Author Topic: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive  (Read 1622 times)

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Offline kishy214

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TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« on: April 02, 2021, 06:39:37 PM »

Forgive me if this has been discussed on here before. Ological has gone thru the effort of peeling back the curtain on the host entrance from 1985 to the present -- how it's directed, punched, the emotional weight behind each camera move, etc.

What stands out to you here? Are there other versions of the host entrance you find interesting that this doesn't cover? I'll start by saying I think the 1985 Breslow sequence is perfect, but I love the direction circa-1981 as well. Clean cuts, no dissolves or wipes, and a beautiful wide dolly move from between the turntable and Door #1 showing the entire audience adoring Bob as he makes his approach to the "royal scepter" held by Janice.

Offline CBSpromoman

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 07:44:30 PM »
I respect that he spent a great deal of time analyzing frame by frame Breslow's design of the original opening sequence.

But having watched the show for a long time, the reality is that it rarely worked as "perfectly" as his example. The show was recorded live to tape. There was zero room for errors. To have the wipe happen every time just as Bob left one shot to the same moment he walked into the next -- as his example shows -- simply couldn't have happened every single day. And if you watch the great reruns on Pluto, you see that it almost never timed THAT perfectly.

I don't say that to take away from Breslow's design or Ological's analysis. The two just didn't match up as perfectly as the YouTube video seems to suggest.

Still, I think the greatest testament to Breslow's vision as a director was the sheer longevity of the open as it originally existed. There were no computer graphics when he started out. And even as special effects made certain things easier over the years, the design remained largely unchanged decade after decade. THAT takes a lot of talent.
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Offline Nick

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 06:53:13 PM »
Forgive me if this has been discussed on here before.

It has, but this is a good topic that could use some more discussion.

the reality is that it rarely worked as "perfectly" as his example. The show was recorded live to tape. There was zero room for errors. To have the wipe happen every time just as Bob left one shot to the same moment he walked into the next -- as his example shows -- simply couldn't have happened every single day. And if you watch the great reruns on Pluto, you see that it almost never timed THAT perfectly.

True, but what I find is while the timing may not have always been perfect, the shot was still well composed, unlike Alter's edition which seemed slow and sluggish by comparison.  He'd bring the camera down and if Bob didn't enter the frame immediately, he would generally enter at the same point (bottom left corner) and usually within one to two seconds.  Alter would generally leave you hanging much longer before Bob re-entered the frame.

And it's interesting in seeing the clips from '82 before Breslow figured out the transition and timing of this shot because it went through a phase when it wasn't that pretty.  The zoom in is absent and Breslow just cuts to the overhead lights and starts to glide down, eventually to the point where Bob is is back in the frame.  It's really not that interesting of a shot seeing the overhead lights, and I'm puzzled as to what he saw appealing about this.  The entrance looked much better in '81 where he would cut to a wide shot including Contestants' Row in view as Bob walked across the stage, also one usually well timed with the moment Bob re-entered the frame once Breslow took to the wide shot.
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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. Itís the game, stupid! (Itís about the game.)

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Offline Grand_game2004

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 09:37:20 AM »
I for one always thought that Bob's entrances were quite special, especially if he came through the audience during the beginning of some shows, because sometimes you could tell that what was at stake for the first contestant to make it up on stage was sometimes huge! But I'm wondering if Bob's audience entrances were sometimes done just to change things up once in a while.

Offline kishy214

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 10:18:47 AM »
And it's interesting in seeing the clips from '82 before Breslow figured out the transition and timing of this shot because it went through a phase when it wasn't that pretty.  The zoom in is absent and Breslow just cuts to the overhead lights and starts to glide down, eventually to the point where Bob is is back in the frame.  It's really not that interesting of a shot seeing the overhead lights, and I'm puzzled as to what he saw appealing about this.  The entrance looked much better in '81 where he would cut to a wide shot including Contestants' Row in view as Bob walked across the stage, also one usually well timed with the moment Bob re-entered the frame once Breslow took to the wide shot.

The sell of the Ď81 version to me is the wide dolly move. We use  something very similar where I work (Iím the production supervisor for a TV station now) using a jib to create that smooth, almost Steadicam effect. The effect of perfectly marrying the dolly and pan of that shot is one of depth and grandeur... it simultaneously shows more of the studio space AND makes it look bigger ó usually showing more of the space makes the viewer more aware of the boundaries and reduces the perceived size, but the combination of a trucking move while keeping the center of the frame practically identical does the same peripheral vision trick of the quick zoom-out on Door #2 in this video.

Everyone gushes over the pattern limit wipe effects Breslow was doing using M/Es for IFUBs and GPs, and while those are immense technical accomplishments for the 70s and 80s, they donít hold up nowadays. Those dolly moves you see in the late 70s/early 80s opens and Bobís teases to break (Lucky Seven closes are a great example of this) are the opposite. Those camera moves have been lost in TV production today ó they shine in rerun.

Offline Nick

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 10:32:39 AM »
But I'm wondering if Bob's audience entrances were sometimes done just to change things up once in a while.

I'm beginning to think this was directorial choice by Paul Alter or producer choice in that they could have the first game staged without having to rush it through the first One Bid after the entrance.

Everyone gushes over the pattern limit wipe effects Breslow was doing using M/Es for IFUBs and GPs, and while those are immense technical accomplishments for the 70s and 80s, they donít hold up nowadays.

