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Some interesting info on the AMC golden opening


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Gregg E. Simmons, who worked in wardrobe on AMC up until a few years ago, had this to day in a comment on a YouTube video of version one.

"I felt really proud working on these credits. There was only one diva fit and it wasn't anyone you would think of. We had a great family. I'm glad I had my time with AMC, I just wish the network had put a daytime head in that believed in daytime"

Always curious about the opening sequences, I lobbed some questions at him and he graciously answered. I'll update it with anymore information.

"

I was with the Wardrobe Department for the show's last 10 years in NY, part of it as head. The opening that you like was one that my friend and I were the only two from the show crew on the shoot crew. We had a blast and actually created several looks for it. For the last three openings I was on most of the shoots, the designers and the cast liked how I handled the situations

Okay, originally the "Golden Opening" was shot on film stock. It is next to impossible to duplicate that same look on video and it's very expensive to shoot on film (actual cost of film stock and then the crews get a different rate). When new characters came onto a show you had to include them in the title sequence, it was cost prohibitive to recreate the same look as the original so the decision was made to shoot a new sequence. [regarding the change in 2004]

Each actor was shot "in character" so we just went along with what worked with the character like Jake/J Eddie Peck was a very casual youthful attitude character and he loved the idea of shooting in a casual t-shirt style sweater. Erica/Susan Lucci, it's all about the femme fatale that is Erica (Angel/Devil??) and to show how genuinely beautiful she is. Hayley/Kelly Ripa was not thrilled with any of the looks so we changed a few things around and pulled a top from Alex/Finola Hughes put it on backwards, pinned it a bit, and pulled the arms down so she had a look that no one else, ever, had and Finola myself and a few others told her how smashing she looked. You can see Kelly believed it too.

As for shooting, we would get there at 7am set up the looks according to shoot schedule and the actors were driven over to the studio, look at their outfits, get into make-up, get their hair tweaked, get into their costume and literally walk on to set talk with the director about what he wanted from them, usually something character specific that they would do normally and run with it. It's very simple. We did the entire cast (including Phoebe/Ruthie Warrick) in two days. At that point we had more than 40 cast members.

They brought in an outside director, the subsequent versions were all on video. The shows are shot on video. The concept was put together by Richard-John Mensing, he was ABC creative at that point. As to the editing and assembly IDK, I'm not in that loop.

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Thank you for sharing that with us, interesting read. One has to wonder why they go with expensive film to begin with when they know that inevitable revisions are expensive to make. Why not go with a cost-effective filmic tape technique? Updates have always been the bane of opening sequences, even the less expensive ones. There were awkward herky-jerky edits to Falling Pictures and GL's HOTL for example.

Even though it looked a little too Southwestern and the theme was sort of a weakened Lifetime promo version, I always liked that opening. Particularly the signatures, the return of the beloved theme, period, and Erica's alternating shots. I wonder if Susan wore a wig for the cropped 'do.

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It's definitely my favorite AMC opening :)

I also wonder why they chose an expensive route to start with but that makes me more curious as to why the shows claim it's expensive to produce openings with posed shots if they use video and not film as this one did. What about that is expensive? Clearly openings are shot based around actor's schedules. Do they have to pay the actors extra for their time? Obviously paying the directors but I don't see how, technology-wise, how it's expensive.

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It's definitely my favorite AMC opening :)

I also wonder why they chose an expensive route to start with but that makes me more curious as to why the shows claim it's expensive to produce openings with posed shots if they use video and not film as this one did. What about that is expensive? Clearly openings are shot based around actor's schedules. Do they have to pay the actors extra for their time? Obviously paying the directors but I don't see how, technology-wise, how it's expensive.

It's expensive because production crews cost thousands of dollars per day and post production costs hundreds of dollars an hour.

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It's expensive because production crews cost thousands of dollars per day and post production costs hundreds of dollars an hour.

But isn't the idea that it's already within the crews' work day that they're doing this so they wouldn't have to pay them extra? And what about post production are you referring to, using the software to assemble the opening...?

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But isn't the idea that it's already within the crews' work day that they're doing this so they wouldn't have to pay them extra? And what about post production are you referring to, using the software to assemble the opening...?

I can't... I-I just can't...

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But isn't the idea that it's already within the crews' work day that they're doing this so they wouldn't have to pay them extra? And what about post production are you referring to, using the software to assemble the opening...?

They didn't use the show's crew. The guy you got in touch with said that he and a friend were the only two AMC people to work on the oprning.

Got a link for the opening you're talking about? Just to make things clearer.... :-)

Here it is, with its original theme music.

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