May 20, 1895 at 156 Broadway.

Thomas Edison threatened a law suit claiming he had the film technology prior to others with his Kinetoscope. Edison started showing films on April 23, 1896 at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall located at 34th and Broadway (now Macy’s).

The Edison Kinetoscope lasted about 20 seconds. Projected film then moved the business away from the Kinetoscope. Long feature films beame popular in 1900.

Max Skladanowsy opened the first European film theater that charged admission in Berlin, Germany beginning May 20, 1895.

Silent films grew in length and began telling stories. “The Great Train Robbery” was one of the earliest popular films.

D.W. Griffith moved camera and filmed from various perspective. These techniques had been uses by previous director yet it was Griffin that popularized these techniques.

Eastman Kodak agreed in 1908 to sell celluloid stock film in the U.S. only to the “Trust”, known as the Motion Picture Patents Co. (MPPC) consisting of Edison, Viagraph, Biograph, Essanay, Lubin, Kalm, Selig Polyscope, Star Film, Pathe-Freres,and Kleine Optical. The “Trust” dominaed the film industry. Only licensed distributors could lease Trust films and only then to licensed exhibitors who could only show Trust films. The licensed produced millions of dollars which went mostly to Edison and Biograh. This kept many foreign films, except those which were branches of foreign films in the Trust (Star Film, Pathe-Freres, and Klein Optical, which were French companies).

A group of independent film producers headed by Carl Laemmle resisted the Trust by forming the Independent Motion Picture Company in 1909. It included the Nestor Company, New York Motion Picture Corp. and the Centaur Film Manufacturing Co. This group created the Independent Film Protective Association, a trade organization, and in 1910 formed a stronger group, the Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Co.

The U.S. Justice Department filed restraint of trade legal action against the MPC. This weakened it until it legally dissolved in 1918.

Filming initially was mostly in New York and New Jersey and to a lesser degree Chicago and Philadelphia. Jacksonville, Florida sprang as a film center due to better lighting. Some non-Trust companies, subjected to violence from the Trust, moved to create distance from the Trust to California. Trust companies moved there as well. 60% of films were filmed in Southern California in 1915.

Scandal hit the film industry. Arthur Roscoe “Fanny” Arbuckle was arrested charged with manslaughter and rape. His first two trials ended in hung juries and he was acquitted in his third trial. Yet his film career was over.

William Desmond Taylor, a director, was murdered in 1922. His murder was unsolved. Yet two actressed he had dated. Mabel Normand and Mary Miles Minter, found their film careers were finished.

Wallace Reid’s morphine addiction became public. red died in a sanatorium.

The film industry faced declining audiences and possible government censorship. The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America formed in 1922 to regulate from within the industry. It was led by Will Hayes, who had earlier led President Warren Harding’s successful Presidential election campaign. Hays was expected to be an effective lobbyist with government officials.

Hays created 13 guidelines for films to voluntarily follow. There were 11 subjects to never present and 26 subjects to show with caution. For example, vice could be shown but only if was then shown as being actions that were later punished.

There were some local government film regulations, with Chicago creating a licensing board in 1907 followed by Pennsylvania in 1911 and Ohio in 1913.

Numerous genres of films developed. Max Linder was an early comedy star. Mack Sennett and Hal Roach were early comedy film creators. Sennett found Charlie Chaplin who became very popular. Comedies featured mostly male comics.

Westerns were popular and actually sometimes current events in some cases. G.M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson was among the original Western film stars.

Horror / science fiction films were popular. Lon Chaney was an early star of this genre.

Documentaries found audience success.

Film serials gained audience attention and brought them to return visits to theaters to see new episodes.

Animation was first made popular by J. Stuart Blackton in 1906.

Epics wowed audiences and were first successfully produced by D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMill.

 Experimental films arose with avant-garde producers.

Many early films used well known writings in the public domain that could be filmed without paying royalties. Anita Loos was an early influential scenarist. She submitted it by mail and was paid $25. She sold her first film a age 12.

In 1914, writers were paid $50 per reel. Early screenwriting books were “The Photoplay Synthesis” by A. Van Buren Powell and “The Elinor Glyn System of Writing” by Elinor Glyn.

Set design in some early films resembled stage set designs. Constructed sets then gained favor William Buckland was an early supervising art director. Early notable art directors were William Cameron Menzies and Cedric Gibbons.

Cinematography was an important element to films. The Pathe camera was used in 60% of fims before 1918. Pathe cameras were hand cranked. Bell and Howell developed a motorized camera yet film companies preferred hand cranking. G.W. “Billy” Bitzer was a famous camera operated who worked with D.W. Griffith. It was Bitzer who first observed that reflected light improved the look of faces and took away shadows.

Early acting stars included Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, John Gilbert, Blanche Sweet, Greta Garbo, Baby Peggy (Margaret Montgomery), John Barrymore, Richard Barthelmess, Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, Janet Gaynor, Lillian Gish, Sessue Hayakawa, Emil Jennings, Colleen Moore, Ivan Mossoukke, Pola Negri, Asta Nielsen, Charles Ray, Rin-Tin-Tin, Gloria Swanson, Norma Talmadge, Rudolph Valentino, and Conrad Veidt.