It depends to what you refer.  The effect where the frame was put around the screen followed by a wipe-in to a flat that then pulled apart to reveal a One Bid item (giving the illusion of a wipe-in, wipe-out transition) would still look awesome today.

Also, Breslow was so crafty with the wipe-right back to Bob as the train would drive right after a One Bid.  He'd ride the edge of the wipe just perfectly on the heels of the train, and you could tell the wipe was being paced accordingly, for it usually got a fast start and then slowed once the edge of the wipe hit the back of the train platform.

Those dolly moves you see in the late 70s/early 80s opens and Bobís teases to break (Lucky Seven closes are a great example of this) are the opposite. Those camera moves have been lost in TV production today ó they shine in rerun.

Agreed.  I'll add to that one that was being used around the late '70s, generally before the fourth calldown, where the camera would dolly down the stage with the lights and the audience in view as Johnny called the name.  Just beautiful.
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. Itís the game, stupid! (Itís about the game.)

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

Offline kishy214

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 09:48:56 PM »
It depends to what you refer.  The effect where the frame was put around the screen followed by a wipe-in to a flat that then pulled apart to reveal a One Bid item (giving the illusion of a wipe-in, wipe-out transition) would still look awesome today.

Oh youíre right ó that was a dirty little illusion. You could use a DVE wipe in the switcher these days to effect the flat literally closing and it would be even nastier.

Also on the train wipe reveal back to Bob... another lost art. No TDs these days can use a fader bar like that... almost everything is done with timed wipes/DVE effects, which makes an effect like that, following the action in the real world almost impossible.

Offline JT

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2021, 08:07:13 AM »
I thoroughly enjoyed this analysis along with the narrator who I believe was also the developer of the piece.

Offline GobGlom

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 09:49:14 AM »
Oh youíre right ó that was a dirty little illusion. You could use a DVE wipe in the switcher these days to effect the flat literally closing and it would be even nastier.

Also on the train wipe reveal back to Bob... another lost art. No TDs these days can use a fader bar like that... almost everything is done with timed wipes/DVE effects, which makes an effect like that, following the action in the real world almost impossible.

Back then, they had a ton of time and could be creative and stretch. Now, time is at a premium as networks find any way to shoehorn more ad time.

Offline kishy214

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 04:39:59 PM »
Back then, they had a ton of time and could be creative and stretch. Now, time is at a premium as networks find any way to shoehorn more ad time.

Having technical skill is not something that gets lost because of the increased crunch. TDs aren't as skilled anymore because they aren't as skilled. The good ones work on the hundreds of sports productions happening around the country these days ó and with good reason ó those jobs pay well and are a lot of fun. I'd argue that a super skilled TD would be even more useful in a show where time is a concern, because they would be able to cram more effects in to a shorter amount of time. The problem with that is that most switcher effects that are used to compensate for time lost are recallable effects ó ones where the TD just needs to know which macro to select on the bus to call up the resizers, DVEs, timed effects, etc... and those are all controlled with the push of a button. The effects we're pining for are all based on the fader bar (a handle on the bus which controls the speed and amount of an effect, whether that's wiping, dissolving, etc.) and that particular skill has been lost in the industry as a whole with time.

Offline gamesurf

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Re: TPIR Host Entrance: a deep dive
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2021, 10:27:54 PM »
Having technical skill is not something that gets lost because of the increased crunch. TDs aren't as skilled anymore because they aren't as skilled. The good ones work on the hundreds of sports productions happening around the country these days ó and with good reason ó those jobs pay well and are a lot of fun. I'd argue that a super skilled TD would be even more useful in a show where time is a concern, because they would be able to cram more effects in to a shorter amount of time. The problem with that is that most switcher effects that are used to compensate for time lost are recallable effects ó ones where the TD just needs to know which macro to select on the bus to call up the resizers, DVEs, timed effects, etc... and those are all controlled with the push of a button. The effects we're pining for are all based on the fader bar (a handle on the bus which controls the speed and amount of an effect, whether that's wiping, dissolving, etc.) and that particular skill has been lost in the industry as a whole with time.

Not a TD myself, but I have friends who are, and this topic came up. You hit the nail pretty much on the head. So many effects on modern switchers are automated, and you just can't automate something like that. You have to have a TD that is able to ride the bar with perfect timing. A few can, but most can't do it reliably.

Having technical skill is not something that gets lost because of the increased crunch. TDs aren't as skilled anymore because they aren't as skilled. The good ones work on the hundreds of sports productions happening around the country these days ó and with good reason ó those jobs pay well and are a lot of fun.

Even in sports, these are skills are in danger of being lost. More and more sporting events are being produced remotely; instead of sourcing a full in-person crew for an event, they send a skeleton crew to the stadium (cameras, uplink, an ops manager) and produce the bulk of the broadcast from a studio (director, producer, graphics, replay, audio mixing) in Bristol or some other hub city.

Remote productions are popular with networks, even before the pandemic forced more of them, because they keep travel costs down and the same crew can work multiple events in a day. But they come at a cost. The camera & audio footage you get is being beamed through a satellite from hundreds of miles away, so effects that demand timing and precision are out. And if you're working three sporting events a day, you don't have any TIME to innovate. Those jobs are exhausting even for skilled TDs. You're working sporting events up to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. You have to use macros out of necessity.
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