garrick lee (goner4sure@yahoo.com)
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 04:18:55 -0800 (PST)


bozhe moi! all this just takes me back to my english
classes! :]

so, z (and the gundam gurus), don't hold back -- how
do you think "erosion" and/or "hardening of the
arteries" manifest themselves in the newer gundams?

by "newer" gundams, i'd probably include 0083, 0080
and 8th MS Team, along with the 3 alternate universes.
 (is that a fair classification?)

also, which gundam series, to you, represented a good
flexing of the arteries (sticking to the wording, heh)
while still remaining true to the "format"?

-garrick

--- -Z- <Z@Gundam.Com> wrote:
> At 07:38 1/30/2000 +0800, you wrote:
> >To Z - your format and formula example is
> something I'd use from hereon in.
> >Really enlightening...
>
> Allow me to give credit where credit is due. I was
> introduced to the
> difference between format and formula over 25 years
> ago in a book called
> THE WORLD OF STAR TREK by David Gerrold (1973,
> Ballantine Books, SBN
> 345-23403-0-150). To be precise, it was in Part IV:
> Star Trek Analyzed --
> The Unfulfilled Potential. Gerrold explains the
> difference between format
> and formula on page 233 and goes on to explain how
> format gives way to
> formula in what amounts to a condemnation of the
> entire screenwriting
> community. From page 235:
>
> "Formula occurs when format starts to repeat itself.
> Formula occurs when
> format does not challenge writers -- or when writers
> are giving less than
> their best. Formula occurs when a show becomes
> creatively
> bankrupt. Flashy devices can conceal the lack for
> awhile, but ultimately
> the lack of any real meat in the story will leave
> the viewers hungry and
> unsatisfied.
>
> "Formula occurs primarily when a show has been
> trapped in a format that
> does not allow full exploration of the given
> situation. Thus, the
> producers and writers are condemned to repeat only
> that which the format
> does allow. And action-adventure is nowhere near as
> broad as drama.
>
> There are two ways by which Format turns into
> Formula.
>
> One is Hardening of the Arteries, the other is
> Erosion.
>
> Considering the first process of decay as it applies
> to a television
> series, every time something is postulated or
> established in a continuing
> series, from that episode on, every writer who works
> with the format must
> be aware of the condition. ... Thus, hardening of
> the arteries is the
> process by which a television show gradually limits
> itself by setting up
> conditions that will affect all episodes that will
> come after."
>
> From page 244:
>
> "Erosion in a TV series is the wearing down of the
> original concept, the
> destruction of it piece by piece as various elements
> chip and crack it
> away: carelessness in production, lack of pride in
> what one is doing,
> network restrictions, writer apathy, front-office
> feuds, and so on."
>
> Gerrold goes on to state that the presence of
> minorities in positions of
> authority and responsibility were both (for the
> time) revolutionary and a
> key element of the original format, but that the use
> of minority actors
> declined as the series went on until, by the end of
> the second season, Sulu
> and Uhura were the only recurring minority faces and
> casting was back to
> the usual whitebread that had been and continued to
> be the rule for 60s TV.
>
> While my example of format versus formula was
> original, I think now that I
> chose STAR TREK as the example not because it was so
> well known, but
> because it was the subject of my first exposure to
> the concepts of format
> and formula.
>
> -Z-
>
>
> -
> Gundam Mailing List Archives are available at
> http://gundam.aeug.org/
>
>
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