Early film actors were not identified as film companies did not want them to become famous and then demand higher pay. Then film companies began promoting their stars. Many promotions were untruthful but anything that brought news was considered positive promotions. Some film companies spread false death news of stars. Irving Asher, Warner Brother’s first press person admits “Anything I wrote and sent to the papers, they’d print...90% of it was manufactured.”

Film criticism emerged. Robert F. Sherwood was an early noted and respected critic.

Oscar Michener was a noted African American film producer, writer, and distributor. His Michener Pictures first filmed Paul Robeson.

Thomas Ince was an early famous director. He was more popular in Europe. Other notable earlly directors besides D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille include Maurince Tourneur, Lois Weber, Erich Von Stroheim, and Joseph Von Sternberg.

Foreign films gained prominence. The world’s largest film distributors before World War I were France’s Pathe and Denmark’s Nordisk. Sweden offered several successful films. The German film industry developed during World War I with propaganda films and grew afterwards. The war hurt French film companies as the U.S. grew in their place. French film companies rebounded in the 1920s. The Soviet Union produced films to advance their causes for collectivism. As the U.S. film industry grew, many European film personnel moved to the U.S.

There were some silent films in color. The celluloids were hand painted.

The Tao of Comedy by Bobbie Oliver

Bobbie Oliver. The Tao of Comedy: Embrace the Pause, CreateSpace, 2013.

This book explores, according to the author, how comedy comes from inside oneself. It also comes with responsibility. For instance, comedy should not be used to bully someone.

Comedy often involves moving deep inner emotions into a presentations that thrills an audience.

Many comics need to overcome their fear of public speaking. Comics are advised to accept this rear and go ahead and perform anyway without finding ways to overcome fear By performing is how ones learns to perform, fear and all.

Comics will fail. It happens, Oliver writers. Comics will learn life goes on. Those comics that continue doing what they what, even after failing, learn there are more opportunities to continue working at a craft. One gets better and should find more success. Experience is important.

The author urges comics to face the world they have to live within it. One learns to adjust for fears and obstacles. Oliver recommends meditating before performing.

Always carry a pen or a device that should work if technological devices fails. The author encourages writing down ideas for jokes, acts, etc.

The author advises comics should write from their lives and observation. Comics should collect knowledge and develop material for what one knows.

The author recommends video recording oneself and watching how one performs.

The author advices having notes onstage when performing standup comedy. The brain relaxes knowing the notes are available in case of forgetfulness, which allows he brain to not focus on this worry, which makes it less likely one will forget. If one needs to look at the notes, that is usually fine. Audiences will generally prefer that to someone standing silently.

Don’t ever steal jokes.

One should discover one’s persona to learn one’’s true self. Comics develop their own comedic voices. Avoid relying on showing oneself as a stereotype. A persona may change over time.

To overcome writers; block, the author advises just writing anything, then meditate, and then stimulate one’s nid which can be searching for news and information. The author states “creativity is tied to the spiritual being underneath our human shell/” It can be encouraged but not foreseen. Edit what is written. Consider how it sound to an audience.

The author makes an important observation that humor often comes frpom presenting something that is counter to how others normally perceive it.

If a joke doesn’t work, check it is may still work with a difference delivery or if rewritten.                            

The author believes “comedy is felt”. It is difficult to explain A common type of joke involves creating a “set up” followed by a “punch”. Some jokes follow the punch with a “second punch” or “first tag”.

A one liner joke is really a joke with two lines.

A story does not have specific requirements yet should be edited to hold one’s interest and should concentrate on getting as many laughs as quickly as possible. How the story is delivered is crucial.

Comedy often uses surprise which usually first requires a misdirection.

There is a “rule of threes” hat any jokes list things should have three things on the list. The item’s should be about the same length.

Comedy sometimes involves juxtaposition of things that usually aren’t compatible

Do not continue talking, if a comic, after delivering the punch line.

A comic should use a specific reference instead of a pronoun so audience clearly understand who is being referred.

A reference to a previous joke can create a pattern of recognition that creates humor.

Comics are advised to not add unnecessary words to a joke.

The introduction of something interest in a joke should lead to some payoff. Otherwise, don’t bring it up.

In a joke, the set up equals the punch so there should be a related to balance to each.

A joke should provide enough information so it is understood, Yet unnecessary words should not be used. Sometimes, though, an extra work can improve a joke’s rhythm.

A callback is when a joke refers to a previous joke. The device should not be overused.

A comic should not tipoff in advance that a punch is coming. It is much more effective to use the element of surprise.

It is recommended that usually a comic could end a set with the best joke. The final joke should last about 30 to 40 seconds. This is because comedy clubs flash a one minute warning light. When the light comes on, a comic is often in the midst of a joke. The comic should finish that joke and close with the best joke.

It is often advised for a comic to start an act with the second best joke.

A comic must appear to be in charge and keep control of an audience. Stand up comedy is a dialogue between the comic and the audience. If a comic is nervous, the comic should fake being confident. Comics are advised to look up towards the audience, speak in order to be heard, and to not fidget. A comic should stand in a powerful pose, as this helps build confidence.

