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The Newsroom

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TomCat, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Aug 28, 2013 #21 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    As someone who once did non-linear editing for a living, installs and maintains NLEs, and is still around it daily, I'm afraid I have to disagree.

    First, you can edit all the jump cuts you want into the footage, because they can be separated by B-roll (or a cut to a shot of the interviewer, although not in this case because the interview was not done by talent but by a producer, and that in itself is high-handed plot manipulation because virtually any interview of any weight is done by talent, so they cooked the books on the procedural part here just to create the opportunity to put the finger on Jerry--in real TV that does not happen).

    And SPOILER ALERT, read this later if you have not seen "Red Team III".

    Second, the interview was not an edited interview, it was a series of individual sound bites, meant to be dropped into the show one by one as the anchor referred to them, so there really is no editing for air per se, only editing for the production convenience of how these sound bites are rolled in to the broadcast. What Jerry did is edit the original footage itself out of context, specifically to hide the context, not from the viewers, but from the team. That is very different than editing for air, and he was able to do this without a jump-cut on air because the clip was an individual sound bite and could start or stop wherever.

    Jerry also blurred the TV in the shot in editing, and while that was supposed to be because these things are blurred normally to protect airing rights, Jerry did that to fool the team and hopefully hide his underhandedness from them. What doesn't pass the smell test is that he was clever enough to perform the out of context edit on the clip sent to air by editing it out first in the original raw footage, yet was not clever enough to put the blur on the original raw footage, which made that a clue just waiting to be discovered. Blatant plot manipulation. It would actually have been clearer to the viewer (of The Newsroom, not of the fictional news broadcast) if "McMac" had been able to find the original footage with the original quote in its clear original context, and not missing the "If we used sarin...", precursor. That might have eliminated a lot of WTFs in HBO homes.

    Maybe it is my closeness to this industry, but I could see this coming all the way down Broadway, especially because we all knew Genoa was going to blow up in their faces ahead of time just from the HBO promotion. The whole thing about the General loving B-Ball and him having the TV on and Jerry wanting the medals in the background so he had to have the live TV feed there seemed like a clumsy setup from the beginning. I just knew this was going to be the key to catching Jerry, but I had to wait through 3 more eps and an inane discussion about shot clocks before the other shoe finally dropped, and "McMac" finally allowed this elephant in the room to dawn on her.

    They had 4 pieces of "evidence", 3 independent confirmations, another from Will, and 3 high-level long Red Team meetings agonizing over this yet the only one who ever saw the footage of Stomtonavitch was Jerry? A producer from out of town? Nobody from the core team went and looked at it? Cut me a break. That alone fits the definition of "institutional failure".
     
  2. Aug 28, 2013 #22 of 107
    James Long

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    If he would have blurred the footage and changed the voice before showing it to the team it would not have been "raw footage". The team would have wanted to see the pre-blurred version (which they did see). They saw more than the final edited for air drop in clips.

    All the questions that they should have asked before airing the story came up in this week's episode. It was a big "uh oh" moment for everyone involved. Everyone in the institution who each made a little mistake that added up to airing the story.
     
  3. Aug 29, 2013 #23 of 107
    phrelin

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    What I thought was that MacKenzie didn't check the video early on because she couldn't even consider the idea that Dantana would do such a thing.
     
  4. Aug 29, 2013 #24 of 107
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Not being a sports fan, I assumed there would be too many unknown inside joke references relating to teams and players that I would not get.
    Plus the whole scenario of a mock sports show that I never have watched in a real form.

    It would have been like watching "The Larry Sanders Show" as a viewer who has never watched a late night talk show.
     
  5. Aug 29, 2013 #25 of 107
    Maruuk

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    Yeah, I used to love to sit back and watch the whole glorious open with the original awesome theme music, but now it's so toned-down and bland I FF right past it. It just retains a hint of the original Thomas Newman theme. Almost apologetically. A real shame.

    If you get a chance, check out Olivia on Letterman (YT), about her crashing on the inside the house swing and her fashion show experience. It's a complete riot, she's amazing!
     
