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The Changing Spaces of Television ActingFrom Studio Realism to Location Realism in BBC Television Drama$
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Richard Hewett

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992989

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992989.001.0001

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Refining studio realism

Refining studio realism

(p.70) 2 Refining studio realism
The Changing Spaces of Television Acting

Richard Hewett

Manchester University Press

By the early 1960s television was more established and widespread, and its conventions were beginning to be tacitly understood by audiences and performers alike. While the introduction of videotape pre-recording, as employed on Doctor Who, did little to change the ‘outside’ rehearsal and multi-camera studio performance template of the live era, it also meant that actors were for the first time able to watch their own performances, and adapt them to the medium. While still arriving at television via a multiplicity of routes, actors now typically shared the same degree of screen experience, leading to a greater uniformity in studio realism. At the same time, the growth of social realism meant a subtle shift in the style of acting that would be acceptable to audiences of the time. Despite its perceived outlandishness in narrative terms, reports show that Doctor Who was more than acceptable to contemporary audiences in terms of performance style.

Keywords:   1960s, videotape pre-recording, rehearsal, multi-camera, television studio, actor experience, studio realism, social realism

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