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Michael Fairman interviews with Deidre and Drake
Topic Started: Aug 3 2011, 08:54 PM (4,911 Views)
Ellie


http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/days-of-our-lives/the-deidre-hall-and-drake-hogestyn-interview-days-of-our-lives-2/2011/08/03/
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Kenny
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This sounds great.
Quote:
 
MICHAEL: I also am hearing there is a big umbrella story that kicks off the week of September 26th and John is a functioning man! (Laughs) Last time we saw him he was paralyzed via syringe, and shipped off to Switzerland!

DRAKE: It is the opening of the Horton Center, and they have a fabulous set, Michael. It runs the whole width of NBC studios. I mean, it’s not one of those sets you are going to tear down. It has an open-door type of feel, with a plethora of stores that surround a semi-circle. I hear the audience will be able to feel like they are going in and out of those stores. And then you will have a reverse type of scene, where you can see the Horton Center from the back. They are doing a lot of visual experimentation that is pretty exciting.

When John comes back, you won’t know right off the bat [that he can walk]. But, there is an “Ah-ha” moment there. John is getting back the use of all of his extremities, but at that time there are other forces that have been waiting for him to arrive on American soil. And that creates the next event that created that Umbrella storyline you are talking about, which defines all the characters in black and white. And this is where our head writers, Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas are redefining the characters. I remember when they worked under Jim Reilly several years ago. I talked to Jim about sometimes the characters get muddied when you have plot driven storylines, and they do things that are out of character. But we are doing very contemporary storylines now, and so everything we are doing is character driven.

MICHAEL: Trouble always follows John! So one can assume he is a major catalyst here?

DRAKE: Well, John is the Jason Bourne character. And that is where, to this day; I always go back to that as my Bible…you know, the identity crisis. And, who has he relied on over the years that he can trust? And who doesn’t he trust? And obviously, Stefano Dimera will always be at the center of that, and I have only had one small scene with Joe Mascolo so far. But I can tell you; we have already set the table.

MICHAEL: Deidre, are you happy with the story that brings John and Marlena back to DAYS? As Drake hinted at, there is major story that brings the beloved duo back to the canvas!

DEIDRE: Oh my Gosh. I am beyond satisfied. I did not fantasize that two writers could sit down and could create, day after day after day compelling television. And Greg Meng had said to me, “What we want to do is create a great surprise in every show. And we don’t just mean, ‘Oh my Gosh.’ We mean, ‘OH. MY. GOSH!’ And that is how I feel when I pick up a script. I find myself going, “We’re what? Oh my Gosh!” And it all goes so fast!
This? Not so much.
Quote:
 
DEIDRE: There will be no science fiction and it will be no-nonsense. What Darrell Ray Thomas and Marlene McPherson have created is storytelling that is about contemporary life. And in our world right now, people are concerned about their mortgage, putting their kids through school, putting food on the table, putting the gas in their car, and they are scared senseless. I don’t think that skips a generation or any place in our country. So we end up without giving away storyline, having stories on our show that will feel very familiar, and taken from the headlines. And no one is buried alive, and no one is wondering who the daddy is, and no one has been cloned. It just is real life drama.
I have no interest in stories about money issues and people putting gas in the car. I sincerely hope that's not what we're getting with Marlene and Darrell because that sounds boring as hell.

Although the "woo woo" stuff went too far with JER in 2004/2005, I like the crazy stories. Buried Alive was great. The Possession was great. The Secret Room was great. "Bizarre" stories can work if they're written well. I'm all for a more grounded, family-oriented Days of Our Lives but I don't want it to become so "everyday normal" that they're afraid to push the envelope.
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Tammy
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That is one thing that always bothered me about soaps these days... you never see anyone work anymore unless it's in a restaurant, hospital or police station! I want to see John working at Basic Black again... something more "normal" then all the cops and robbers stuff!
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Keith
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Things can be everyday drama without being boring everyday. But I agree that the show has to be careful not to be too grounded/normal. I feel that will be impossible so long as the DiMeras are on a relevant, though. Clearly J&M are going toe to toe with Stefano again.
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six
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Quote:
 
I don't want it to become so "everyday normal" that they're afraid to push the envelope.
Agreed. For everyday normal, we can turn off the TV. Days isn't Days without larger than life villains and intricate plots.

