ANTM Episode 1103 / Network Notes

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TO: Ken Mok
FROM: The CW Network
RE: ANTM 1103

Dear Ken et al:

Please find attached our notes for the current cut of Episode 1103. Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing the next cut.

Best,
THE NETWORK

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GENERAL:
Overall, really strong episode! Happy to see that the focus of this episode was kept on THE GIRLS, who are and should remain the central focus of the show.

The only major issue is remembering to track the stories of two girls: Hannah and Isis. Nikeysha works as a trainwreck and it’s fine to see her in the bottom two, but we spend a LOT of time talking about these other two girls, and the place where we start the episode is not the same place we end it, especially with Hannah. Her photo shoot and panel are extremely underwhelming, because we never see how the drama in the house is or is not affecting her performance. Right now, there’s just a quick bite (that doesn’t even come right before her shoot) about letting go of the drama in the house, but after PUSHING Isis and being accused of RACISM, there has to be a bigger payoff. We recommend, since she doesn’t land near the bottom two, that her photo shoot is recut so that she does extremely well, and that you support this reality with bites about how she is letting go of the drama in the house and concentrating on her performance…if the other girls want to talk about her that’s fine, but she knows that she’s there with a job to do.

And as far as Isis, its weird that we invest so much in her hormone story and that it never pays off in affecting her photo shoot. If we’re going to see her giving herself a NEEDLE IN HER LEG, we should track that story throughout the episode and make sure it’s a necessary add. If not, I wouldn’t mind seeing it cut from the episode completely.

SPECIFIC:

2:15 — We’re starting with Marjorie’s picture displayed in the house? Feels like a soft opening. Any way we can get in some actual drama (like this Nikeysha pod that follows) to kick off the show in high gear? Any van reality we can hook all of these flashbacks and bites to instead of this one line in the kitchen, THEN get them back to the house and the beat about Marjorie’s picture?

2:53 — Maybe I’m old school, but I don’t actually think it means anything when Isis says she was called “second in panel.” If we’re truly making it a countdown from the best to the worst, I think we should make that clearer. In the short term, let’s replace Isis’s “I was called second in panel” with something like, “Last week, the judges really liked my photo.”

3:23 — We’ll need one of those “other Benny Ninja appearances on Top Model” packages to accompany Samantha’s bite that Benny has taught posing to the best of the best. Please also look for her saying the word “NINJA” to tack on after she says “BENNY,” for the sake of clarity.

4:15 — Could use some kind of flashback when Nikeysha tells us that the judges “keep telling Sheena to tone it down.” Don’t really remember having heard it.

6:25 — These lame “…and we got the Tyra Mail and we were like we don’t know WHAT it was about” bites should only be included if they bring something new to the discussion. This one does not.

7:04 — Too much ass.

7:07 — The Sheena pod is really great, but the transition into the Clark/Elina kiss needs work. It’s a HUGE moment to have two girls kissing in the hot tub…let’s sting out of the Sheena bit, then maybe a shot of the moon to denote time passing, then a bit from a girl being like, “And the later we got, the crazier the game became!” THEN back to Clark telling us about her dare. Also, her transition bite doesn’t work, because Clark says everyone was telling secrets, but so far all we’ve seen is two dares.

9:18 — This act out — and Hannah’s very real reaction to what her roommates said — are what makes this show the show that it is. Only thing I’d say is if you could find Isis doing something in the house to cut to, it might be worth moving her bite a tiny bit closer to the end of the act.

10:57 — Snazzy reveal, but it’s too long before we see the crazy pose Benny has struck on the couch, and it’s not held long enough. Extend. Also, after the CU on “welcome, models,” we should see another wide of him on the couch before he disembarks in that wide…don’t like this shot from behind.

11:42 — Is there a compelling reason we need to see Tarina’s creative team in a full-chyroned cutaway? Really interrupts the flow of the getting-ready montage, and we never hear them talk.

12:13 — The three parts of Tarina’s bite don’t really fit together. It’s okay (if generic) for her to mention that it was interesting for her to see the kinds of poses they were coming up with, but if one person uses her toes and then another does, why is it “a problem”? Need more clarification of what it is she’s looking for.