The author recommends a trick for comics to immediately win an audience: The comic should ask the audience to clap for the master of ceremonies. This places the audience into the mindset of following what the comic advises, especially since it is something the audience agrees to do.

A comic should appear likable to an audience by smiling at them and exuding energy.

A comic is advised to speak in a conversational mode, to enunciate, and use appropriate expressions and body movements. The delivery should not be in a monotone. A comic should not speak too rapidly. The voice should be differentiated to add to jokes. Humor can be amplified with proper vocal infections, by down inflecting on the joke. After a joke, the comic should pause.

The author advises comics to “embrace the pause”. The pause is the audience’s time to laugh and that time belongs to the audience. It gives the audience time to process the joke and react to it and gives them time to laugh. A comic should not take this time away from the audience.

When heckled, it may be best to first let the heckler gain the audience’s disrespect. Attacking a heckler too soon may make the comic appear mean. This could make the audience lose respect for the comic.

A booker is a person who hires comics for clubs.

Some Los Angeles clubs do not pay and may require a comic to bring at least five audience members who pay the admission price and purchase the drink minimum.

The Life and Times of Dan Haggerty by Terry Bomar

Terry Bomar. The Life and Times of Dan Haggerty. The Man Who Made Grizzly Adams Famous. “The Preacher, the Pirate, and the Pagan”. New Life, 2013.

The TV show “Grizzly Adams” was inspired by James Cappen “Grizzly” Adams who lived in the 19th century. The TV show was so popular that actor Dan Haggerty was the third more recognizable American, even more recognizable than President Jimmy Carter.

Haggerty appeared in “Marlboro Man” commercials and Western movies. He was imprisoned seven years for counterfeiting and admits was was involved in loan sharking, violent enforcer for a motorcycle gang, grand larceny, grand theft, and drugs. His life would change as an actor. He would appear in a Christian faith film “The Book of Ruth” after “Grizzly Adams”.

In the Leon's Den by Valerie Leon

Valerie Leon. In the Leon’s Den: A Celebration in Pictures. (no publication information listed)

Valerie Leon went into acting by responding to a trade ad and winning the listed audition. Her agent later stressed her physical beauty and 6 feet height for appropriate roles. She did a series of “Hai Karate” commercials from 1969 through 1975 and well as numerous movies and TV shows through 2001. She began in comedies and then horror movies before moving to James Bond movies and then back to comedy in a Pink Panther movie.

She witnessed the difficulties of filming “Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb” when actor Peter Cushing was replaced by Andrew Keir due to Cushing’s wife’s serious illness. The film’s director Seth Holt suffered from uncontrollable hiccups and then had a heart attack and died. Even though she viewed Holt as a mentor she was disallowed from attending the funeral as the movie was trying to catch up on delays filming.

Valerie Leon left acting to raise a family. She finds she hears from more fans now as her films continue to resonate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Christmas TV Companion by Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson. The Christmas TV Companion: A Guide to Cult Classics, Strange Specials, and Outrageous Oddities. Akron, OH.: 701 Press, 2010.

Christmas TV shows have their own “cult like status”. Being seasonal, they generally air only during part of the year. The holiday tends to increase emotions. Christmas specials watched in childhood are often revisited in adulthood. Christmas shows include those that are been scary / macabre, science fiction, musical varieties, and dark and quirky.

Macabre offerings include “Charles Dicken’s The Christmas Carol” narrated in 1949 by Vincent Price and “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”. The author finds “hidden gems” in “Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Science fiction themed shows include the aired only once “The Star Wars Holiday Special” to “Dr. Who” specials to “Santa Clause Conquers the Martians”.

TV variety specials include “The Judy Garland Show” shown in 1963 that featured her children including a 17 year old Liza. Garland appears distracted and flubs several lines while singing. Among shows noted includes “A Colbert Christmas” with Stephen Colbert. “Hidden gems” the author recommends are “The Hard Nut” interpretation of the Nutcracker.

Many animated Christmas satires exist. The 1997 “South Park” is the “most jaw-dropping” of them.

Dark Christmas films include “The Ref” and “Scrooged”. The author recommends “hidden gems” as “The Life of Brian” and The Night of the Hunter”.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Painting With Light by John Alton

John Alton. Painting with Light. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press, 2013 (originally printed in 1949)

A Bell and Howell Eyemo camera usus similar mm lens (24025) for wide angle shots, 28 mm for narrow range but less distorted shots, 30 mm for long shots with depth, 40 mm for long shots, 50 mm for an angle most resembling what the eye sees and using 75 mm, 80 mm, and 100 mm lens for close ups, portraits, and telephoto shots.

A Filter accentuates clouds, make blue skies darker, allows night time appear as day, and can emphasize landscape parts.

A Filoscope combines blue glass and green glass to indicate which filter appears best.

Diffusers are glass disks of varying grades that can create varying densities and colors.

An exposure meter indicates what is produced in laboratory development.

A lighting unit in known as a Reflector.

A camera can be mounted on a tripod, tied down and supported with a turnbuckle, placed on a dolly, set on a platform, or set on a beam or crane.

Tracking is moving a camera on a crane or dolly that is pulled back while inserted on a ball in a table top towards an entire set’s long shot. This has the problem that the dolly track can be seen in the film. An extra grip can pull back the section of the dolly track that would interfere with the shot, yet this has to be carefully done for safety purposes. Also, care must be taken that the extra grip does not get into this shot. Placing the camera on a receding track can solve this problem.