"Well, the system had changed a lot of what I heard about, which was… we do it faster, it’s streamlined, and all the fat is cut away. By that I mean, there is never waiting for an actor on set, there is never waiting for a prop, there is never, “let’s stop and re-light it”, and everybody arrives on stage with their best game in front of them. When that team all pulls together you can then do one fabulous scene after the next in the first take! Could I have thought it could have been done this way? No! (Laughs) I have to tell you I was apprehensive. We are just used to kind of floating around the stage and taking our time. (Laughs) We also loved having the opportunity to put in a couple ad-libs and being really clever and playing jokes, but not anymore."

So in other words, they've realized something was wrong with the writing, but not with the assembly line production style.

Character driven sounds good. The black and white thing DHim keeps bringing up, not so much. I hope things aren't as starkly defined for everyone as he keeps making them out to be.
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Ellie


six
Aug 3 2011, 09:19 PM
So in other words, they've realized something was wrong with the writing, but not with the assembly line production style.
That's what I'm afraid of too. :frownie: I didn't like that paragraph at all.
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Kenny
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six
Aug 3 2011, 09:19 PM
Quote:
 
I don't want it to become so "everyday normal" that they're afraid to push the envelope.
Agreed. For everyday normal, we can turn off the TV. Days isn't Days without larger than life villains and intricate plots.
Exactly. Personally, I watch soap operas for the escapism and the over-the-top melodrama. I'm not interested in watching stories about characters worrying about how to pay the mortgage and putting gas in the car. That's boring to me. I see enough of that stuff in my real life.
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Kenny
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Ellie
Aug 3 2011, 09:22 PM
six
Aug 3 2011, 09:19 PM
So in other words, they've realized something was wrong with the writing, but not with the assembly line production style.
That's what I'm afraid of too. :frownie: I didn't like that paragraph at all.
I just want them to fix the lighting. It's such a tiny little thing that would take no time at all to fix.

Just dim the fuckers!
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CalAggie87


I find the over-the-top unwatchable. Hate melodrama. Hated the 90s, and was not impressed with anything JERk wrote, same with Langan.
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Barb


I don't agree. I MISS the way DAYS was in the 80s/90s. One of my all time favorites is when they started having Alice be fun and help Bo and Roman with cases. My only wish is that they bring back the ORIGINAL Roman.
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Kenny
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CalAggie87
Aug 3 2011, 09:31 PM
I find the over-the-top unwatchable. Hate melodrama. Hated the 90s, and was not impressed with anything JERk wrote, same with Langan.
Right, and I understand that the over-the-top melodrama of the 90's wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but I don't think most people are interested in watching stories about poverty either, LoL. There's no reason to go from one extreme to the other. Can't there be a happy medium?

Simple soap is fine as long as the stories aren't so simple that they're boring. There needs to be a little complexity to the plots. A little mystery. A little drama. Soap fans love escapism. If they wanted to watch stories about "real life," the financial depression, etc. they would turn off Days and switch to CNN.
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CalAggie87


Well, poor is boring. Even in the 80s the middle class characters dressed well. I HATED that they made Jack poor, and despite Jennifer working they had to live in abject poverty and could not afford food. That was ridiculous. But that was Langan bitter because NBC forced him to renew Matt's contract when he was all but let go. I rather watch people deal with there own mistakes, with the occasional villain around. But not a Stefano villain who can fake deaths, created whole islands and towns a la the Village from THE PRISONER. I prefer the Victors or pre-JERk Stefano.
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ChampagneRiver
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Ellie
Aug 3 2011, 09:22 PM
six
Aug 3 2011, 09:19 PM
So in other words, they've realized something was wrong with the writing, but not with the assembly line production style.
That's what I'm afraid of too. :frownie: I didn't like that paragraph at all.
But do they have the budget to do it any other way anymore?

