I must asy that the tremendous variety of responses to the Lost World
Bernard Shaw thread is as fascinating as the the content of the replies
themselves. From personal to private, despite what some of them seem to
imply, I am pleased that members of the community took the time and
effort to say what they thought.
Okay now let's push the envelope a little. WHY is this kind of
blurring acceptable ? Justifying this practice as a matter of
expediencey does not seem possible (just not enough screen-hopefuls
these days, desperate for camera time... They have to get REAL
newscasters.) From what assumptions -- about audiences, fiction, truth,
etc -- do we speak when we endorse or condemn Howard K. Smith for
depicting himself ? Or is he depicting some 'anonymous' incarnation of
'news' or official information when he appears onscreen ?
Many replies focused on the prevalence of local LA news personalities
(news personalitities, THAT despriptor says a great deal !) in these
kinds of appearances, but once again, WHY? Do such cameos further the
news careers of journalists in the region, or help them further onto the
national stage ? This could imply that simple screen visibility in large
amounts, regardless of the content or context of such appearances, plays
a great factor in determinging the trajectory of one's career in either
entertainment or news. Does bulk time onscreen equal success ? Can I
run for office just by plastering my face across the visual media
spectrum, without attention to addressing issues of note ? Why not
feature newscasters from Chicago, Cleveland, or New Orleans, iknstead of
If a greater percentage of film production continues to shift to the
New York area, will we see NYC newscasters in these cameos, as
'in-jokes' for residents of the five burroughs ?
How would we react to Bernard Shaw's appearance in a 'dramatic
re-enactment' ? A documentary film relying on apocryphal or fictional
content to augment its nominally factual basis ?
The general cast of the threads inclined towards "this has happened for
years, do you really think people pay attention?" Yes, I do. As proof, I
need only note the wealth of examples proffered by the members of this
mailing list. If it didn't and doesn't matter, why did you notice ?
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.