New production format is off to a shaky start

Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 3:59:35 PM
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New production format is off to a shaky start

For the past few weeks, the "cam" on the lips of most All My Children fans has not been resident hunk Cameron Mathison. No, but according to some irate viewers this "cam" is a hunk of something else.

By now you've surely noticed the difference. Several thousand All My Children fans have contacted Soap Central over the past few weeks to ask one question: What's going on with the filming technique currently being used on AMC?

In June, an AMC spokesperson told Soap Central that the new production techniques were used in conjunction with the "launch of ConFusion" and the appearance of R&B songstress, Rihanna. The new-fangled camera techniques were designed to give the show a different feel.

However, the spokesperson assured Soap Central that the new filming procedure was only being used for that portion of the story.

Now, nearly two months later, the same production value remains in place on the show.

The new filming techniques on AMC have caused a great deal of discussion among fans. Here is a photo of what the new filming process entails. The photo is representative of the process and not an actual AMC studio photo. Click on a photo below to see a full-size image of the camera.

"The way in which media integrates into our daily lives is changing at a rapid pace. As a result, the world is becoming more accessible and 'inclusive' than ever before," All My Children's executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers tells Soap Central. "We want to embrace that spirit at All My Children by offering our audience, for the first time ever, the chance to follow the characters as they move through the emotional journeys of their lives."

Do you like or dislike the new filming/production format of AMC's episodes?
 I don't like any aspect of the new filming format. It needs to go -- now!   57% 
 I'm enjoying it. The new format gives AMC an edge not seen on other soaps.   32% 
 I like the look of it, but I don't care for the shakiness of the cameras.   8% 
 If the storylines were better, I might not mind the new format as much.   2% 
 I haven't really made up my mind if I like or or dislike it at this point.   1% 
 I could care less about the way that AMC is filmed.   0% 
 Other   0% 
 I don't get to watch AMC, so I am not really sure what the fuss is about.   0% 

That new experience is made possible through the use of a type of steady-cam. For all intents and purposes, a steady-cam, or handicam, is an upscale version of a camcorder than many people use to record their home movies. These cameras are traditionally cheaper and easier to use than traditional cameras used in television production.

"We look forward to offering viewers access to even more unexplored corners (and secrets!) of Pine Valley in the future, and we appreciate the support of our loyal audience as we create this new and exciting addition to the All My Children tradition of great stories and dynamic characters," Carruthers added.

While fans have been critical of the new format, the new camera work has received high praise from the media.

"The special video process... added a grainy, cinematic quality to the visuals. The entire show had a classy appearance reminiscent of primetime and brought daytime to another level," says Soap Opera Weekly's Erica Brown.

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