A Desty Crane uses four one dimensional parallel rails on the ceiling. A camera with a 360 degree horizontal pan and 180 degree vertical tilt is mounted so the camera may film in any direction at whatever speed is needed.

A Set Jack is a wheeled device that allows a wild wall set to be rapidly moved by hand.

A Gobo is a wooden screen which according to its height, cuts a portion of light from reaching a lens. A gobo painted black absorbs lights. A Folding Slider is two ten foot wooden black gobos. A Flag is a mounted gobo. An Overhead Solid Teaser is a large size black flag made of wood or black cloth.

A Target creates similar shadows. A three inch diameter target is a Dot. A target can be 9 inches in diameter. There are also Half Targets that are made of black cloth or black painted wood on metal frames. They may be used singly or doubly layered or triple layered.

A Scrim is a translucent flag used for softening, diffusing, or cutting light. An Open End Scrim lacks a frame and has an open end. A Chin Scrim is U shaped and used singly, doubly, or in triples to reduce light from white clothing (such as white shirt collars next to black clothing).

A Blade is a small flag used for a thin shadow.

A Clip is a tiny flag that is clamped onto a camera of reflector or matte box or something similar.

A Cookie is a flag with designs cut out to resemble certain shadows.

An Era is a flag with a round hole.

A Century Stand is a tripod that holds a flag. Someimes in use with an Adapter Clamp it will hold something else, such as a tree branch.

A Mirror is a reflecting glass used to create light on dark spaces such as tress and bushes.

A Tin illuminates between what a mirror does and what gold or silver reflectors do.

A Butterfly is a scrim on a frame with a net used to soften harsh sunlight.

A Cyclodrum projects light effects or shadows.

Arc Lights are used to simulate sunlight in black and white films.

The most powerful incandescent lamps are the Senior Solarspot and the Senior Spot. The Junior Solarspot and the Junior Spot are used for less illumination. For still less illumination, the Baby Solarspot and the Baby Keg Lite are used. Other kinds of lamps are the Dinky-Inkie (100 or 150 watt bulbs), the Midget (200 watt bulbs), the Single Broad (500 or 760 watt bulbs in a sheet metal reflector),the Cineite (500 or 1,000 watt bulbs in a domed reflector), and the Double Broad (two 1,000 watt bulbs).

The Swinging Keylights cast mobile shadows as it is moved.

A Boomlight is a Baby Key-Lite mounted onto a boom at 45 degrees horizontal. It is dangerous as a falling hazard.

A Streamlight is a combination of different types of lights that are hung and can be angled It is used mostly on small sets although several Streamlights can be used in larger sets.

A Pan lights the background.

A Gimmick is a globe used as a reflector.

A Photoflood increases interior lighting.

A Work Light is 100 or 200 watt lamp on a set.

A Keylight lights people. A Clotheslight lightens dark clothing. The Footlight comes from the camera’s direction. A Crosslight comes from across. A Toplight comes from above. A Cross Backlight or Kicker comes from the rear and is placed either high above or on the floor. A Backlight comes from behind. A Eyelight brightens people’s eyes. A Fill or Filler Light fills in deep shadows.

The Theory of Illumination is to know one light source make round object flat. A second light source, be it backlight, keyfiler, filler, or kicker, corrects that.

It is often advisable to film at an angle so one may see hte most surfaces on film.

A testlight determines the direction form which principal lighting will be best.

An exposure meter indicates overall illumination. Placing lights on both sides of a camera can illuminate everything.

A filler light reduces multiple shadows.

Depth can be presented by lighting the foreground while having a darkened background.

Extreme long shots can add production value if there are lots of things to show within the shot.

Depth is created by placing actors and props at different distances and using lighting and shadowing.

It is advised that partially seen backdrops should be off-white. Translite backings can illuminate from behind. Pans or Scoops from high above or on the floor illuminate background and are usually used with Duarcs or Broads set on the floor.

A Key is the type of movie. Different tpes of movies tend to have their own type of lighting For instance, musical comedies use high brilliant lightings.

Roughing It In refers to lighting background where actors do not appear.

Bluish light does not capture well on film. Inkies and Seniors create impressions of sunlights.

Y-1 Yellow Gelatin put in front of an Arc changes bluish light into reddish-yellow light similar to incandescent lighting. This makes all the lighting of a set a consistent color temperature.

It is advised to light side walls with highly placed back crosslight or with toplight or with forelight placed at heights different from camera heights. The foreground of sidewalks should use darker light than their backgrounds. Use cross backlighting on furniture. Place  Durac on each camera’s side for filler light.

Comedies usually involve actors with actions. All action must be lit well to be seen. The actors’ faces need to be the lightest spots during close-ups.

A stationary shot is quicker to light than a dolly or tracking shot.

A long shot should not have floor light so the entire set can be filmed. Close shots usually require floor lights. If shooting both, hang reflectors on ropes near the upper camera line.

Tragedy often has shadows, blacks, and highlights.

For shooting a scene at dawn, use Pns on the floor with several diffused broads or Duarcs. Interior scenes at dawn use well diffused reflectors set criss-crossed.

