A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Was GoT too dark? The cinematographer says YOU are wrong! Also: The wild 5th Element TV stunt! And 13 Reasons Why controversy.
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett
On 5 May, Australian channel SBS VICELAND will broadcast The Fifth Element on loop for 14 hours for a ‘May The Fifth Element’ stunt. Will viewers sit down to watch the film on loop?
I’m reminded of the New Zealand podcast Worst Idea Of All Time in which the two hosts rewatched Grown-Ups 2 every week for the show, discussing the way that their thoughts on the film changed with every viewing.
Was Game of Thrones too difficult to watch this week? The episode was entirely set at night and the lighting on the episode was very dark. A lot of viewers complained that they couldn’t make out what was going on.
Cinematographer Fabian Wagner has blamed viewers in an interview with Wired:
“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” he says. “A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”
But, is that necessarily fair? Could the transmission of the episode itself have been at fault? Tech guy Adam Turner at Australian newspaper SMH suggests the problem may be the fault of the broadcasters compression technology. He’s blaming the bitrate:
All pay TV, free-to-air and online broadcasters face the same challenge. They need to limit the bitrate and squish video so it's easier to send to your lounge room via cable, satellite or broadband. Otherwise, they wouldn't have enough room to transmit multiple channels side by side.
Martin Scorsese has a new film due later this year, released via Netflix. He was asked to comment on the role of Netflix in Oscar races, with the streamers preference for its films to debut on platform instead of in a theatrical release:
“I want people to be patient with them, because they need to try different things, argue it out, because it makes you think, ‘What is a film? And how should a film be presented, especially in a new world?’” Scorsese continued. “I think the cards are stacked for the big budget, and that’s a problem.’
His film, The Irishman, is itself rumoured to be budgeted at $140 million. Where I come from, that’s considered a pretty big budget Marty.
A new study has found a connection between Netflix show 13 Reasons Why and an increase in the teen suicide rate. As per the study from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute of Health:
It found that 195 more suicides than expected occurred in the nine months after the March 31, 2017, release. And in the month of April, 2017, more suicides occurred than in any April of the previous nine years. Although the show focuses on the suicide of a teenage girl, teenage boys represent the only demographic with a
Matt Singer has taken a look at the Netflix mini-series version of The Hateful Eight and isn’t a fan of the edit being employed here:
The obvious way to cut it into episodes would be to simply separate each of those chapters. Netflix’s Extended Version, however, condenses the six original chapters into four episodes, each about 50 minutes in length. That leads to some baffling editorial decisions, like ending the first episode in the middle of a conversation about drinks. Will Kurt Russell’s John Ruth get the beverage he wants? What a cliffhanger!
Sorry Matt, that’s actually kind of sold me on wanting to see this.
Fred Savage is set to host a fictitious after-show for Fox. Inspired by shows like The Talking Dead, Savage will host What Just Happened.
I look forward to both watching and enjoying this show before lamenting its too-soon cancellation.
The “book” revolves around a solar event and its effects on Earth – specifically, the small, blue-collar town of Milford, IL – and slowly unfolds into a post-apocalyptic battle for human survival.
The after-show — in the vein of shows like “Talking Dead” on AMC — will feature multiple segments, including celebrity interviews, set visits, as well as interviews with “The Flare’s” “cast,” as well as discussions with fans and more.