Thursday, June 09, 2005

I Don't Just Watch TV, I Read It, Too

As you probably know, reviewing TV shows sometimes means working from ''rough cuts'' where the effects may not be finished, the music is temporary and other things have not been done.
You get used to it, especially since the alternative -- waiting for a finished cut -- may mean not getting a show in time to write about it.
But some cuts are rougher than others. Right now, I'm at my office watching ''Wildfire,'' an ABC Family series premiering on June 20. Several small scenes are missing from a sequence, with text displays describing them instead. As in:
''Pablo & Kris: Pablo shows Kris how to shoe a horse''
''Kris, Todd & Pablo: Todd moves out of harm's way as Kris and thermometer go to work''
''Matt & Kris: Matt jumps off tractor, & takes shirt off to cool off, Kris watches from a distance''

At the beginning of the tape, scenes of a horse race were intercut with displays saying ''High angle of racetrack/Horses race toward the finish line'' and ''After a long beat a lone horse appears, far off the pace.''
And a scene introducing the main character included subtitles saying ''Start opening credits'' (in the absence of the actual credits) and ''Continue opening credits.''
Even better: A later scene has characters staring at empty seats at a racetrack, with the word ''crowd'' superimposed on the seats. Can't wait to see what special-effects magic they work to put the crowd there.

But, as I said, you get used to it.


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