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Thread: Thoughts on Editing (Long Post)

  1. #21
    Gone. HowardRoark's Avatar
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    Bill/Bravo/Fluff -

    I wholeheartedly agree that MB casts the 16 people with archetypes in mind, and he anticipates conflict (Frank and Brandon were not randomly placed together, IMHO... nor were John and Paschal, but in that case the desired result was not achieved). The cast must be created with a vision of how they will interact, and how they will behave.

    Unfortunately, a 20 minute (or however long it is) video made in your basement or backyard is not the same as a beach in the jungle (case in point: Stephanie from Thailand). It is here that the editing takes the front seat.

    The whole point of taking these 16 people and putting them in the Amazon for 39 days is to make a television show. However, there is a key difference between Survivor and a documentary: in general Survivor has a story to tell (and in many instances, several stories) while a documentary is produced solely to document an event or events.

    Sometimes, the story tells itself, and the actions of the characters is sufficient to convey the message. For example, one of the messages in this week's episode was conflict in the women's camp... Christy and Joanna provided MB with footage to use to convey this fact. He had no editing to do here, save to splice some footage of Jeanne and Janet looking concerned or disapproving.

    However, if we delve into other instances, perhaps from another Survivor (say Australia), we see a different situation. Jerri was cast as the bitch/villain. Keith, her unwitting victim. Throughout the first few episodes we were treated to snide comments from Jerri about the chef who cannot cook rice, from Keith about the wannabe actress criticising him, and finally a threat of a "time out" from momma Tina. All these events really did happen; and up until the recap episode, everyone thought that after Survivor was over, we would get Celebrity Deathmatch: Jerri vs. Keith on MTV. Instead, we see Jerri apologise to Keith on the recap. We see them bury the hatchet (more or less). So when did this occur? Was this just a day before (in the show's timeline) the recap episode? No. It happened at the Ogakor camp, and by the time the recap had come two of the Kucha members had been tossed from the merged tribe. The choice of omitting that one scene of resolution completely changed the perception of the group dynamic of the Ogakor 5 -- everyone was watching, waiting for the emotion to boil over, and for Keith to rat out Jerri and vote her out with the Kuchas (or Jerri to do so to Keith)... but it didn't, because there was no emotion left to boil over.

    Disclaimer: in an effort to explain myself, I often become quite verbose, and rather analytical. In no way am I advocating such in depth analysis of each and every scene to see what is "missing". I am, however, suggesting that what we see be taken with a grain or seven of salt, so that we are more aware of the potential for misdirection.
    Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

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  2. #22
    Shark Week! dagwood's Avatar
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    Here is a thought about Rogers remarks: Did anyone else think of Rudy when he said them? Wasn't Rudy outspoken about his feelings about homosexuals, especially since he was in the same tribe as Richard? I wonder if that was left in to make the Roger/Rudy connection...
    He who laughs last thinks slowest

    Maybe we should chug on over to namby pamby land where we can find some self confidence for you, you jackwagon!

  3. #23
    Swinging in the hammock Ilikai's Avatar
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    HR, the contest on Bachelorette and Survivor are two different things and having two guys that are nice in their own ways lead to a better ending won't work in Survivor. They are going after big bucks there, so its cutthroat elimination. In Bachelorette you have to be on your best behavior to smooze the lady so you aren't going to see them going after each other like on Survivor.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" -- Steve Parker

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  4. #24
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    I didn't watch the bachelorette. I would guess though, that I would prefer two nice guys at the end.

    As for the Joe/Hot tub moment... I am pretty sure Joe said "I guess I should have followed her, but I was having fun"... either the producers asked him to say that and he agreed without asking what it was for, or he really didn't follow her, or he at least waited a while before following her. Either way, he didn't hop out and follow right away...(If I am remembering the comment he made correctly)

    The editing debate can truly go on forever.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

  5. #25
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cali
    I didn't watch the bachelorette. I would guess though, that I would prefer two nice guys at the end.

    As for the Joe/Hot tub moment... I am pretty sure Joe said "I guess I should have followed her, but I was having fun"... either the producers asked him to say that and he agreed without asking what it was for, or he really didn't follow her, or he at least waited a while before following her. Either way, he didn't hop out and follow right away...(If I am remembering the comment he made correctly)

    The editing debate can truly go on forever.