  6. Aug 29, 2013 #26 of 107
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    So to boil it down. The reason the CIA informant wanted the basketball game in the shot, was to be proof his testimony was not edited by the interviewer. Very smart.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2013 #27 of 107
    Maruuk

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    When you analyze this show from an insider tech perspective, it tends to fall apart. But it's not designed for us, it's for the masses who know next to nothing.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2013 #28 of 107
    djlong

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    You don't have to be a "newsie" to enjoy "The Newsroom" - I'm sure you see that. It's just like that for "Sports Night". It *happens* to be set in a cable sports channel like The Newsroom is set at ACN. In Sports Night's first episode, they hooked me with a scene between the two anchors (one of them being Peter Krause who I couldn't get enough of in "Six Feet Under" and Josh Charles is the other) where Charles makes an impassioned speech to newly-divorce Krause about how bad his now-ex-wife treated him (Krause) with him never realizing it. I thought it was really well done when I fist saw it in 1998. When I re-watched that episode in 2006 right after my now-ex-wife moved out, it hit me like a ton of bricks as my best friend had made almost the exact same speech to me.

    It's *that* personal drama that made the show That Damn Good.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2013 #29 of 107
    Maruuk

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    Amazing how certain current events are paralleling this Newsroom plot.

    I probably should have given Sports Night more of a chance. How many seasons did that run?
     
  10. Sep 4, 2013 #30 of 107
    Maruuk

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    Newsroom just renewed for a third season. Good for me! More Sloane, please!
     
  11. Sep 4, 2013 #31 of 107
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    45 eps or so, over two and a half seasons, more or less, mas o menos, practically speaking.

    What annoys me is that Netflix has just a DVD of it, while it'd be perfect for streaming. Guess I should check out Amazon VOD....
     
  12. Sep 4, 2013 #32 of 107
    gpg

    gpg Well-Known Member

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    Sports Night episodes are now running on FXX on channel 619. They're SD of course.
     
  13. Sep 4, 2013 #33 of 107
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Sort of surprised that it was, didn't think the rating were that good.
     
  14. Sep 4, 2013 #34 of 107
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Thanks!

    I also found they are in fact streaming on Amazon VOD. Probably a toss up as to vid. quality.
     
  15. Sep 5, 2013 #35 of 107
    Maruuk

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    If you have Amazon Prime (and everybody should) you may be able to stream it free. Amazon streaming has a pretty good selection of TV shows.
     
  16. Sep 5, 2013 #36 of 107
    Maruuk

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    I don't think HBO is as ratings-driven as a broadcast net since they don't have to please advertisers. I mean, they ran two seasons of "John from Cincinnati" didn't they??
     
  17. Sep 5, 2013 #37 of 107
    RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    I think ratings play a part of it. While they don't get ad $'s they need to have programming that will cause people to subscribe, or keep subscribing, to HBO so they make the $'s.
     
  18. Sep 5, 2013 #38 of 107
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Yes, I do, and I did. PQ was absolute crap, but I am on a 2.8 Megs download. This was on a Sammy smart TV. Dunno if there's an automatic down-rezzing based on internet connection for TVs, but I didn't see a way to try to bump it up.
     
  19. Sep 5, 2013 #39 of 107
    Maruuk

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    I'm at 2.4 but Roku does an awesome job of getting me 4 dots strength, about the equivalent of an upconverted DVD. Which for 2.4 is quite good. It's watchable at least. I think the box is as important as the source.
     
  20. Sep 10, 2013 #40 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I do not recall him requiring the TV to be in the shot, just for the TV to be on so that he would not miss his beloved playoff game. Of course that ended up making no sense because it was behind him with the sound turned off and he could not see it.

    Jerry engineered the shot with the TV in the background, supposedly because he wanted the medals as a backdrop. He did not want the TV but agreed to it to get the shot, knowing he could blur it out in post. Otherwise I would agree with your premise because Stomtonavitch was very smart, and very cagey. And played by the perfect smart, cagey actor. Great casting job. In fact, your very premise went through my mind during the setup for the interview; its just that the reality of what happened does not support that Stomtonavitch engineered that.

    But of course it was Aaron Sorkin who engineered and manipulated the entire plot to give them a way to discover the edit. It's just sad that they did not figure out how to tell that story much more convincingly to a lay audience, because there was a large opportunity right there to get that right, yet they (writers/producers) did not.

    It's ironic that possibly the best-written scripts of any show in any season also have so many plot holes in them. This is not Under the Dome and that is not expected, nor is it very easily tolerated.
     

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