Unless I’m held prisoner upsidedown in a glass box, or it’s for professional reasons, I do not consume any of Simon Cowell’s programming. However, I did catch the final part of one of the pre-recorded audition shows from Britain’s Got Talent.
Ok, I realise it could be the Editor’s fault, not the Director, as he’s got to trim each act into the 20 seconds that gets shown on telly, so he has to ‘cover’ his edits with what are called ‘cut-aways’ (bits of audience or ‘judge’ reaction rather than the actual act) to hide the fact that huge lumps are missing from the original 2 minute performance. And, he has to be congratulated for nearly always managing to seamlessly (as in, you don’t hear the join) cut out most of a song apart from the beginning and the end, despite the show being peppered with the most horrendous continuity errors (no matter, the demographic of the target telly viewer is by nature far too stupid to notice).
But, how ridiculous it’s got with all the ‘cut-aways’, and ultimately only the demented Director can be to blame.
Fair enough if the act is an audio act. As in, they are there to sing, or play an instrument or both. ‘Cut away’ and show us the audience weeping at how beautiful their voice is, or swaying in time with the beat, or show us the annoying real stars of the show – the ‘judges’ (who exist for us to worship whilst we ignore the actual talent the show should be about) – and do this as often as you like. That’s fine. The act is an audio act, and as long as you don’t interrupt the audio the telly viewers can still enjoy it even though the act is not in vision.
However. Why the fuck is there all this ‘cut-away’ business going on during a visual act? Is the demented Director completely bonkers? Why aren’t the telly viewers allowed to actually see the act?
Instead there are ‘cut-aways’ of the audience reacting to whatever it might be that’s going on on stage – the telly viewer has absolutely no idea what that might actually be. The telly viewer is not allowed to actually see it properly. So, the beauty of a dance troupe, or the wow of acrobatic act, the fun of a performing dog, none of them get actually seen by the telly audience.
There will be quick glimpses of what’s going on on the stage, but mainly the telly viewer gets to watch the faces of the judges or members of the audience. Sometimes the cut-away is a long-shot. That’s a camera right at the back of the audience showing the telly viewers the back of the audience’s heads and the stage as so far away that the viewers can barely see that anybody’s on it, let alone what they are actually doing that’s making the audience gasp or laugh or cheer.
Now, as I said, all of this is done in the edit to condense the act into a remarkable tiny amount of time for the pre-recorded shows. However, I’m reliably informed that exactly the same technique is used during the live shows. Now that is 100% down to the demented Director.
Why does he do it?
What would be so wrong in allowing the telly viewer to actually view a visual act, and leave all the annoying ‘cut-aways’ to the awful judges and over-hyped studio audience until the act is over and everybody is applauding? What would be so wrong in letting telly viewers actually see the ‘talent’ that Britian’s supposedly got?
I gather that this year there are none of the huge sob stories about people wanting to perform so they can afford to buy their mother a kidney transplant, and the amount of completely horrendous public ridiculing of non-talent that’s been wound-up to think it’s got talent until suddenly being cruelly let down by the judges after ritually humiliating themselves in front of a 1,000+ baying audience, has also been reduced to next to nothing. Good. We are starting to be nice rather than completely gladiatorial.
However, Mr Cowell, sir, if you are going to put on a talent show that you want the public to spend its money filling your coffers with, by voting for their favourite act, tell your brainless Director to let the public actually see the acts. Otherwise it’s always going to be biased towards the audio acts winning. Or is that the plan?
And as for you Mr Highly Paid Director, know this: it’s not arty, it’s not clever, it’s not enhancing, it’s not functional, it’s not anything but fuckin’ annoying. The frustrated viewers that are currently leaving and not bothering with the show will not be coming back next year and it’s all your fault!