These just in.
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.
This episode is slickly edited. The pacing is excellent and the shot selection and music go far in propping up what are, ultimately, some THIN story lines.
But the editing also works against the episode, because I could feel as a viewer how much of this action had to be constructed in the bay. The problem is bigger than Frankenbites (which actually weren’t too distracting in this episode), and it speaks to a deeper level of your chosen stories just not being THAT interesting, and too often being given equal weight when they simply don’t deserve it:
*McKey as tough girl boxer feels disjointed and unnecessary until panel. She’s not in the final two, she doesn’t really have a bad photo shoot, and I don’t understand why we’re making such a big deal of her boxing just because she strikes a boxing pose in her photo. Need to see MUCH less of this story in lieu of propping up our major story girls: Sharaun, Nikeysha, and should see MORE Marjorie in setting up a red herring story who ultimately triumphs. Much more interesting than seeing a girl who likes boxing striking a boxing pose in her photo. Definitely start by losing that scene of her punching a pillow by the pool. Lame.
*Clark being convinced McKey needs to go home isn’t a strong story or a great act out. It WOULD have had either of the girls been in the bottom two, but at the moment it’s much ado.
*Nikeysha mouthing off to the judges doesn’t feel like a big enough moment to land her in the bottom two AT ALL. Need to see SOME other rationale throughout the episode, or create a MUCH bigger moment of her mouthing off to the judges.
Let’s discuss all of the above and the below. Please note the time codes pick up where they left off from the 1101 notes, as this is a two-part episode.
44:05 — Not really feeling this “Tyra on the radio” thing. It’s pretty obvious that this didn’t really happen and was added in later. I would suggest cutting, but if you want to try and make it work please look for better shots of girls listening and then responding. Right now it’s not a very satisfying kick-off and it’s very obviously faked.
44:18 — Yeah, actually, let’s just start the episode here with “Hello, LA.”
44:53 — Very odd introduction of Brittany S.’s character. Who cares yet if she “wants to be with the boys”? Means nothing without context, AND I can’t understand what she’s saying at the end of it. Would get out of bite after, “…out of the ordinary for me,” and maybe add something else about her excitement about being in the competition or jitters about what’s to come. And HOW COME WE’RE *STILL* NOT CALLING HER MCKEY???
45:15 — This Marjorie bite is an example of a good introductory bite that ties it back to her feelings about the competition. More of these, please.
45:32 — This “three Brittanys” thing is a mess. First, is this really the best place for this? Is there NOWHERE in the footage where we have a reality moment to back up this weird bite about two of the three Brits being told they have to change their name? Second, if Tyra was the one who told them they had to change their names, as the bite says, why don’t we have this footage? Third, why did Sharaun choose that name, and why did McKey choose that name? Are they middle names? Do we know? Fourth, the end of the bite (“…and everybody’s really excited to see each other!”) doesn’t fit the rest of the bite at all…can we find another tag more like, “So hopefully that will help people to tell us apart” or something that makes a little more sense? Lastly, we should put their names in a lower-third just as we did when we called them Brittany. We can discuss this moment further if you’d like, because it’s not working right now at all.
46:34 — Weird to see the “eco-friendly is fierce” stuff on the van without hearing a girl talk about it in a bite. Is there anything Samantha says we can hitch to the back of her current bite? Especially in light of the political bent that this episode takes on at the photo shoot?
49:35 — After this McKey bite about Isis being brave, I’m just about done with the Isis swimming stuff already.
50:53 — “Rocky” music is fun and stuff, but this stand-alone pod of McKey is coming too late to work. We know she’s not in the bottom two, so it’s hard to see how this is going to pay off down the road. Is there a way we can introduce this tough girl thing in the prior act (NOT with that lame bite, though!) so that this doesn’t feel like a floating pod better suited for a clip show? Or cut…
54:11 — No more people disappearing, please. No more.
54:23 — I don’t understand Miss Jay’s, “I hear reindeer. Merry Christmas” joke when McKey enters. Is she clomping? Doesn’t look that way. Try adding some footstep SFX or drop this line.
56:20 — Everyone agrees on one thing about this challenge: we LOVE Paulina’s bites! She is articulate and funny and engaging…has anyone discussed her availability re: hosting when Tyra’s contract ends? She’d be great!
56:43 — This creepy, leering shot of Nigel starting at Isis’s ass as she walks away has GOT to go. Not funny at all, and he’ll probably freak when he sees it.
57:05 — Do we have either a shot of the girls entering the house OR a bite that starts, “So we get back to the house and…” The way it stands, this transition to the house reveal feels extremely jarring.
57:06 — Wait, is this whole moment with the giant gift box just for product-placement? This is terrible and cuts deeply into story.
59:36 — Would love to get some footage of Tyra interviewing one of the presidential candidates on “The Tyra Banks Show.” Otherwise, it’s weird to bring up the fact that Tyra is passionate about the election…we’re ALL passionate about the election.
1:01:10 — We hear this music cue a lot.
1:04:15 — Can we get anything else from Jay on Sheena’s shoot? She’s more than JUST a hooch in other episodes, I hope?
1:05:10 — I’m siding with Sharaun instead of Mr. Jay when he calls her shoot “convoluted” and she doesn’t know what it means. I don’t actually know what it means in that context either.
1:06:54 — Can we see jitters from one other person? McKey? Nikeysha? This Marjorie thing is starting to feel a little constructed, and it might help to offset it by adding another girl.
1:09:43 — Does Tyra say anything to Sharaun in judging? This is the first girl sent home, and it feels like we need to have her say something. This also speaks to my earlier point about clarifying whether or not Sharaun knew what homeland security was. Does she talk about it in panel at all?
1:10:33 — Can’t understand Miss Jay.
1:11:21 — Whoa! There must be something else in the raw footage of Nikeysha mouthing off to the judges, right? It seems extremely cut up the way it is now. And while the girls’ performances in front of the judges is clearly important, we’ve seen almost NO other evidence that Nikeysha would be on the chopping block. As discussed above, this moment needs to be MUCH bigger and Nikeysha’s performance has to be introduced as lacking earlier.
1:12:40 — Joslyn doesn’t really get a critique. And we should cut Tyra saying that “it has nothing to do with unemployment,” because unemployment WAS THE POINT of her shoot. Comments like that reinforce the frequent criticism that some girls are kept for the same reason that other girls are let go. And Tyra is quite shrill here.
1:15:00 — Need one more cutaway to Clark after McKey’s picture is called “gorgeous.”
1:16:14 — I’m lost going into this break. No idea who is on the block. Not invested. No idea what’s going to happen, and not in a good way.
1:16:44 — There’s this music cue again.
1:16:58 — Miss Jay comment makes less than no sense.
1:17:28 — More on Nikeysha, you guys! That’s it from her deliberation? Still NO IDEA why this girl would be in the bottom two! Need to really go back through the whole episode and take another pass at her character!
1:17:41 — And there’s that music cue from 1:16:44 AGAIN.
1:19:06 — This is the big Isis reveal to the other judges? Very underwhelming.
NEXT ON: Good.