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August 2014
Issue: October 1, 2007

THE NEW TV SEASON

By: Randi Altman

Ok, I’ll admit it. I love the summer. The outdoors, the beach, the BBQs. So when the air grows a little crisper, the days shorter and the frigid days of winter are ahead, I need to find something to escape to. I’m a baseball fan, so football doesn’t do it for me. I’m a bit of a spaz, so for my own safety and the safety of others, skiing is out; same for ice skating. So what’s left? I enjoy losing myself in a well-produced and posted TV show.

The new television season is always so full of promise. I tend to pick a few shows to invest in and then hope for the best — that they will be picked up for a full season and then for next year.

But that doesn’t always happen — damn you, The Nine and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip! Damn you to hell. At least Aaron Sorkin saw the writing on the wall of the Studio 60 soundstage and tied everything up into a neat little series finale. But, The Nine... oh, The Nine. Great cast, well shot, well edited, but no viewers. I will never find out what went on in that god-forsaken bank. Was one of them in on it? Would Tim Daly gamble again? Would Scott Wolf lose more weight, making his dimples even more cavernous? Sadly, we will never know.

One of this season’s most talked about and critically acclaimed shows is ABC’s Pushing Daisies, the Barry Sonnenfeld produced and directed (the pilot and episode 1, at least) one-hour. It’s about a man who brings the recently murdered back to life so they can tell the cops who killed them… then he touches them again and they die once more. It’s quirky, it’s funny, it’s sweet, and it’s produced and post produced like a little feature film each week.

Show editor Stuart Bass, A.C.E., who I spoke to this month for our “Edit This!” column, says the performances on Pushing Daisies are very realistic and believable. “The show is about a guy who brings people back to life. It’s a crazy world,” he explains, adding that all the performances are very subdued. “Barry is very careful about rehearsing the actors a lot and trying to maintain this level of believability. I think that’s kind of my prime mission: guarding those performances. All those effects and the crazy schedule and all the technology… the bottom line is to make sure the performers and story is told in a very believable fashion.”

He credits his new software-only Avid Media Composer V.2.7 set-up for speeding up the process. He says the ScriptSync feature saves a ton of time, and that the speed of the software helps him use more of the effects that are offered within the software. Another plus is that “everything seems to transfer over to Nitris nicely for when we finish,” he adds.