greenspun.com : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

What everyone is unaware of is that British television is often edited to be something it is not. Examples would include:

1) The handmade scrapheap

2) In the episode where the Beach Boys built a steam engine, the Beach Boys pit stop was actually later in the race than the show led us to belive, The NERDS had already won while the Beach Boys were in the pit working on their vehicle. In fact, the crew did not tell the Beach Boys that they had already lost because they wanted to shoot more footage of them frantically trying to fix their vehicle.

3)The first season had an episode involving shooting cabbages and whatnot at a castle wall. During one shot, we can see that the team with the trebuchet has already hit the wall in the background. The show is edited in a way that leads us to belive that they do not score untill later in the game. This way, there is more excitement, and we belive that the team with the trebuchet still has a chance.

4)One does not even need to point out the biases implied against the american team The NERDS. But I will point out a few....The Fireboat Episode!!!... The Brothers in Arms paddles suddenly grew to outrageous size. The NERDS fire is blazing out of control, while the Brothers is barely a spark. The barrier was moved closer to the fire so the Brothers stream could even reach the fire. The NERDS bax was clearly crimped closed. (These impications were pointed out to me by someone involved with the show -a team member-, so do not take them lightly.

5)How could anyone work with the cameras in their face? An un-named source says that they are asked to repeat their actions in front of the camera.

6)Why after 10 hours, is it sometimes still light outside, and sometimes dark?

7)Why is it raining or dark in one shot, and then bright or sunny in the next?

8)There is the obvious salting of the yard, something they point out as obvious in the American versions, but expect us to believe in the british versions.

All of these are just implications, but I felt like picking at everyone's brains. And there are more, these are just some that I could come up with while sitting here in the warehouse with little to do. And, YES, I am aware that this is all irrelevent to us Americans, I just like ruffling the Brits feathers. I also posted this same post on the Scraphep Challenge board. I'm so mean.

So put that in your Pope amd Smike it.

-- www.geocities.com/kablamotheclown (kablamotheclown@yahoo.com), February 02, 2001


Hey, Kablamo, listen. I'm bored out of my skull, trying to kill time here at work, too. It's Friday, I'm waiting for someone to get back to me on something, and I'm anxious to get home and film my team's audition.

I've worked in television, and regarding most of your complaints about the editing of the TV show, they're that way precisely because it *is* a TV show.

No, no, the media is not the message. But it's close. It has to be.

If your team were just a bunch of guys drinking beer and running around a junkyard for your own amusement, there'd be less of a safety issue than there has to be. The boilers in the steam cars, for example, wouldn't have been planted. In my personal experience, anytime you have a bunch of yahoos running around a junkyard, without enforcing some sort of safety rules, someone eventually gets hurt. In a wrecking yard, there's usually a sign up that is the equivalent to "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here". I'm sure the disclaimer before filming must be something else...

(Offtopic - other great signs I've seen at wrecking yards: Union Auto Parts, Ottawa, Canada. "DRIVE SAFELY. WE CAN WAIT.")

Time wouldn't be of the essence, either. So, instead of finding that "oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-someone-threw-out-that-brand-new- engine" in the salted junkyard, you'd be digging through the carcasses of rusted rototillers and seized Lawn-Boys. Ten hours between three teammates and an extra expert is a lot of time. But you'll spend a lot of it looking through the yard. This improves the chances of each team producing a working device - which is really what the game is about.

Notice how you've never seen something on the show be an abysmal failure? Everything that is built works. Sorta. Some better than others. And I notice that the daylight wanes further on those episodes where I look at one of the machines and think that there's no way they could have made that work in ten hours. Why? While the media isn't the message, the media affects the message: people would tune out for the last 15 minutes if one team's creation works well, and the other one doesn't even start up. So, extra time and assistance would have to be given to be able to get things running to the point of competition.

Similarly, when one team absolutely blows the other team out of the water during the competition, suspense will be lost, and people will change the channel. So, a little creative editing keeps people on the edges of their seats and creates ratings that will help to ensure the survival of the show.

This isn't a game show, either. It pretends to be. There ain't no Regis offering a million bucks to the winning team. If there were, then the contest would be a lot fairer than it is. (Ie. no help from hosts, no disturbances from hosts, teams not allowed to talk to each other in yard, quartz timers replacing Scrapheap Timer, etc.)

Remind me, when my team wins, that I'll forgo the trophy and see if I can take home that old red Dodge Ram that I see occasionally in the shots of the SoCal yard. (Hey, up here in Toronto, we have rust.)

Remember, the show is about education before entertainment (though the producers do a great job at both). And, most of all, like all TV shows, it's expensive to produce, so it's about ratings. It *has* to be.


PS. Quoting from disclaimer at bottom here: "Please don't use a fake email address; it creates a lot of technical problems for the community. For example, this software will send you an email alert if ..." Since my e-mail address is being publically displayed on a website, it's vulnerable to being harvested by spam collectors. I'd like to be able to obfuscate it to prevent that happening, ie. "slant6mopar@REMOVE-THIS.yahoo.com". This way people can still contact me but bots won't.

-- Crazy Larry (getmeagreencard@yahoo.com), February 02, 2001.

My Question is....does it matter? Doesn't all this info seem to....ruin the show....I mean..after reading it I'm afraid that I'm gonna not admire the show anymore....(fat chance of that thank goodness) I'm not complaning....so don't feel the need to flame me for this. I'm just wondering if all these editing info.....seeding things and so forth matter? ISn't the show awsome anyway? It's like I was with a friend tonight and we were talking about a favorite movie of mine.....well he started smarting off and telling me how such and such scenes were done....pointing out all the mistakes and so forth....and now I sit here thinking.....I can never watch that movie again..he ruined it. Same is for this show.....we all love it....we all know it seems impossible to do certain things...but why bother thinking hard about it. Lets just enjoy the show for what we see right infront of our eyes....who cares what goes on behind scenes.

My 2 cents......well....actually thats probable more of a dime or 2

-- JunkMan (r1ddller@juno.com), February 02, 2001.

Of course it's edited. Of course the yard is seeded. Of course the ten hours is streched to build (barely) useable machines. It is still the best damn thing on TV. I hope this show stays fresh and on forever.

-- Stephen A. Binion (stephenbinion@hotmail.com), February 03, 2001.

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