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Posted: 4/1/2012 4:39:13 PM EDT
I was pondering today whilst at a stoplight, upon the thought that the best actors usually play a part that is very much their own personality.

So I thought.

What if there was a show that was set in some sort of near future, after some sort of singularity like a nuclear war, global epidemic, world-changing technology, contact with aliens, etc. but instead of a cast of professional actors, it had regular people dropped in who had to decide what to do in the extraordinary situations the writers put them in.  The entire dialogue and direction of the show would be decided by the ad lib decisions of the amateur actors.  Minor characters, walkons, and extras would be professional actors, but would have to ad lib based on the plot outlined to them by the writers.

The actors would have to stay in "character" but otherwise would be free to make their own decisions.  After each scene, the writers may have to write a new bit of plot based on the decisions the actors made, and quickly stage a new scene to put the actors into.  Filming an episode may take a couple of weeks this way (having to make new sets from scratch, write plot, etc.) and editing may make it take even longer, but I think it could work.

If a character does something stupid like gets into a fight and gets killed off, they're gone.  The writers may introduce a new actor, or even a new group.  One actor could decide to run off and start a business, say running drugs to aliens, and that could spawn a whole new plot line following that person... and if a plot line gets boring, they can stop airing it, maybe even let viewers decide who they want to follow or not follow.  The really interesting part would be when the writers put them into unusual situations, like running into a group of refugees... do they need help? can we help them? is it an ambush? do they have stuff we can take? And depending on how they choose to handle the situation, that could completely change the course of the plot - it could start a war, or end one.  It could provide them the resources needed to survive another month, or leave them starving.  The refugees could even be another group of actors...

Do any of you think this kind of show could work?
Link Posted: 4/1/2012 4:45:17 PM EDT
[#1]
Maybe they could call it..."The Colony".

Link Posted: 4/1/2012 4:46:14 PM EDT
[#2]
I think you're getting close to reality TV, where the simple problem is that you have a finite production budget.  Plus, amateur actors are truly terrible in front of a camera.  You would NOT want to watch a TV show with me in it, no matter how hard I tried.

What I've found, though, is that Japanese anime tends to come up with really interesting stuff, because they have the luxury of not needing to limit their imaginations or writing in order to satisfy production budgets.  A floating city in the sky costs exactly the same amount to draw as a manhole cover.

Plus, the lower budgets allow for more complex storytelling and a deeper focus on writing.

But maybe this is just my way of venting my desire to recently kindled desire to rewatch Eden of the East again.
Link Posted: 4/1/2012 5:00:12 PM EDT
[#3]
Quoted:
Maybe they could call it..."The Colony".



Did they already do it?  I don't have cable.  Judging from your use of smileys, I assume it sucked?

Link Posted: 4/1/2012 5:01:46 PM EDT
[#4]
Quoted:
I think you're getting close to reality TV, where the simple problem is that you have a finite production budget.  Plus, amateur actors are truly terrible in front of a camera.  You would NOT want to watch a TV show with me in it, no matter how hard I tried.

What I've found, though, is that Japanese anime tends to come up with really interesting stuff, because they have the luxury of not needing to limit their imaginations or writing in order to satisfy production budgets.  A floating city in the sky costs exactly the same amount to draw as a manhole cover.

Plus, the lower budgets allow for more complex storytelling and a deeper focus on writing.

But maybe this is just my way of venting my desire to recently kindled desire to rewatch Eden of the East again.



I was hoping that they wouldn't be acting, so much as just being themselves in a pretend scenario, where they (the character anyway) could actually get killed.  Bonus points if they actually get hungry or live on set.


Link Posted: 4/1/2012 5:17:07 PM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Maybe they could call it..."The Colony".



Did they already do it?  I don't have cable.  Judging from your use of smileys, I assume it sucked?



Naw, it was watchable.

Fairly similar to your concept.

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