Network | Staging Live Cinema

— One minute to go.
— One minute to go. — Can we have Howard, please?
— Can we have Howard? Continuity on air in 49 seconds. 50 seconds to broadcast.
Where the hell is Howard? (BEEPING AS SECONDS COUNT DOWN) — Come on, buddy.
— Ready. OK, Howard. Patty Hearst, Middle East,
rust belt closures, OPEC. Got that? (BEEPING CONTINUES) 30 seconds. — Give me the A camera. Do we have sound?
— Check. — B camera?
— Check. — Sound?
— Check. — Howard?
— Check. — Studio ready?
— Studio ready. — Continuity.
— It’s time forTonight with Howard Beale! — Cue music and titles.
— Ten, nine, eight, seven, — six, five, four…
— Camera. And…Howard.My name is Tal Yarden.I’m a video designer and my role
on the show is supervising
and creating all of the video elements
and components that are in Network.
So, I’m looking at the original text.I’m looking at the original movie
and thinking about what we might do now.
We knew that we would set it
in a TV studio with over 40 monitors.
We have our technical staff
sitting on stage in and among the actors.
They become part of the technical
infrastructure that expresses the network.
I wanted to get at the subjective
experience of Howard Beale.
We have studio cameras focused
on Bryan Cranston,
playing Howard Beale,
during the news segments.
Then once we’re off the news,
or if we want to see behind the scenes,
we use hand-held cameras
that are on gimbals
with two fantastic camera operators,
Julie and Chris.
My name is Julie Rocque,and on Network
I am one of the main camera operators
doing hand-held camera during the show.My name’s Chris Jackson.My main role in the production is
operating one of the hand-held gimbals
as well as looking after
the production running of the show.
TAL:And these hand-held cameras are going
all around the set pulling different shots
and we’re getting
little incidental moments.
They are — the camera people,
the cinematographers —
delivering a live movie.JULIE:On stage with us, we have Ross,
who’s our vision mixer.
He will vision mix and choose
which cameras come on live.
He makes sure that we’ve got our image up
and that our camera feed is coming in.
TAL:During technical rehearsals,
we’re building our cues for the show.
Cues break down into two basic components.We have a lot of pre-recorded,
pre-edited media elements
that are going to appear on a projection
screens, on all the different monitors,
that need to be laid out on a timeline,cued in together with sound,
together with light.
And then there’s the whole separate
sequence of cues
that has to do with
what the camera operators are doing,
so that they know their path at every
moment through the course of the piece,
and know every shot
that they have to take.
CHRIS:You start finding the areas
of the stage where not to go,
where you can go, where you’re safe
and where you can get the best shot from.
I’m mad as hell
and I’m not going to take it any more!
Bryan’s breakdown scene, where you start
seeing the repeated image of his face,
the infinity loop video feedback
on the wall,
there’s a lot of emotion
shown in the close-up.
It helps give the intimate feel.JULIE:It didn’t come together, really,
I think, until we actually got on set
and we had the proper projector out there
and everything.
That first time we did that scene,
it was a lot easier for me
to get a brilliant shot of Bryan
and that effect in the background as well.
CHRIS:It becomes so much like a dance
at that point,
trying to be in the right place,
the right part of the circling motion,
and also avoid shadow, avoid Julieand try to get a shot which allows Ross,
the vision mixer,
to be able to cut away
between the two cameras.
The complete explosion
of the multimedia element
is a perfect portrayal
of attention-grabbing media.
You’re constantly having
your focus stolen —
whether it’s from Bryan downstage,
whether it’s to a restaurant stage-left,
or whether it’s to the production studio
TV element happening all around you.
JULIE:We’re there. We’re filming it live.It’s not live TV because it’s artistic
and we’re really getting in there
and we’re moving around.It’s very live cinema theatrics —
it’s quite a unique and amazing thing.
TAL:As video and various forms of mediabecome increasingly
more prevalent in our life,
I can only imagine that we will stop
thinking of it as being something new
and something unusual.It will have a presence on stage the way
lighting and sound do in every production.
CHRIS:Being a technician, I’ve been very
used to being backstage all of my life.
It was very strange in tech.I looked out into the auditorium and saw
all the production guys and I was like,
‘This is totally bizarre
for me not to be sat out there.’
And how visible, all of a sudden, I felt.And especially awkward
about having to take a bow,
which was something
I never had to do before!
It’s a whole new perspective.


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