Author Topic: Host entrance visual history and analysis  (Read 507 times)

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Offline priceguy

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Host entrance visual history and analysis
« on: October 15, 2020, 08:28:25 PM »
John Teti looks back at Marc Breslow's genius, Paul Alter phoning it in, and how the show adapted when Drew became host.

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Offline Nick

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Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 11:24:40 AM »
I've never heard of John Teti before, but after watching this, he's clearly someone who's either studied filmmaking or watched a lot of The Price Is Right.  I gather it's both.

Excellent breakdown and analysis, especially of Marc Breslow's directorial genius.  I always love it when somebody can find something that makes his directing just that much more impressive.  In this case, is was the perfect timing on the circle wipe of Bob looking straight into the camera followed by Bob re-entering the frame.  Never noticed how perfectly executed that was.

I would disagree, though, on Price being at its peak at this point.  Game shows were still a dominant force in daytime in the mid-'80s, but the quality of programs the number of them certainly wasn't where it was ten years prior.  I personally would put the peak of Price somewhere between 1976 and 1982, but that's for reasons other than the directing.  Directorially speaking as far as the intro is concerned, sure, 1985 could be considered a peak.  Elsewhere, Breslow is not doing as much innovation and motion in the shots as he was in the late '70s, so I would say we're into a decline; but the intro itself is still top-notch.

The criticism of the Alter intro, I felt, was a bit too harsh.  All the flaws he pointed out were correct.  Alter was never nearly as polished as Breslow was, nor was he all the way to 2000.  Still, I'm not sure what Teti's process was for picking a tape, but this was an egregiously badly executed intro.  Could he not find out that was done better?  Not that a different one should have been used for an analysis, but it would have been fair to slip in a quick clip of one done better.

The criticism indirectly towards Roger in the collective of the "producers" (though we know Roger was really the one driving things) I felt was misdirected.  It certainly wasn't Roger's, nor anybody else's fault, that they ended up with a poor host in Drew.  CBS picked him, not them.  Frankly, the redeeming factor of Season 36 was that it was "some fat guy hosting Bob's show", as someone one described.  I know I'm part of the "old guard" that's largely vacated this place who believes that The Price Is Right in 2020 should be the same Price Is Right that was in 1980, but that's off the subject at hand.  I'm disappointed Teti didn't focus on the directing flaws at hand (such as the cheaper star wipe and stilted shots).  Bart's name wasn't even mentioned at all here, and he was the one driving the poor shots.

On the current intro, sure, it achieves the "host of the party" flavour for which they are shooting.  It's been more than discussed how the format of the show has changed to more of an "ensemble" cast than the commanding star of the show.  The show may still be on the air, gaining viewers and be more "relevant" than it was twenty years ago when it was in a general decline (though I would argue that decline was reversed when Roger became the sole producer and continued until the end of Season 35), but it doesn't have that feel, that integrity that The Price Is Right had for so long as show that looked and felt like a “well-oiled machine”.  I know of one person around here who will be quick to say that TV doesn't care about your sentiments and that The Price Is Right is a product to produce money so you must produce it in the way that suits the audience of the day.  That may be so, but there is an essence to what The Price Is Right is, and well... I'm one who would rather have seen it end after 35 years than devolve into product it has become.

Further, on the subject of the current intro, Teti skipped past entirely how the show is no longer done live to tape; and herein makes a huge difference, one of the major lost pieces of the "integrity" of the show.  The Price Is Right used to be pretty close to live theatre since it was all done in real time and generally in one take.  At one of the tapings I was at several years ago, they reshot Drew's entrance somewhere around the fifth game of the day since they didn't like the shots they had taken when he really entered.  In Teti's clip, what am I watching here?  Was that take one or a splice of several takes?  Even then, because editing is of no consequence now, no wonder the transition timing is perfect.  At least I know when Breslow was at the helm they really got it right the first time.  You can cut and splice all the takes you want to build something that looks flawless, but those inherent little nicks and imperfections are part of what makes something real, and that's another part of The Price Is Right that has been lost in the post-Roger era.  It may be the product CBS and Fremantle want to sell, and it may be what sells better to the audience of the day than that of yesterday, and it may be the audience's willingness to choose such an inferior product that may be the saddest take of them all.
Roger Dobkowitz's Seven Commandments of The Price Is Right:
1. Tape and edit the show as if it were live.
2. Never tell the contestant what to do.
3. Size matters. (The bigger the prize, the better the prize and the bigger the reaction.)
4. All prizes are good.
5. Never do anything on the show that would embarrass a parent with a kid watching.
6. Never put on a prize that would make the show look cheap.
7. It’s the game, stupid! (It’s about the game.)

- Roger Dobkowitz on Stu's Show September 23, 2009.

Offline Trevor Tuominen

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Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 01:39:06 PM »
What about Dennis, Tom (God rest their souls), and Doug?