Friday, November 27, 2009

Rubbish blogger and thoughts in editing TV for different broadcast markets

I'm trying to ignore that I still don't feel fabulous, though at least I have now completed two full weeks - assuming I make it through this afternoon! - without completely falling over.

I've had a brief fainting fit at work (relieved by quick purchase of a sugar and lemon pancake) and was barfaliciously ick after tea the other night. Meh. I need to get better quick: I'm running out of weeks.*

Anyway, having responded to Persephone's positive enjoyment of Collision, I thought I'd repost and expand on some of the points I made there.

**SPOILER NOTE: If you haven't yet seen the drama, it may wise to avoid these discussions.**

But empathies on the sometimes shoddy editing practices; that ALWAYS really concerns me regarding dramas moving countries for broadcast and I do think its a problem. Rather like word limits for essays (sorry, I have my work hat on), they're obviously important but it can feel like you're making something fit the limitations of format rather than allowing it to breathe its natural shape/structure. Personally, I think if another country wants something originally made/broadcast elsewhere they should as much as possible adapt to accommodate it - rather than hacking about to make it fit their quirky schedule structure.

And that POV applies just as much for imports TO the UK as it does for exports from the UK to elsewhere. Respect the makers structure! they made it that length for a reason!

there probably are examples, but I'd be amazed if it was so extensive in happening in print fiction as it does in TV ("sorry, we decided to chop chapters 4-6 and edited the ending accordingly because we haven't got room for those characters in the X pages we need this book to fit in for our US edition" GRRRRRRRRR)

I think the point I wanted to convey is that TV seems particularly prone to being messed about with, and apart from perhaps the chronological version of the Godfather parts 1 and 2 that used to air on TV (combining in chronological order the events from the two films), I can't think of any examples where such editing/restructuring has a purpose or even vaguely positive impact on the material.

Am I right in my thinking regarding literature? Are there precedents for cutting sections, scenes, plotlines when a text is republished in another country? (I'm trying not to think about more straightforward censorship issues about why texts may change from country to country, but maybe that is relevant in the example of Collision as Persephone suggests that it was perhaps the refugee storyline that suffered in editing).

I'm going to try and press myself to not launch into yet another tirade about aspect ratios as I know its a topic I can easily get worked up about, but as my comment quoted above hints, respecting the original version is surely important? If a country or broadcaster likes a piece so much that they want to broadcast it, why would they want to broadcast as different from the original?

Or am I getting irked about a minor issue? Are such editorial cuts much less crucial than I am attributing? Are they likely to just be very minor seconds worth of edits to cumulatively add up to enough of a reduction to fit the time schedule? (That actually seems like a lot of complex work for relatively little reward? it probably is easier to cut whole character/plot/storylines than fiddling at the seconds... *sigh*)

Anyway, I'd be interested in your thoughts...

*I mean running out of weeks efore Xmas and the hols: that wasn't intended to be a life length notice (unless someone somewhere knows something I don't)


rashbre said...

I've noticed quite a few films with different edits for different markets.

Usually it seems to be minor pieces cut out to fit a timeslot or similar. I can't think of any examples right now, but I've definitely had those 'Huh?' moments where a cut occurs and something is missing.

Actually I find the recaps every ten minutes in some formulaic TV formats quite annoying, where its designed for slots that have lots of advert breaks. So the first 30 seconds after every break is a recap. Yuk.

Evil Pixie said...

About your thoughts on literature being edited... it's quite likely. Depends on the copyright laws, but in the US - it has happened. For example, Darwin's amazing work - Origins of Species - has an expired copyright in the US so the creationists are already starting to muck around with it. It's scary but true.

To me, it is a frightening world when a person's original work - regardless if it is literature, TV, etc. - is sliced, diced, and manipulated to suit a need beyond the true story. I don't care if it is to fit a time slot, audience, or to argue a point. It is still an injustice. Okay... I'm stepping off my soap box. :)

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Evil Pixie - it's nice to know it isn't just me that HAS this soap box!

JoeinVegas said...

Not just movies for different markets, but movies made here I have seen several times and then find scenes cut to fit in extra commercials. I remember watching one a few months ago, anxiously awaiting the interesting bit toward the middle and suddenly they were elsewhere haveing totally cut it out.
With digital editing it's easy, sometimes a sentence here or there to cut a few minutes, but at the end it's not really the same film.