Lighting for sunrise is the same as lighting for dawn, yet with more Duarcs used. Interior lighting at sunrise has lighting from above, front-lighting, and removes diffusers from arcs that light through windows.

The lighting for each morning is similar to lighting as sunrise, yet shadows are now against the wall. This is done by raising the keylight’s density and adding more lamps or reducing diffusion to have more front-lights.

Lighting for a sunset is the same as lighting for a sunrise. If the sunrise or sunset has been shown, the lighting must be switch directions.

An evening dining room usually uses lighting above the set.

A shoot from the end of a dining room table at night uses keylights from above (from the right for actors on the left and from the left for actors on the right), a spotlight on the floor, and back or kicker hotter than the keylight. An actor at mid-distance will require more frontlight

Lighting a window shot uses an outside arc. It is advised to also use inkie light from the same direction for curtains and showing the sunlight enter. A crosslighting is sued inside at less intensity than outside.

Lighting a moonlit night is the same as lighting for day except without backing light and front filler.

To light a two actor show against a window, use two backlight arcs on the actors. This is in addition to lighting for one actor.

An inside shot showing lighting from outside by using shading or a tree branch and/us using a gauze. A broad is placed on the soft side. Low light on the key side might be necessary if there are heavy shadows. An inside kicker is used. Backlight is not used. Light the background to show an actor’s head; otherwise the background is kept dark or with shadows.

Interior or exterior shots light according to light sources.

Darkness, because it can’t be seen, creates mystery as to what is in the darkness.

Filming a person lighting a cigarette with not need additional lighting if the person is silhouetted in the foreground. A baby on dimmer will full light the face.

Filming a mysterious place uses some photoflood bulbs placed in desired locations.

When filming neon or electric lights, wetting the pavement creates reflections.

Night shots can appear mysterious by using Wratten number 23 and 56 filters on sumlit exteriors.

Lower the exposure meters settings when filming white buildings. White skies are difficult to film and will likely require photofloods.

A Lightning Machine is used to simulate lightning. Such machines are inkie bulbs that emit quick flashes for short distances. Inkies with projecting globes are used for longer distances, as would a salt water barrel with carbon bundlers with with poles that touch for controlled durations.

A campfire scene uses the campfire for light. Crosslight reflectors light the group of people around the campfire. Little frontlight is used for foreground people. Lighting the lower part of a black pained backdrop create a rising sun appearance.

Lighting a scene with a fireplace should have two low arcs before the fireplace placed on the floor facing the ceiling and two high arcs for the room’s floor. The fireplace should cast shadows when the fireplace is in the scene, so the lighting directions may need to be changed. This may depend on how much of the fireplace’s light is in he scene. A burning rag soaked in oil placed in front of an arc light will produce flames that give off shadows similar to a fireplace.

A scene using a candle flame can create a mood of mystery from the candlelight. An artifical candle with a carved-out side containing an arc can simulate candle flames. If a candlelight is not required for light in a heavily lit set, then real candles are fine.

Actors who are doubles are filmed in very low key and in direct background to hide their faces.

A low light that illuminates the face can  increase shadows that create a criminal appearance.

Prison scenes are not shot brightly. The outside light, symbolizing freedom, should be brighter and use Duarcs. Prison interiors use shadowless Duarcs. Night cell scenes use corridor lights, When the cell is dark moonlight is a strong blue light.

The author disagrees with others that believe an underlit negative does well presenting nighttime. There always has to be some light source from somewhere. Lights come from street lamps, residence windows, automobiles, commercial lights, etc. Do not underlight night exteriors.

Rain pipes are rigged to simulate rain. Rain must be captured with backlighting and frontlighting Shooting rain against a black background works. Shooting rain at night means there should be either diffused concentrated light or light reflected off white screens.

An interior scene with rain requires only a rain splattered window.

In filming summer moonlight scenes, front light in medium shots and close ups allows for showing facial expressions. An arc light simulates moonlight. Inkies simulate lights from stores.

Fog can be simulated using steam, dry ice, atomized Nujol, burned magnesium, smoke, fog filters, or a smoke bomb. Atomized Nujol is used the most. It reflects off actors’ faces quite well. Magnesium is less effective and doesn’t last as long, yet it is less expensive. Fog filters made of glass or white gauzelike material place din front of a lens with backlights simulates fog, yet it takes away depth.

Artificial fog absorbs and flattens light. A higher key is used at greater concentration. A strong frontlight helps in closeup shots. A wide angle lens is used to show more depth. It is advised to have the whole field of vision shown with backlights. Practical lights hsould be turned on.

Mirror scenes should not use cheaply made mirrors that distort. A white plate glass absorbs less light than cheaper green glass.

Shooting a mirror must avoid the camera having the camera, crew, and lights from appearing in the mirror A keylight is placed near a camera. Note that the mirror supplies backlight.

Ice is often painted on. Real ice melts and doesn’t film well. It is often painted blue and filmed with strong illumination. Avoid using too much backlighting that over-reflects from wet surfaces. A single arc can represent moonlight.

With black ice, it looks best to pain a set ivory and have people wear light or shiny metal clothing.