17:17 — Again, great act out. I’m thoroughly engaged!

17:59 — Whether it’s through the music or editing or both, we need to have a little more fun with the hot air balloon reveal. I know we don’t end up using it so it makes sense to downplay, but it’s playing really flat right now. Also, can we use this camera behind the girls with the balloon in the frame a few more times? It’s hard to get a sense of scale (I was surprised when they could hear Jay talking), and this angle helps.

21:34 — Hannah racism story starting to get a little stale/repetitive. If it’s building somewhere new this scene could work, but cutting away to Analeigh’s photo shoot makes this bit seem like much ado. Either cut or butt up against a NEW development with this story.

24:01 — Okay, see note above…when it came time for Hannah’s shoot, I was expecting one of two things, and I got neither: One, Hannah forgets about the drama in the house (as per her bite at 21:34) and aces the photo shoot. Or two, Hannah SAYS she forgot about the drama in the house, only to brick the photo shoot and then admit that it got the better of her. The way this plays now, she just doesn’t do well with NO recognition of the story we’ve been following until now. The photo shoot is a golden opportunity to call attention to her plight in the house, especially if it affects her performance. Need at least one bite that mentions this, or if you have NOTHING, try moving the ENTIRE scene from 21:34 to right before Hannah’s shoot begins. This shoot is falling flat right now.

24:01 — Also, Hannah’s “this is definitely my second photo shoot” doesn’t really make sense. It’s everyone’s second photo shoot. Is it her second photo shoot EVER? If so, please add.

25:28 — Again, guys, it seems weird that, after an ENTIRE episode of Hannah polarizing the girls, that we wouldn’t tie her jitters back to her causing instability in the house. Need some add to her bite, either “I need to show these girls who think I’m some hick that I can do this” or “I just hope everything going on back here hasn’t gotten inside my head blah blah blah” so we can tie her house behavior to her performance a little more.

26:05 — Hannah scene is good and Sheena bite works as an act out, but we need something from Isis here as I don’t really feel that she’s on the block. Right now I think Sheena is going home — which is FINE — but I don’t want to be taken completely by surprise.

26:28 — Is there a take where Tyra doesn’t get all sing-songy with the words, “Smaller and smaller?” She doesn’t need to spice up the action on stuff that’s just process.

27:08 — Do you have or can you ADR Tyra saying, “Tarina Tarantino, WHO” instead of “Tarina Tarantino, WHICH”?

27:16 — Is there a take where Tyra doesn’t get all sing-songy when she says Analeigh’s name? Need to have her start doing cleaner takes in the future!

28:06 — Just like her shoot, a totally unsatisfying payoff to the Hannah story…did she do well and triumph or did she do badly and let the drama affect her? Gotta pick one and go with it.

29:43 — Did Tyra specifically request the inclusion of this Steven Meisel story? It goes on much too long and doesn’t really contain any takeaway lessons for the girls. Seems like she’s telling it just for self-aggrandizement. Scale down further or cut completely.

34:52 — See my notes for 1102…there’s that music cue AGAIN.

38:58 — Not to beat a dead horse here, but the fact that there’s nothing of Tyra saying anything to Hannah when she gives her her picture underscores how hazy and under-told her story is in this episode. Really need to do another pass on her and clean this up.

40:18 — “And you need to learn to listen!” This ADR is mixed horribly.

The end with the Nikeysha bite continuing over the credits is HILARIOUS.

NEXT ON — A little lame. NO more drama than that we can mine from the makeovers? Makes me a little nervous about seeing the next episode!

ANTM Episode 1102 / Network Notes

These just in.

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TO: Ken Mok
FROM: The CW Network
RE: ANTM 1102

Dear Ken et al:

Please find attached our notes for the cut of Episode 1102. Please call of email to set up a call at your earliest convenience.