    I recall that too cali. Plus the producers didn't have to work hard at finding the footage of Evan's jaw drop and eye roll out when the other ladies arrived. But, there was that voice over from Evan stating he should have followed Zora. So either he didn't, or he lied for the sake of making the story work the way the producers wanted to.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

  6. #26
    FORT Fan Tuluminous's Avatar
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    Example of "Editing In by Editing Out, aka Editing In by Omission":

    Assume that the MB "Gay" character is filled by Matthew and/or Alex [Alex could have been lieing about his nature as a strategic mechanism in Camp Macho]. Now, edit out Roger's period piece "homophobic" comments of episode 2--this is not to say that the conversation didn't take place, just that we the viewers would never learn of the exchange. If Roger is the second fellow to be voted out of the men's tribe due to a plot hatched by a "devious" instead of "defensiive" [did you catch the twist?] "Gay" Matthew/Alex, then Editing In by Omission is effected, the reality tv viewers never the wiser, just manipulated.
    dagwood: Here is a thought about Rogers remarks: Did anyone else think of Rudy when he said them? Wasn't Rudy outspoken about his feelings about homosexuals, especially since he was in the same tribe as Richard? I wonder if that was left in to make the Roger/Rudy connection...
    Excellent, Dag. [Which Amazon Survivor is the "Gay" or, hopefully, the "Richard the Snake"?] Rudy is a warrior, so he has likely learned to look the other way from his morals when expedient, learned to respect whatever character has the force/ power/ skill/ intelligence to get the job done. He also might be aware of excellent historical examples of tough and saavy as hell homosexual [bi-sexual] warriors, e.g., Theban Sacred Band, Alexander the Great, Hadrian. I was elated when Richard Hatch won Survivor! Brilliant human chess player, at least for those 39 days in time...

    Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
    I'm grooving to the quote, HR. Ayn Rand? I have assiduously avoided corrupting my mother tongue, save some Spanish and a round with Greek-Latin suffixes-prefixes stuff. The [translated] ancient literature is fun when it is at my leisure and in SMALL doses, but as I'm of a more immediate aesthete bent, it's the sculpture, art, and architecture, and frankly, with reading I am a bit bored... [see ch 26 of Voltaire's "Candide"]. Cheerios uh-MI-go, T.



    A toast to the Delian League and Camelot!
    Last edited by Tuluminous; 02-23-2003 at 11:48 AM.

  7. #27
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    This sounds weird, but let's see if I can explain it. Our perception of others is limited to what we know about them - everything that occurs away from us that we don't know about is in effect "edited" out of our experience. Your knowledge of me is limited to our interactions on this board - life has edited out everything else about me. So, you have a perception of me that may or may not be true because you don't have all the information. The same is true of every single person that you know. How can we blame television for being any different? Since we're all intelligent and can figure out that maybe things didn't happen exactly the way that they were presented to us on television, I don't think there's any harm in editing for a story line for entertainment purposes.

    Evan could have said, "I felt bad when she left, but I was having such a good time I didn't want to leave. However, I decided that I should go talk to her so I got out of the hot tub and went after her." The 2nd half of his statement could have been edited out, so we perceive the situation in a way that isn't actually true. Still, it's funnier with the second part gone. Hey come to think of it, how come no one is defending Evan i.e. "he was edited to look dumb!" Heck, Flo the Mega-Beast had more support!

    T, I sure hope you were joking about the Rudy the Warrior/Scholar thing.

  8. #28
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    hey Jill, I love that ... Life does it's own editing! YES!!!!!!!

    Like when I see the pharmacist at the movie store... kind of a "what? Why aren't you wearing a white lab coat?"
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

  9. #29
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Very clear and well-thought out points, Howard!
    Like others here, I believe that MB selects contestants depending on what type of character he wants on the show. If that contestant doesn't evolve as the character he expected them to, then MB steps in with his creative editing to give his "character" the feel he was looking for. Then there are some contestants that don't require that much editing...i.e..Flo in TAR3.

    I have to say that the Bachelorette's finale was one of the best i've seen. But how boring would it be have been without the creative editing to make us think that the "most shocking ceremony" would actually be shocking this time!

    Love reading posts that don't require a dictionary to decipher.

  10. #30
    your ad here jodaar's Avatar
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    If we weren't aware the editing was going on, I see how we could be easily fooled. Of course, that's not the case here. Most of us are veterans of the reality tv genre, going back to the Real World. We recognize the obvious, blatant editing & get a laugh or two over it...or just get frustrated by it. I think we know better than to take everyting at face value.

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