Bleached corn flakes are an inexpensive way to simulate snow. Mica dust adds sparkle to snow on trees. Absorbent cotton with bleached corn flakes poured on top simulates snow. Snow flakes are lit from the front.

Use off shadows when lighting for dream scenes.

Light a railroad station normally. Avoid overlighting black objects. The light of a moving train can be simulated using a revolving cylinder with mirror pieces mounted on it and then showing strong, concentrated light into this cylinder. A strong arc light cnetered into a drum can also simulate the light of a moving train.

Train interiors are lit lighter for night shots than for day shots. Night shots show inside artificial lighting. Interior rain shots use highly placed keylights. A berth may use a side lamp.

A plane interior is lit similar to a train interior. Keylights use the swinging key.

Modern ship interiors are lit like interior sets.

Daytime tent interior scenes have the walls backlit with tree branch shadows. Nighttime tent interior scenes have an interior light source. Total darkness shows moonlighting.

A wire that is needed but shouldn’t be seen requires background shadows to hide it and there should be no light on the wires. A foreground hot lamp may distract attention from the wire.

Background Process or Transparency Photography involves filming combined pictures.

A Plate is a strip of live film. A Stereo is a background key with no motion.

In Process Illumination, filler light from above and little font light is used and keylights cross or a front keylight is used with superflow light gobbed off screen. An actor above floor level may be lit with low filler light. Sunlight or moonlight might light both the foreground and background.

Automobile interiors are usually shot on a process stage. Moving shadows are projected onto people seated in the car.

Train interior shots are usually done on a process stage with front flatlight or a backlight shone through a window for silhouetted faces. Motion is presented by lightly shaking the stage and perhaps moving the camera back and forth. Trees and scenery on a merry go round can appear to be moving background seen from the train.

A projector can shoot different angles, of high places or at high places, and project onto a stationary screen that a camera from film.

A built-in turntable on a process stage set in front of a transparency screen allows for filming at different angles rather than moving the item on the turntable and relighting.

For closeup shots, a beautiful woman’s face should be shot at an angle that creates the most facial symmetry. It is not faces are not symmetrical.

The eye often looks first at the upper part of a face. Placing interest things in the upper part of the face can create interest for the things.

Do not use a lighted lamp, over-exposed curtain, or any hot item in a close-up or it will draw attention away from the face.

The head need not, and often should not, be in the exact center. the eyes should be in the upper part.

Keep the background dark and light what needs to be shown in close-ups.

Close-up and portrait shots should be lit and balanced separately..

Lens difference can make people appear more beautiful. There is a standard manufactured glass diffusion disk. There is also a silk-like gauze that is constructed. The gauze diffusion is advised when lamps, candles, flames, etc. appear and one wishes sparkling eyes.  Diffusion should be shown gradually.

Chiffon, or fine net dress material, can be attached to a drawing board for a diffusion effect.

A light with a translucent material over it diffuses light that fills in wrinkles, shadows, etc. White silk in one, two, or three layers or having gauze in one or two layers, attached to a wooden frame serve to diffuse light. They may be cut in half to cur the light in half.

Arc lamps give off a bluish light. Inkies give off a yellowish light. Gelatin mounted on a frame or ring at the same color will correct whatever color correction is desired.

Barn Doors are metal doors that cut light, cut diagonal shadows.

Funnels, or large metal tubs, and Snoots, which are smaller metal tubes, reduce the field of light when placed in front of reflectors.

Brackets, or Side Arms, are lamp stands attached that support eyelights.

A Dimmer is used to reduce light. A combination of Dimmers is a Dimmer Bank.

Dimming an inkie too far makes it lose its lighting value. Duarcs are used to dim inkie dimmers.

Shutters, which looks blinds, dim arc lamps.

Wind or breeze effects use a Silent Electric Fan.

A lighting scheme often uses the Clock System using a truncated cone on a camera.

To light a close up of a female with dialogue, Crosslight at 10 o’clock Use a Kicker at 9 o’clock and backlight at 12 o’clock to create more beauty to the face.

Use high forehand light for a female actor with a long face Use low forehand light for a female with a round face.

With orthochromatic film, grease paint covered up faces and they were photographed light.

A Testlight is an aluminum tube with a frosted bulb at the end. It gives off a weak light and is used primary for dark effects.

The author recommends creating overall light first and then seeing where to place keylights.

The Eight Light System (fill light, key light, filler light, clotheslight, backlight, kicker light eyelight, and background light) is what is used more often to resemble portrait photography light.

Fill Light lights the field of view from the lens.

The Key Light is placed using a Testlight. It is generally placed to the side of faces being filmed. A diffused Junior creates softer light Sometimes, a diffused Senior on a dimmer is used.

Filler Light corrects for unwanted shadows created by a high keylight. A low baby spotlight or a broad at around 5 o’clock placed under the keylight may be used.

A Clotheslight corrects for overlighting in the keylight. A baby or junior spotlight used as strong crosslights allows highlights and clothing texture to appear It usually is placed on the key side to create one light sources.

