Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hope Lies on Television #1 - Boardwalk Bad

And here's the first instalment proper of my column at Hope Lies following the brief introductory column I wrote a few weeks ago.

The idea of writing about how directing for television differs to directing for film was what sparked off the idea of the column as a whole since I was really fascinated by how everything that people associate with distinctive film directors - a personal vision, style and recurring themes - can actually be a handicap when it comes to television since multiple directors will often work on one show. There are of course exceptions to the rule, such as in the case of a show like Spaced, in which every episode was directed by Edgar Wright, or traditional three-camera sitcoms which will often have one director because the very nature of those shows means that each episode has to be filmed live and sequentially, which is why you get people like Tom Cherones, the series director for many of the early seasons of Seinfeld, who will direct literally hundreds of episodes of a television show. In the former example, Wright's distinctly cinematic approach gave Spaced a look that was at the time, and even now, completely unique in comedy, whilst in the latter Cherones' direction sticks to a fairly rigid formula which, with a few rare examples, the show would never deviate from, so that when other directors took over from Cherones after Season 5, there was little noticeable difference.

It's that idea of consistency that interested me, and which I explored in this column.

Hope Lies On Television #1 - Boardwalk Bad