Best,
THE NETWORK
Read more

ANTM Episode 1101 / Network Notes

I went a long time — and for good reason — without watching “America’s Next Top Model.” After six seasons of being involved with the show as either a recapper or a producer, I was somewhat burned and somewhat burned out by the time Cycle Seven’s CarrieDee nabbed the crown and receded into instant nothingness. I took a breather during Cycles Eight and Nine, and then returned last season to watch the casting episode, point at Whitney, and say, “She’s going to win.” And she did! And so did I, because I loved Cycle 10 and its plus-sized affirmative action policy toward its eventual winner. Don’t get me wrong…I loved Whitney. But her victory was preordained. Tyra must have taken one look at her during casting and thought, “This is the only plus-sized contestant in the history of this show who has a shot in hell of winning — sorry Diane — so she’s gonna, damn it.” No end of bitchy eye rolls or pageant-y performances was going to stand in Whitney’s way.
Read more

this flim is not yet rated

“Um, yeah. So, I rented Pan’s Labyrinth, right? And I turned it on and I was like, Hey, you guys? Is this movie in not English? That seems unlikely, because I thought it was supposed to be, like, good and stuff. And a fantasy. How am I supposed to see all that fantasy if I spend the entire time reading my movie? This is totally false advertising. I mean, ‘labyrinth’ isn’t even a Spanish word. Can I speak to a manager?”

I really feel for the poor workers at the Blockbuster on Sunset and Fairfax. I can only imagine what kind of tense conversations with irate customers led them to have to put up this sign:

flim

Then again, if they really wanted to placate people, they should have written it in a language we all can understand. I wonder what “flim” means in English.

a very long excuse for why I’m not exercising

Almost exactly one year ago, I came home for four days for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. Yes, I’m a boy and yes, I wasn’t reeeeeeeally invited, by my mom was feeling stressed about it and I had a tiny break between seasons of ANTM, so I hopped on a plane and spent the weekend on Long Island. It was April. It was so pretty out.

Since that weekend almost 365 days ago, I have gained over thirty pounds.

“Oh, no,” you may be thinking, “Dan is a monster. Let’s give him pamphlets about the dangers of morbid obesity and let’s give him coupons from Subway and then rename him ‘Chunk Fatori’ and laugh about him when he’s not in the room. Not that he’ll ever be entirely out of the room, because when you’re that big, you’re kind of close to everything all the time.” But don’t despair, fellow (though a bit catty, to be honest) reader. It’s not that I’m fat (at least not THAT fat) now, but rather that I was dangerously skinny then.

I was on a crazy diet at the time, and the second I went off of said crazy diet, I started to gain weight in a pounds-an-hour kind of way. This is not solely because I was on some uber-Atkins diet where I was allowed to have my first piece of bread and immediately gained twenty pounds; this was because as soon as I had the full arsenal of food available to me for the first time in over six months, I started eating like a freaking maniac. I was eating because I had to gain weight, which was the most astonishing concept of all time. It was like having unprotected sex in order to not get an STD. It didn’t make sense, but I was all about it.

This new world of eating like a monster led to nights like this:

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And this:

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And, perhaps most disturbingly, this:

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Yes. That’s an entire container of Trader Joe’s raw cookie dough, which did not stay on the planet long enough even to see the inside of an oven. And that Cheetoh snow drift in the back? That got taken care of as well. Big time. My compliments to the craft services people at an old job of mine that I’m legally obligated not to mention.

Eric rebelled against this dangerous eating with great success during his 21-day detox, but I just kept on eating and eating and eating. When I started The World’s Most Stressful Job back in December, the thought of health and nutrition and certainly weight loss went right out the window. So I’ve been trying to run every day while I’ve been here, but it’s been a bit of challenge when the weather looks like this.

In fact, this is a picture of what it looks like outside of my window at this very moment.

weather

Yeah, happy freaking springtime, everyone. And have a good run, Boston Marathon. Me, I’m back on the cookie dough diet because it’s the only thing that can keep me warm.

Shea Stadium in April

I usually go to at least one game in the spring, and it’s usually cold, but…dude. Tonight (the worst game ever, even if the Mets had won, which they DID NOT…seriously, look at how Philly scored those three runs in the third), the temperature went from late January to early March and the back again, and at the top of the fifth inning, it began to snow.

But here’s what baseball looked like right before IT STARTED TO SNOW:

noname