Backlight separate the foreground and background and helps with actor’s hair colors It should not be used to distort facial highlights. A stationary brunette wearing white requires shade on each shoulder using a solid or gauze target for shading Arcs give a pleasant steel blue look to brunettes and a pleasant silver look to gray-white hair. Hangers are used i close conditions with babies nailed to the wall If a hanger interferes with the scene, a boomlight can be used. In crowded sets, a dinkie on a dinker plate can be hidden on the set

A Kicker light improves facial lighting Proper backlight may take away the need for a kicker. If the backlight can’t reach an actor’s profile, a kicker on one or both sides can be used. If the face is distorted a solid flag shades what light is not wanted. A kicker at eye height increases eye luminosity. A junior or baby on a dimmer is used as a kicker.

An Eyelight corrects if the keylight fails to reflect the eye for actors with sensitive eyes that don’t pick up light. A heavy diffused or dimmed junior or baby is used. Sometimes a dinkie is used although it will increase eye reflection. An amber-colored geltin on a lamp is used for an actor with under-pigmented blue eyes.

The Background Light shows background. During profile close-ups, there usually is a darker background behind the actor’s head. Exceptions are when something in the background is important, as something scary or unpleasant is in the background. The 65 Arc Lamp is easily moved for background lighting. Duarcs work when an even white light is sought.

A Keylight can correct a problem and create a new problem A second key corrects.

A deep set forehead or sunken eyes are corrected with a gauzed down keylight to the eyebrow.

A shaded front keylight with a solid or double open end reduces shines on bald heads.

A soft frontlight instead of a harsh keylight may be better for an actor with fleshy, apple cheeks.

A Cheeklight is an arclight or inkie with blue gelatin that brightens cheeks of actors who otherwise would appear cheekless.

A high keylight at about 1 o’clock is used for someone with a round face to create a comedic flattened face. Use two kickers, one at 3 o’clock and one at 9 o’clock, with a shaded keylight on the forehead and chin.

Using a mirror glass as a silhouette foreground with the actor looking straight into the camera captures a mirror reflection. Low keylightig is used.

A dark face in white clothing requires shaded keylight for the dress and a separate clotheslight.

For glamour bedroom shots, silk or satin bedding is recommended over linen. The face uses a keylight at 12 o’clock. Backlight the head at 12 o’clock for cheeks. Use a small arc light or a kick at 3 o’clock for the face and pillow.

A moonlight bedroom scene uses arc lamps at 3 o’clock and at 9 o’clock with litter to no filler light, Use an eyelight for open eyes.

A sick person in bed may use a strong eyelight and heavy lens diffusion to make eyes look feverish.

A somber dying person mood uses cross background keylight and no filler light.

A character that has aged uses high keylight from above or at 1 o’clock and little to no filler light to allow wrinkles to be shown. The actors uses little to no make-up.

Masculine faces use front lightin high in kye or, if the key is low, a gauze for the light on the forehead. Using just back crosslighting on a three quarter angle and keylight at 2 o’clock with little to no filler light creates plasticity in the face.

A close-up of a criminal face uses a strong key at 6 o’clock and a kicker at 3 o’clock and an eyelight and usually no filler light if the scene is at night.

Use a high keylight at 12 o’clock to avoid glare from wearing glasses.

In an over-shoulder close-up shot, the foreground person is left dark with a back kicker. The other actor is lit as usual.

A comedy close-up uses full high key and strong filler light.

A dolly and crane close-up are lit from high, reflectors moved further apart or larger reflectors are used, and an inkie and baby on a dolly or crane are always next to the camera for eyelight and filler. A soft broad is used instead of a baby if it creates an unwanted spot between an actor and a wall.

Strong crosslighting creates contrasting deep shadows, wich is best in resolving faces that appear out of focus.

To create a menacing facial close-up, hide dark features andshow a dark mysterious background with a strong baby at keylight strength and light only the eyes.

A Black actor does not require different lighting from a white actor.

An exterior close-up uses sunlight. It could also use booster lights inside a tarp surrounding the area being filmed. A gold reflector on the side where an actor looks can be used. If the sunlight is too strong, a butterfly with one or two layers of translucent material over the actor’s head with sun reflectors is used. Gold reflectors are used for faces and eyes.

In exterior shots, showing depth requires darker foreground than the background.

Shooting from eye height in exterior shots creates a natural effect. Raising the camera reduces the effect.

Avoid having something like a post or a tree cutting a shot in half.

The height of a wall is not detectable unless a person or known object is in front of it.

A person on a mountain or tall location should be filmed in the upper part of a picture Street levels use the power part of the picture.

Sun reflectors and a low light source may distort faces. Gold reflectors are better for exterior scenes.

If the sunlight is too strong even with reflected filler, use a large butterfly over actors’ heads to soften the light.

If reflectors can’t receive direct sunlight, use mirrors or tins to reflect sunlight and use gold reflectors for lighting faces. Silver reflectors are for backlight, crosslight, kickers, and dark backgrounds. Tins and mirrors are for far away dark sports like trees or bushes. Use small reflectors for eyes.

A Booster light helps when sunlight fades.

Sunlight can be reduced by Tarping or placing a canvass over where shooting Softer inkies are used.

Sunlight used for full light. Duarcs are used for filler light if it gets too dark.

A 70 Keylight or senior is used to light small exterior areas.

A 90 small arc is used for exterior clotheslight.

