Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited

By Deirdre Boyle | Go to book overview

18.
Hooray for Hollywood?

TVTV's acceptance was due largely to their ability to "polish the rough but vital ethos of 'guerrilla video' to a marketable gloss." 1 But despite a track record that included more boosts than knocks, TVTV still waited for a firm commitment for future work. Independent producers were all clamoring for a bigger presence in public television, having formed a Coalition for New Public Affairs Programming in February 1976, and competition among filmmakers and videomakers to get their work aired on PBS threatened to become livelier and tougher. Larry Grossman, new head of PBS, had promised to introduce innovative projects like a weekly news show with input from independent producers as well as a weekly evening of independently produced documentaries, but nothing as yet had come of it. 2

With the conclusion of Super Bowl, TVTV's relationship with WNET had ended, and they had no idea what they could expect from KCET, the Los Angeles PBS affiliate that signed them to produce a program on the Oscars.

Beginning with the announcements of the nominees, including a young Steven Spielberg doing a comic lament at being passed over yet again, this time for Best Director (Jaws), TVTV travelled to the homes of nominees, interviewed them, zipped up their dresses, and rode with them to and from the ceremonies, recording their reactions. Goldie Hawn, Jack Nicholson, and Ronnee Blakely, among others, gave star turns as themselves; Lee Grant, who won the award for Best Actress (in Shampoo), provided TVTV with candid interviews before, during, and after the affair. TVTV also traveled to Oregon to interview Ken Kesey, whose novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was the basis for the Best Picture. The interview offered a perfect TVTV moment, focusing on a countercultural hero speaking about being ripped off by the crass commercial people of Tinseltown.

At the center of TVTV Looks at the Oscars is Lily Tomlin, nomi-

-172-

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Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Introduction xiii
  • Contents xvii
  • I. Underground Video 3
  • 2. Subject to Change 14
  • 3. Guerrilla Versus Grassroots 26
  • 4. the World's Largest Tv Studio 36
  • 5. Mountain Guerrilla 48
  • 6. Four More Years 55
  • 7. Communitube 65
  • 8. Gaga Over Guru 72
  • 9. Prime Time Tvtv 89
  • 10. Broadside Tv 96
  • Ii. Impeaching Evidence 105
  • 12. Changing Channels 116
  • 13. Furor Over Fugitive 128
  • 14. Living Newsletter? 139
  • 15. the Good Times Are Killing Me 146
  • 16. Super Video 158
  • 17. Intermedia 165
  • 18. Hooray for Hollywood? 172
  • 19. the Big Chill 183
  • 20. Epilogue 190
  • Appendix Information on Apes by Broadside Tv, University Community Video, and Tvtv (top Value Television 209
  • Notes 223
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 271
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