Author Topic: Host entrance visual history and analysis  (Read 1290 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline priceguy

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 2020
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.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1VUQvDu1g" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1VUQvDu1g</a>

Offline Nick

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 3667
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

  • In the Audience
  • **
  • Posts: 77
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?
“Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously.” - Alex Trebek, 1940-2020

Offline pannoni1

  • Taking a Bonus Spin
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 02:58:18 PM »
At least with Alter, we got to see the cool audience entrances and I prefer his timing to Breslow's regarding the mid-show bumper, which would appear right when Rod would say "The Price Is Right", compared to appearing right when "Stay tuned for more pricing games..." starts since the TPIR would already be fully zoomed out. But then during the Ticket plug for the final two years before it was moved to the end of Showcase Showdown #1, Alter tended to use a consistent curl towards the center of the screen, compared to the numerous effects used by Mr. Breslow.

What about Dennis, Tom (God rest their souls), and Doug?

Dennis and Tom's stints were directed in a pretty similar manner to Breslow-era Barker, although it was Kennedy's version where the star wipe was first introduced. I also find it pretty cool that on some Kennedy episodes, the Big Doors would open to reveal prizes as the opening titles flashed. On the Davidson, the wipe timing is pretty similar to Alter-era Bob, but I like how the pan sort of swivels around from the crowd over towards the Big Doors before fading to Door #2.
Now open for tape trading! Please PM me for an offer with a list included.

The list: http://pannoni1.angelfire.com/

Offline Trevor Tuominen

  • In the Audience
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2020, 03:50:58 PM »
I was talking about the hosts, but alright.
“Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously.” - Alex Trebek, 1940-2020

Offline Nick

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 3667
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2020, 04:39:27 PM »
At least with Alter, we got to see the cool audience entrances

I know I may be the minority here, but in retrospect, I think the audience entrance has been overemphasized as something cool.  It really doesn't carry the impressiveness that the door entrance has, and if the audience entrance never happened or never returned, I wouldn't say it's a great loss.  The audience entrance is only impressive because of what it indicates, that Golden Road or 3 Strikes is the opener (I was always rather miffed when the audience entrance was wasted on Plinko or some other game first).

But then during the Ticket plug for the final two years before it was moved to the end of Showcase Showdown #1, Alter tended to use a consistent curl towards the center of the screen, compared to the numerous effects used by Mr. Breslow.

Breslow did the best ticket plugs.  From crawling the text onto the screen in line with Johnny's reading of the copy to capturing the reaction of some woman in the audience seeing herself on the monitor, he injected a lot of flavour into this short element of the show.

it was Kennedy's version where the star wipe was first introduced.

Was it?  I can't say I've ever looked into the timing on this one.  On the subject, someone once recounted here years ago, if I remember it correctly, that somebody in the booth made the suggestion of the star wipe to fit Bob as the "star of The Price Is Right".  Not sure if it was Breslow or somebody else who remarked to not let Bob hear of something so ego-stroking as that.  Not much later, the star wipe was introduced.  Does anybody else remember that story?

I was talking about the hosts, but alright.

Would you be a little more specific?  Because I couldn't quite tell to what you were referring with your initial remark.
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 blozier2006

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1756
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2020, 05:09:19 PM »
Was it?  I can't say I've ever looked into the timing on this one.
Per the timeline, the star wipe began to be used on the daytime show by about the start of Season 17 (September 12, 1988).

EDIT: Just checked my video archive, and the circle wipe was still there as of December 7, 1987, the star wipe was there by January 19, 1988.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 05:14:17 PM by blozier2006 »

Online mellongraig

  • Taking a Bonus Spin
  • *****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2020, 05:15:44 PM »
Per the timeline, the star wipe began to be used on the daytime show by about the start of Season 17 (September 12, 1988).

I guess the star wipe at first was a Kennedy thing only at the time with the circle wipe being used for daytime only.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 05:17:53 PM by mellongraig »

Offline pricefan18

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 05:25:34 PM »
I guess the star wipe at first was a Kennedy thing only at the time with the circle wipe being used for daytime only.

I wonder how Bob felt about that at the time. I can see that not sitting well with his ego, having Kennedy the new guy at the helm getting star treatment over him.

Offline blozier2006

  • Double Showcase Winner
  • ******
  • Posts: 1756
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 05:32:32 PM »
I can see that not sitting well with his ego
If Bob's ego was that fragile, then somebody should've told him to grow up and get over himself.

Offline SuperMatch93

  • Walking the Golden Road
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
Re: Host entrance visual history and analysis
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2020, 04:28:35 PM »
John said at the outset that there were additional hosts in nighttime, but he acknowledged that it was outside the scope of what he intended to demonstrate with this analysis.

An analysis, by the way, which is a remarkable demonstration of the psychological aspect of camera work and direction. As someone who does this kind of stuff with friends as a hobby, it's definitely something for me to consider in the future.