TCM's 'Moguls & Movies"

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Gary Johnson
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TCM's 'Moguls & Movies"

Postby Gary Johnson » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:08 pm

For anyone following the thread of this over at N-Ville knows that most of us are not getting much out of it. However, Episode 3 was playing in my house the other day as I sat at my laptop editing when I suddenly looked up as I heard the dulcet tones of Mr. Roberts opining on Hal Roach and I got to thinking if Richard and Bob Birchard would care to chime in on their involvement with this series - not on the merits of it but on the actual production. For instance Richard, did you film your segments here in town (Phoenix) or did they fly you out to L.A.? Did the producers pose specific questions that they wanted you to address or did they just point a camera toward you and let you prattle on? (That would of been my modus operandi in dealing with you)

I'm just curious what the filmmakers production process was so if either of you gentlemen (and any other talking heads involved who happen to read this post) would care to relate your experiences I'd be interested in it.

Gary J.

Richard M Roberts
Godfather
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Re: TCM's 'Moguls & Movies"

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:28 pm

Gary Johnson wrote:For anyone following the thread of this over at N-Ville knows that most of us are not getting much out of it. However, Episode 3 was playing in my house the other day as I sat at my laptop editing when I suddenly looked up as I heard the dulcet tones of Mr. Roberts opining on Hal Roach and I got to thinking if Richard and Bob Birchard would care to chime in on their involvement with this series - not on the merits of it but on the actual production. For instance Richard, did you film your segments here in town (Phoenix) or did they fly you out to L.A.? Did the producers pose specific questions that they wanted you to address or did they just point a camera toward you and let you prattle on? (That would of been my modus operandi in dealing with you)

I'm just curious what the filmmakers production process was so if either of you gentlemen (and any other talking heads involved who happen to read this post) would care to relate your experiences I'd be interested in it.

Gary J.


Well, you might notice that I have been somewhat reticent in commenting about MOGULS AND MOVIESTARS, and perhaps this is one time where My Mothers Old adage"If you haven't anything nice to say about something, go ahead and say it" just does not seem to apply. So suffice to say I was not impressed with MOGULS AND MOVIESTARS, either in pre or post production, and am frankly amazed that they got as much footage out of me as they did before I walked out on my interview.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Michael J Hayde
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Re: TCM's 'Moguls & Movies"

Postby Michael J Hayde » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:13 pm

Gary, forgive me for chiming in here. I wasn't involved with M&M, but have done projects of this ilk before, and can share my own experience as they pertain to your questions.

I live in Northern Virginia. Fifteen years ago, I did an "Unsolved Mysteries" about George (Superman) Reeves; the series was then on NBC. The production company paid for my flight to LA, and hotel, and rental car, plus gave me a $30 per diem for each of three days, as well as lost wages for the days I took off work. They day-rented a lovely house in, I think, Tarzana, where all interviews were done. It was all impressively and unnecessarily lavish to my mind, but it was 1995, when the livin' was easy, the fish were jumpin' and the cotton was high. The interviews were administered by the director of the segment. There was a catered lunch.

Three years ago, I did "TV Land's Myths & Legends," same topic; and for that, I drove to the Hotel Rouge in Washington DC - with it's red paint and lighting scheme it looked for all the world like the Hotel Prostitute Paradise. The interview/taping was handled by a stringer crew, and the questions had been provided by the producers. There was bottled water.

In neither case were we permitted to go on at length; they don't want to burn up time and tape on off-topic stuff, even if it really is ON-topic. They ask specific questions and want specific answers in the form of sound bites. It's not terribly glamorous or exciting, except maybe when the cute young girl powders your face every few minutes... assuming they can afford one. And if you feel there are important things to say about your subject of expertise - which, you'd think, is the reason why you're there in the first place - it can be extremely frustrating when you're not encouraged to expound on those things, because they don't fit the producer's or director's opinion of what is/isn't important. I can relate to Richard's pain.

Michael

Gary Johnson
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Location: Sonoma, CA
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Re: TCM's 'Moguls & Movies"

Postby Gary Johnson » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:55 pm

Thanks for that Michael. I like that $30 per diem.
"Guess I'll go to Burger King and then go get two drinks at the Brown Derby."

And thanks for containing yourself Richard so you didn't get sued for slander or at least blacklisted from all future productions.

Gary J.


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