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Compering, Ebert, ScreenAct

I wrote this piece about the art of compering 21 months back. Excerpts:
Camera consciousness is a universal weakness. Even if I pretend to have a camera in my hands and say "say cheese", many in front of me will turn rosy. Because that specific moment is captured into a timeless(?) material, we try to present our best faces, there by losing our naturalness. The conscious appeal is all the more salient if it's a video camera. This being the case, one would expect their TV show hosts to have nailed this weakness in addition to having excellent communication skills before starting their career. And expectations have reduced my joy. That's no philosophy, but reality. I don't recall a single host doing a 'natural talk' while presenting a program when it comes to Tamil satellite channels.

We need entertainers who can listen and respond with their heart in an interactive conversation. We need hosts who can walk and act as if there's no camera in front of them. We need hosts who are not eager to cut a call, rather keep the audience lively. We need hosts who can transport us to a funny world for a funny scene and to pathos if it's a tragic scene. We need hosts who can look straight into the camera and not twist around their hips and plainly talk with all possible naturalism. We need hosts who make sense.
Nothing has changed in this time interval, except that Kalanidhi Maran announced 5% of Sun network and is now the 20th richest guy in India. I wonder if the mediocrity of these shows has got to do with the expectations of audience. I saw Sun Music and a Vijay Sarathy song show in Sun TV today morning and I felt like banging my head when I listened to some of the callers to these talk shows - they are all damn excited and giggle like teenage girls who just received a date offer from Brad Pitt, or Madhavan, or whoever. After all, they get what they deserve. SNAFU.
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I'll be pulling off my link to Roger Ebert sometime soon. He recently got back from hospital and wrote a review of 'Queen'. But since then, he has gone back into hiding, the site doesn't have any status updates and his editor Jim has been keeping the site busy. Ebert is the first critic to receive the Pulitzer for film criticism
(the other being Washington Post's Stephen Hunter) and his reviews are wonderful resources to approach, understand, analyze and appreciate movies. I hope he lives his last days in peace with his family.
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I'm planning to actively blog on non-movies stuff at ScreenAct. I have had two other blogs previously and I will occasionally post entries from there into ScreenAct and eventually I'll tear them down and have just this one place for all my jots from Iraq to Carnatic music. When you find time, drop by at http://screenact.blogspot.com sometime starting tomorrow. P.S: Varaha, sorry to keep you meandering,
this is the last change, I promise.

2 Responses to “Compering, Ebert, ScreenAct”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Trivia - Roger Ebert directed a soft porn movie in the early seventies...

    Cheers
    Varaha  

  2. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    Varaha,
    Ebert co-wrote the screenplay with Russ Meyer for 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls'. Expectedly, he didn't review that movie.  

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