I just wish they'd quit taping so far ahead. I think that is the biggest problem of all.
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CalAggie87


It definitely is the biggest problem. In the past they could tweak characters which were not working, recast or just get rid of them. They tested out the couples and no way would Dannifer have gone further than a first date -- in fact I was monitoring the boards and the moment there was the spoiler of Jennifer losing her heart fans were shouting no way did they want Dan and Jennifer. There would be no Taylor and insta-love with EJ. No Chloe a prostitute. And so much more because they could have listened to the fans before everything was not just planned out but taped.
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Jarlena4Eva
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Jarlena-Holic

From what Dee just said in her buzzworthy interview, it sounded like there will be a happy medium. She mentioned there is not going to be buried alive and such, but they are going back to family drama...and of course there will be your villains. That is what she said, so I don't think we are going to have John and Marlena filling up their mercedes talking about the economy. lol :P
Edited by Jarlena4Eva, Aug 3 2011, 09:59 PM.
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bstreis
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No matter what you think, I DO love you.

Ripped from the headlines can be good, it works for SVU, lol. I'm looking forward to more grounded stories. If John loses his millions and needs to adjust to that, I'd like to see how his character deals with that. Or if Carrie's goes through infertility. And Will coming to terms with the fact that he's gay, how that effects relationships in the family. All stories that could have a lot of depth if written correctly.
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Ellie


ChampagneRiver
Aug 3 2011, 09:51 PM
I just wish they'd quit taping so far ahead. I think that is the biggest problem of all.
But that's the effect, not the cause. If they're going to do 8 shows a week then take a week off every 4 weeks, they wind up too far ahead. I get the impression that they don't like that either; I'm sure they wish "Days 2.0" were starting earlier than September 26th.
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Ellie


I guess I'm sort of indifferent to the type of stories, as long as they're in character and written well. I mean, I have preferences, but I'd MUCH rather see a story where J&M deal with some real world difficulty in character than an adventure story in Europe where John gets amnesia and Marlena gets bullied by someone. I remember once seeing an interview with Jim Burrows who created Cheers, and he said something like, the stories just write themselves, because you have these warm people who like each other, and they're all in a room together taping. I think Days has a lot of that that they need to tap into more. If you let Deidre play Marlena and let Drake play John Black and let Joe Mascolo play Stefano, good things will happen no matter if they're in Salem at a restaurant or running around the world together.
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Kenny
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Ellie
Aug 3 2011, 10:00 PM
ChampagneRiver
Aug 3 2011, 09:51 PM
I just wish they'd quit taping so far ahead. I think that is the biggest problem of all.
But that's the effect, not the cause. If they're going to do 8 shows a week then take a week off every 4 weeks, they wind up too far ahead. I get the impression that they don't like that either; I'm sure they wish "Days 2.0" were starting earlier than September 26th.
I still say they should just tape 5 or 6 shows in 4 days and take every Friday off. That way, they get an extra day off each week (equivalent to the dark weeks, so they're still saving money) without getting so far ahead that it's impossible to steer the ship when it's headed in the wrong direction.
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Ellie


Kenny
Aug 3 2011, 10:16 PM
I still say they should just tape 5 or 6 shows in 4 days and take every Friday off. That way, they get an extra day off each week (equivalent to the dark weeks, so they're still saving money) without getting so far ahead that it's impossible to steer the ship when it's headed in the wrong direction.
Ok, I just did the math on this, and I think it works out the same.

Let's assume 8 weeks of taping.

Schedule 1: Kenny's idea

Week:
1: 6 shows, 1 day off
2: 6 shows, 1 day off
3: 6 shows, 1 day off
4: 6 shows, 1 day off
5: 6 shows, 1 day off
6: 6 shows, 1 day off
7: 6 shows, 1 day off
8: 6 shows, 1 day off

Total = 48 shows, 8 days off

Schedule 2: Current Production model (let's say 8 per week, off every 4th week).

Week:

1: 8 shows
2: 8 shows
3: 8 shows
4: 5 days off
5: 8 shows
6: 8 shows
7: 8 shows
8: 5 days off

Total = 48 shows, 10 days off

So even with your idea Kenny, it wouldn't help them. I think they just need to do fewer shows per full week, plain and simple.
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