Monday, September 15, 2008


So we were talking about two different BLANK SLATES the other day, and I finally got the chance to sit down and watch the good one (Harsh, yes...but there's reasons why this is the good one).

Watch it now. (I'll wait)

Now, why this BLANK SLATE above is the good one, and the other one isn't, goes to something we've discussed here on Pulp 2.0 many-a-time.

The TNT BLANK SLATE jumps right into the story.

We are presented with a puzzle that moves the main character - Anne Huston- along and into the narrative...all within the first episode. (Momentum, kids...never forget momentum)

The OTHER BLANK SLATE meanders and substitutes obscurity and possibility for momentum. We don't start feeling the narrative until episode 3 or then it's too late.

In every other aspect - look, production value, tone - both shows are on similar ground. (And yes, we do have Clancy Brown in the TNT show, but his part COULD be performed by an unknown if necessary). So YOU CANNOT SAY that budget was a major factor in quality.

It's the story that made all the difference in the world.

With TNT's BLANK SLATE we want to fill in the blanks...we know we are plunging toward more cool information to come because we end on a hard cliffhanger (I won't spoil it).

So how did they create the momentum?

I have it on good authority from someone involved with the production that they shot it as a feature and chopped it up (knowing they would do so). So at the get-go the entire show was designed as a single story with continual escalations of tension, drama, character, etc...

I have no doubt we will see the feature version of this show on DVD after its run on TNT. They may even premiere it there as a Saturday Night Feature or something.

My one problem with the TNT and Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment BLANK SLATE is that I can't embed it here on my blog so that people can click and jump right into the story from here instead of having to click over to the site...


Jill Golick said...

You're exactly right about how it grabs you right off the top. And what stakes; can't get any bigger than life or death. We're right with the protagonist, Anne, because like her we have no idea what's going on.

But not being able to embed is a big problem. I immediately look for the embed code and it drives me crazy that it's not there.

I wasn't crazy about the editing and the other thing that bugs me is that there's a minute and a half or more of video wasted on credits. That's bandwidth that slows everything down. Better to put the credits on a stationary website where I can really explore them and where they'd be linkable.

Jill Golick said...

And another thing, it's not geo-blocked!

Cunningham said...

I am reminded of the opening for JJ Abrams' ALIAS where the first image we see is Sydney Bristow's flaming red hair being plunged into a tub of water, and her gasping for breath.

An immediate mystery.
Immediate stakes (life or death).

I like that it's not geo-blocked, but this lack of an embed is limiting. I know this is TNT's doing and not Devlin's. HE KNOWS the power of the web.