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"Leave It To Beaver: Season 2" -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, May 3, 2006.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    And Hugo Beaumont played his dad.

    (This puts me in mind of the long-running "Hugo Carmichael" gag from "The Jack Benny Program".) [​IMG]
     
  2. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    An interesting tidbit, IMO, re. the LITB series is the fact that the the show was filmed using just one camera (not the three-camera set-up that was used on "I Love Lucy", "The Lucy Show", and "The Dick Van Dyke Show").

    In fact, I have also recently learned that almost all other shows of that era ('50s-'60s) were also done with just a single camera too.

    Now.....I have a technical question re. this one-camera method of filming a TV show (or a movie). .......

    How in the heck do they keep the continuity and "flow" and rhythm of a scene intact when just one single camera is all that's being utilized in every scene?

    When we watch LITB, there are many, many close-up shots and cutaway shots that toggle between the actors speaking their dialogue. But evidently these "cuts" are done with just ONE camera in use. My question is: How?

    Or, perhaps more importantly -- WHY would they film a show with many jump-cuts between actors in this seemingly-much-more-difficult and hard-to-control manner?

    Is one actor filmed saying his line...with the camera then switching positions completely to film the response by the other actor? This sounds crazy to me. How can any spontaneous "flow" be created by doing this on virtually every single shot?

    I'd never thought about this question of how they film a "1-Camera" TV program until recently perusing Jerry Mathers' LITB book ("...And Jerry Mathers As The Beaver"), when I noticed that Jerry stated in the book that the show was done with just one camera instead of multiple cameras.

    And seeing as how not nearly every shot is composed as a 'wide' or 'medium' shot (so that the camera doesn't have to move to capture all the actors in a particular scene), I got to thinking: How on Earth do they do this with just one camera? Seems impossible. And, as stated before, it seems kinda crazy and needlessly-troublesome, when they could just simply have a second camera on the set (with one honed on each actor for the "cutaways").

    Some techno-wizard please chime in here and tell me how in the heck they film those close-up cutaways using just one camera without destroying the flow of every scene.

    Salutations to all. [​IMG]

    DVP
     
  3. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    You could ask that about practically every movie ever made.

    The way I understand it is: They film the same scene two or three times from different angles. It's all put together by the editor. He'll edit in close-ups, medium shots, over the shoulder shots, etc.

    In other words: If Beaver says, "Hey, Wally!" and there's a closeup of Wally saying, "What?" and then it's back to Beaver saying, "I'm in trouble," they didn't film Beaver and then stop and move the camera over to Wally, film his one word, stop and move the camera back to Beaver, etc. They filmed the whole scene with the camera on Beaver -- filmed it again with the camera on Wally -- and maybe filmed it again with the camera on both of them -- and then after filming they took whatever shots they wanted and edited them all together.

    If you watch movies and filmed TV shows very closely, you can detect many editing errors (for instance, someone doing something twice); it's better NOT to watch too closely!
     
  4. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    And all because they refuse to add a second (and third) camera.

    It must be a hundred times easier with multiple cameras. Hard to believe any TV show (or movie) is done using only one measly camera.

    Thanks Joe.
     
  5. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    No, it has to do with the lighting.

    When "I Love Lucy" started using the 3-camera system, Desilu hired one of the greatest cinematographers of all time (Karl Freund) to help solve this problem: If the lighting looked good for one camera, it didn't look good for cameras two and three (shadows in the wrong places, etc.)

    The only "solution" Freund found was to turn on every light in the place. That's why "I Love Lucy" always looks so bright, no matter what the scene is.

    In order to get more variety in the lighting, it's best to use only one camera. For instance, "The Andy Griffith Show" in its five black-and-white seasons has some exceptionally good cinematography, which would not have been possible if they had used three cameras.
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense, Joe. Hadn't thought of the lighting issue. Thanks.
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And that goes to our earlier discussion, Dave.

    Since I Love Lucy was a three camera shoot...and therefore used the studio lighting (emphasis on bright!)...therefore there is less grain in the Lucy episodes than in the LITB & TAGS episodes.

    Don't know if you own the DVD of the new version of The Producers...but in the outtakes section there are a few scenes where you see just one side of the take of a scene. One that comes to mind is a scene between Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick...but you only see Lane's part. Broderick is off camera...trying to keep Lane from cracking up. The segment is included because Lane was cracking wise and breaking up...but you see so many different takes on the one scene that it give you some real insight into what an editor brings to the final version of a picture/TV show.
     
  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    OK. Makes sense. (I guess.)

    But........

    There's a problem with your theory, however -- because the TAGS eps. on DVD are almost all totally grain-free, including the indoor scenes.

    ~shrugs (once more)~

    Oh well .... such is the way of life's little mysteries.

    [​IMG]

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Remember, Beaver fans, to keep a watchful eye out for this Mega DVD Set (which will be transferred to "Micro Disc" in the year 2099, with all 234 episodes placed on a single thimble-sized discette). .....

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...12&y=6&s=video
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Some more Beaver trivia (and possibly a writing gaffe; you decide).......... [​IMG]

    In the first scene of the Season-Two episode "Beaver's Ring", June tells Beaver that Aunt Martha's ring is an "heirloom". Beaver then asks his dad, "What's a HAIR-loom?".

    The "gaffe" here, IMO, is that June didn't mispronounce the word as "HAIR-loom"; she said it properly as "Air-loom". Therefore, it makes no sense for Beaver to have asked Ward what a "HAIR-loom" was.

    The way it's written in the script, Beaver actually must know how "heirloom" is spelled (which is highly unlikely given The Beav's subpar performance in spelling most of the time -- he spelled "sidewalk" with a "G" remember [​IMG]).

    I therefore contend, Your Honor, that writers Mosher & Connelly made a grave error with regard to this "heirloom" business in this episode. There would have been no logical reason for Beaver to pronounce "heirloom" as "hairloom", esp. after hearing his mother pronounce it correctly just a few seconds earlier.

    Perry? You want a crack at resolving this messed-up heir/hair-loom situation?

    Good luck. [​IMG]

    BTW -- My expensive Crystal Ball is currently telling me that LITB Season 3 will be announced no later than Tuesday, September 5th, 2006 AD.

    And my ball rarely fails me. [​IMG]
     
  10. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Well-Known Member

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    David, does your crystal ball tell you if season 3 will be on single sided discs this time ? I have yet to get season 2 for that reason, but if season 3 gets released single sided , ill have to get season 2 just to get caught up.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Beware the man with crystal balls...
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had a single problem with any of the LITB discs (S.1 or S.2). The "Bad Universal 2-Sided Discs" problem is definitely hit-&-miss in nature. I've had only one minor 1-minute hiccup with any of my Universal double-siders. That was a movie disc, not TV. And the replacement disc I received for that one bad one plays perfectly.

    My advice to any Beaver fan is to take a chance and get LITB 1 and 2. The shows are certainly worth the risk. And if you use Amazon, there's absolutely no risk at all really (and very little inconvenience). You don't even have to leave the house to make a return or an exchange (via Amazon's fabulous "Returns & Exchanges" set-up, with pre-paid labels easily available from their site).

    If you get crappy discs, just keep returning them till you get a set that plays perfectly all the way through. (The Beav and The Wally will thank you for your perseverance.) [​IMG]
     
  13. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice David, i do my shopping from amazon, but doing returns takes time since i live halfway across the world.
     
  14. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...that could be a drag (esp. if you have to return the same thing over and over again, and wait considerable time for each of them).

    But, then again, The Beav's worth the wait. (Ward too.) [​IMG]
     

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