For backllight, use an arc or senior from high. If this is not possible, use kickers.

A kicker beyond the camera sidelight can be used for exterior kicker light. For closer shots, use arc lights, seniors, or juniors.

For exterior eyelight, use a junior.

For exterior background light on trees, bushes, or other background, use arcs. Oepn country background requires no background lighting.

Exterior booster lighting requires a tarped set.

Fillers can change contrast. The Wratten G has a yellow-orange tint that deepens shadows in soft sunlight and brings out clouds. The Aero green-yellow tint brightens things that are green. The orange-filter brightens faces in a snow or a sea. Orange and red filters darken blue and green and lighten yellow and red. Red filters overcorrect which can create interesting landscapes.

Red filters deepen shadows, increases white colors, and darkens blues. They help allow day shots appear as night shots. It can create a moonlight effect It cannot be used to simulate window lights at night.

For night shots, the Wrattten 72 is good, as is using the 23 (pink) and 56 (green) together or the red (24) filter This can also be used for ocean shots to darken the water and sky and whiten the whitecaps of the ocean.

Darken to night density so sun reflection on windows can’t be seen if filming a night shot during daytime.

Nighttime can be filmed during daytime without using night filters by filming with a perfectly steady camera and, at nighttime, rewinding the film and filming the lights. Film southward if the sky is not in the scene Night lights through windows use a photoflood bulb behind the window covered with tracing paper Sun reflectors or booster lights are used to silhouette anything in front of a building.

A lens, especially 25 mm and 35 mm, that stops down too far photographs its ow inside diaphragm, which is known as a Ghost. Filter glass surfaces may create flare lights Use a gelatin filter and sometimes a neutral-density filter, inside the camera to prevent this.

Most diffusion can be used on exterior shots than for interior shots. Romantic shots are often heavily diffused.

Use the exposure meter to determine lighting, as it can vary throughout the day.

Filming in a desert means long shadows can be filmed in early morning or late afternoon. Mirage heat waves can not be remedied. Keep dust out of the camera by using an umbrella and keeping dust out when loading it. Use two exposure meters, as lighting can be difficult.

Mountain shots have the best lighting during sunrise and sunset.

Under-cranking a camera exaggerates the movement of animals, trees, and plants.

Westerns often increase tempo by cutting camera speed from 24 to 18 rames per second to an exaggerated comedic 12 frames per second.

When filming at 12 frames per second close the shutter to 90 degrees. Cross-screen action is usually 22 famers per second. Riders approaching a camera are usually 20 frames per second. Wide angle lens makes riders appear to approach more quickly. Cattle stampedes are usually shots at 20 frames per second.

Stunt chases in open country must avoid having trees hiding the action. Shots at top of a hill are best shot in early morning and later afternoon. Scenes in a gorge or bottom are shot after early morning, Some water, i.e. a river or lake, in the foreground at sunrise and sunset add reflected beauty Death is symbolized by a dead tree in the foreground While not recommended if one has to shoot in flat light, have a black foreground. Under-crank storm clouds arriving. Dust can be stirred up with a camouflaged brush behind a coach or horse If details are required to be seen, avoid dust by wetting down a road. Action riders are filmed in pan with 30 mm lens. Distant gunfire should have no noise as light travels faster and the two wont mix. Stunts appear better shot from a distance. Use horses and backgrounds of different black-whit spectrums. Avoid filming telephone poles, radio towers, etc, and things that did not exist in Western days Desert flowers can be used for effects.

When shooting in snow, indicated exposure reading should be increased to as much as doubled.

Snow shots should have something in the foreground. If there is nothing, take along a tree and place it in the foreground.

Trees in snow shots should have snow on them for a nice effect.

Actors in snow scenes should have tans or make up to appear darker.

White snow when filmed during a dark sky will appear to be night. Use a blue filter, an Aero 2 or G, or perhaps 21, 3N5, or 5N5, to make it appear daylight.

Moonlight in snow shots require no practical lights with a 72 Filter or a 56 with a 21 or 25.

A traveling shot in snow may reduce as far as 12 frames per second, Keep the speed constant when filming skiers. Ski jumpers are usually shot with a low setup and pass on top against the horizon. Film skiers in the upper half of the picture. Skiers dragging poles in powered snow create a nice plume of snow effect.

When traveling to another country, give customs the serial numbers or lens and cameras.

When filming at sea, immediately clean a camera sprayed with sea water to avoid corrosion. Use an air blower to dry the lens. Keep the lens cap on to avoid salt vapor. Remember to remove the cap when shooting Night effects use a Wratte 29 oe 23 with a 45 filter Filters are not necessary in the morning . Diffusion is only for female close-ups.

On often shoots on ships with a low set up on deck with faces against a blue sky.

In Time and Temperature negative development, the film is developed without any testing. In Developing Tests negative development there are tests to see if the film is overexposed normal, or underlit, Overexposed film is usually underdeveloped, norma film is developed normally, and underlit film is forced developed Note that often a scene was deliberately fimed overexposed or underit for effect and thus should be developed normally to retain the effect.

A lens test from 1 to 22, called the Cynex System, analyzes film. Normal is around 11 to 13. Overlit film may prefer 19 to 21.