"Gene Autry Show" Films
Especially Destined for TV Viewing"
July 17, 1950
There's a big difference between the western pictures that have been shown on the nation's theatre and television screens up to now and the ones to be broadcast on CBS-TV's "Gene Autry Show," beginning Sunday, July 23 (CBS-TV, 7:00-7:30 PM, EST).
Each brand new story is written especially for television. Long shots have been eliminated, in deference to the fact that home TV screens are somewhat smaller than theatre screens. In hard-riding sequences, the riders are photographed at closer range than usual, and traveling across the screen rather than toward the camera. Thus, the viewer gets a constant close-up picture of them.
Because of the predominance of close-ups and medium shots, the Autry films offer a greater intimacy. Use of doubles for dangerous action shots is out, because the viewer sees the action so closely that he'd detect the duplicity immediately.
There is a difference, too, in the photographic technique, resulting in pictures in which the contrast range is considerably lessened. There are more whites and lighter shades on the screen than usual, and the darker portions of the pictures are a blend of grays, easier on the eyes than blacks. In order to assure the utmost in film quality, the show is shot on 35mm film.
Whereas the average western moves along to the rhythms of background music about 30% of the time, Carl Cotner, music director for Autry's CBS radio "Gene Autry Show," composes and conducts mood music for about 80% of each television screen play. This music adds considerably to the excitement of the action.
And, musically speaking, Autry himself will take time out from hard riding, furious fighting and other exciting action in each film to sing a song or two from the repertoire that has made him America's favorite cowboy.
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