What follows are some posts sent privately and now thrown out to the
wide-world of SCREEN-L and H-FILM for whatever use they may be.
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Date:         Sun, 20 Feb 94 14:36:53 EST
From:         Cal <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: MTV's The Real World
To:           Pam Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
In-Reply-To:  Your message of Sun, 20 Feb 1994 07:22:00 CDT
Wish I had something smart to say about THE REAL WORLD.  My slight exposure
to the show itself and the hype about the show tell me that it is an
extension of the fundamental approach of AMERICAN FAMILY.  When he was
producing FAMILY, Craig Gilbert knew what he wanted and interviewed
250 families before casting the Louds.  The Louds interest was that they
would "be on television" as a way of making it in the great big world of
show biz.  THE REAL WORLD was cast in the same way, the only difference
is that they were a constructed "family."
THE BRADY BUNCH and the MONKEES don't seem to fit that paradigm, except
to the extent that any show takes on the characteristics of a family.
While writing the previous sentence, the thought occurred that many other
continuing groupings (department faculty??) take on the characteristics
of a family with people taking on comfortable roles of father, mother,
older brother, younger sister, etc.
I don't know what this all means; it's been a long time since I thought
I was a sociologist.
best wishes, cal
======================================================================== 40
Date:         Sun, 20 Feb 94 14:45:08 EST
From:         Cal <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      THE REAL WORLD, take 2
To:           Pam Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
In-Reply-To:  Your message of Sun, 20 Feb 1994 07:22:00 CDT
As I punched the send key I was reminded of Louis Marcorelles,
LIVING CINEMA (New York: Praeger, 1973; originally published in
French, 1970).
He deals with the then-still-sort-of-new film phenomenon of Direct
Cinema, extending the original Drew-Leacock-Pennebaker-Rouch views
into the possibility of constructing a "direct cinema environment"
(my phrase) where people would be cast in terms of their experiences
responding to their world as they would.  The key point, as I remember
it, was that the crew would be responding to the "constructed" world
as they would in actuality.  The crew would have no a priori knowledge
of what was happening or would come.
The point about FAMILY and REAL WORLD (and certainly BRADY and MONKEES)
is that the people creating the work, knew where it was going.  Ideas
like "actor's intentions" enter here.  Actors are very nervous when they
don't know how it's all going to turn out.  They need some sense of where
their acting partners are going so that they can shade their own performances.
On this topic, during the shooting of CASABLANCA, Ingrid Bergman, who had
a vast understanding of technique kept asking "who is my character going
to leave with?"  Of course, there was no answer since the script was
being written while they were shooting.  Pages would be distributed daily.
When they came to shoot the final sequence, no decision had yet been made.
As a superb technican, Bergman was able to nuance her performance
throughout to make her peformance credible no matter how it turned out.
In this world there are few performers with Bergman's technical control.
(It was said that even during repeated takes, she would blink, for instance,
on the same syllable.)  You certainly won't find such skills among a bunch
of kids put together for something like REAL WORLD.
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Date:         Mon, 21 Feb 94 14:23:33 EST
From:         Cal <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      REAL WORLD: more random thoughts
To:           [log in to unmask]
One thing about having a short attention span is that occasionally the
oddiments I do pick up come to some kind of focus.
In particular today: Mike Bailey's post re: Altman's insisting that
his players in McCABE take on their roles even off-screen reminded
me of living history reenactors who get together at various types of
encampments where they often take on a historical personna which they
play out in first person, that is, they attempt to reenact a particular
person, or at least a class of people.  They take this task very
seriously; "out of period" representations are discouraged.
What is happening at these encampments is similar to the apocryuphal tale
of Von Stroheim insisting the extras in a 'twenties extraganza set in
the Viennese court be costumed in silk undergarments.  The reenactors, some
reenactors make the same demand; others settle for outerwear verisimilitude.
Does this have anything to do with REAL PEOPLE?  I don't know; that's why
I'm sending these thoughts directly to you rather than engage with the
folks who would otherwise read them on H-FILM or SCREEN-L.
Cal Pryluck, Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia
<[log in to unmask]>  <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>