I want to write and tell stories.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Look

No not the 80's song, as in She's got the......ah don't worry about it..... ;-) and no, you don't want to see me dance and sing it. Imagine a furry Koala doing 80's covers....hmm very sad. Mind you, might get a chance to kick and scratch the crap out of Crazy Frog.....there could be medals in that!

Australian TV shows, they rarely seem to have what I call a look or style.....NYPD Blue had the dark, gritty look with the drunk's shakey camera style, Grey's Anatomy, has this blue-grey thing going on. Movies have it, and tv shows often make use of it in the states nowadays, well of the shows I catch anyway. Sitcoms don't seem to really go for it that much. You know what I am talking about.

In Australia, it really seems to be one look for most.....bright, high definition. That's it. maybe that is what most people like, who knows. A couple have tried things differently. I think McLeods Daughters is actually trying to keep a certain look. Frontline (if you want a top satire of a current affair show...SEE THIS SHOW ANYWAY YOU CAN - wink,wink nudge,nudge) from years ago had different camera focuses which gave it a distinct look, and I think the Sum of Us might have have had something going on as well, but I did not watch that show so can't confirm that. I may miss some that do have "a look" so don't sue me, but when you see shows like Country Practice, Home & Away, Blue Heelers, etc. they all seem to have the same basic look.

The reason I am writing this is that there is a new show that is coming on that I am actually excited about, and I normally don't get that excited about local drama. Sorry, just does not do it for me. Call me un-Australian but as I have gotten a bit older it just passes me by. McLeods Daughters can be quite good, especially when they let the writers loose on the male leads and show them being typical guys. They do get some of the classic Australian dry humour down pat in those moments.

This new one one though, The Surgeon seems to have a distinct look. Now, I am not excited about just the look, that caught my eye. It just makes me think that if they were able to do that on Australian budgets.....maybe it will be something different and worthwhile. It is only 8 episodes, but from what I can gather each episode is only 30mins long, but everything takes place within the operating room, and explores the working relationship the staff have with each other, as well as the cases obviously. Even though the eps are only 30 mins, hats off to Chennel 10 (no, we don't have 10 free-to-air channels it's a snake charmers trick to net potential immigrants I think) for trying something new.

I am really looking forward to seeing if they can pull it off. Will let you know how it is.
First episode tonight.


At 4:58 pm, Blogger Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

Come on! Give your country some credit.

Cell block H had a real unique look... The shakey cardboard set look! :)

At 5:03 pm, Blogger Grubber said...

Is that what they called Prisoner over there.

True, you can't go past that shaky cardboard look!

Neighbours is another classic case. You know Neighbours....you guys show it TWICE a day over there. ;-)

At 3:43 pm, Blogger Konrad West said...

What did you think of The Surgeon? I liked the style--very realistic, with basically non-existant scoring--but I just hated the main character.

She was a bitch; and not in the witty, charming House way. Just not nice.

But there's one good thing from this: my faith in the talentlessness of Australian television has been restored. Phew!

At 7:29 am, Blogger Grubber said...

Correct....the look was there, but it was simply dull. For the first episode of only 8 shows......you'd think you would be going for, well.....geez anything to move it along quicker. Either in action or preferrably dialogue, as we know budgets for Oz productions are low. House and Scrubs don't actually have that much "action" ie need for expensive CGI or special effects....it is mainly dialogue. I know Scrubs is a comedy (my favourite at present) but it handles it's characters so well, and moves a couple of stories through in half an hour easily.

They lost me, when she was paged to sign paperwork and half heartedly got up the nurse.....I meean seriously.......this is cutting edge???? I know they were trying to show she is tired, overworked, stressed, etc. I just reckon you could have shown that in the opening scenes without needing to take as long as they did.

Saw a quick review in the local tv guide....solid was the word they used to describe it. So you want to push local talent, shows, etc, and the best a journo can come up with is .. solid. Scary.

At 9:29 pm, Blogger stu willis said...

Ah. the Channel 7 look. Arguably due to the separation of the camera department and the lighting department..

whereas Channel 10 and Channel 9 push the DoP as the one who drives the look.

At 5:27 pm, Blogger Grubber said...

Stu, would love to hear more about it if you would like go into more detail, as I really don't understand why this look (the C7 one) is in.

It is nearly like watching a home video, but you can't win $500 bucks with it with Toni Pearon.


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