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"Hamilton's America": They Threw Away Their Shot(s)

Telegram Spam
Chorus Member
joined:2/8/11
Chorus Member | Joined: 2/8/11

Am I the only person who was incredibly disappointed in "Hamilton's America"? To me the entire 90 minutes felt like a trailer for the documentary we had been led to expect. It offered very little of the creative phase, very little of the rehearsal process, very little of the show itself, very little of the cultural impact. The one thing it had in abundance was a dumbed-down biography of Hamilton the man. It felt like they took a PBS "American Experience" episode and re-cut it for a lowest common denominator audience. 

More than 100 hours of footage was filmed for this project. 98.5 hours wound up on the cutting room (where it happens) floor. How many..."shots" do you throw away in 98.5 hours?

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LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/7/05

Why is this its own post?

"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
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MarkBearSF
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joined:1/25/11
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/25/11
No#3
Posted: 10/23/16 at 12:15am

I had read the publicity beforehand and the show was what they promised and then some. 

Perhaps the issue is your expectations and the documentary you wanted to see rather than the one that was promised.

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MinervaMoon
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joined:12/31/05
Stand-by | Joined: 12/31/05

It's called "Hamilton's America", not "the making of the musical Hamilton". Alex Horwitz has specifically commented that he did not delve into such things as its cultural impact besides some brief shots because that has been talked about ad infinitum elsewhere. 

Hamilton Emotional Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hamiltonsupport/
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HogansHero
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joined:2/26/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/26/12

Telegram Spam said: "More than 100 hours of footage was filmed for this project. 98.5 hours wound up on the cutting room (where it happens) floor. How many..."shots" do you throw away in 98.5 hours?"

all of your premises are false. aside from what others have said, it is flatly untrue that >100hrs was filmed for this project. You are obviously collapsing the documentary and the archival recording of the show. As has been rehearsed from the get-go, these were done during the same several days but that's it. Your post reeks of the sort of egocentric self-entitlement that is endemic here.

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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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Oy#6
Posted: 10/23/16 at 11:24am

I got exactly what I was expecting.   We always knew it wasn't going to release much of the show itself.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
KathyNYC2
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joined:12/2/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/2/10
Oy#7
Posted: 10/23/16 at 11:28am

I really liked it and really wished I had seen it before I saw the show. I would have understood more of the Hamilton details if I had  understood more of this background 

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CATSNYrevival
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joined:3/1/04
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Oy#8
Posted: 10/23/16 at 12:31pm

I thought the documentary was fantastic and that's coming from someone definitely fatigued by Hamilton mania. I appreciated the historical anecdotes from Ron Chernow and the female historian, who's name escapes me, quite a bit more than the footage from the show.

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Theater_Nerd
Broadway Star
joined:7/23/15
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Oy#9
Posted: 10/23/16 at 12:57pm

I feel that if the original poster had read any of the press releases about the documentary he would have known right off the bat the purpose and the intention of the piece.

It sounds to me that the original poster formed an expectation of what the documentary was going to focus on and then when the documentary did not meet those expectations he was disappointed.

It's really unfair to say the filmmakers failed based off of perceived expectations.

The filmmakers set out to make and achieved very successfully the documentary that they intended.

 

You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable
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MinervaMoon
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Oy#10
Posted: 10/23/16 at 1:00pm

There were two female historians: Joanne Freeman and Annette Gordon-Reed. Dr. Freeman was particularly enthusiastic with her live and post-doc reaction tweets.

OyOy

Oy

Hamilton Emotional Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hamiltonsupport/
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MinervaMoon
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Oy#11
Posted: 10/23/16 at 1:02pm

Oy

Hamilton Emotional Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hamiltonsupport/
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Mildred Plotka
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joined:7/30/08
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Oy#12
Posted: 10/23/16 at 2:19pm

Was this 90 minutes?  It was only 60 here in Seattle. 

"Broadway...I'll lick you yet!"
HGR2
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joined:7/13/16
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#13
Posted: 10/23/16 at 2:57pm

It was OK.  At the end of the night it was more "Standard PBS Fare" than anything else.  If you like that sort of thing.

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dramamama611
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joined:12/4/07
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#14
Posted: 10/23/16 at 4:31pm

Yes, Mildred, 90 minutes on the east coast.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
SueBee06
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joined:1/12/16
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#15
Posted: 10/23/16 at 7:40pm

It was 90 minutes everywhere. If you missed it, you can stream it for free currently. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

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macnyc
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joined:7/26/08
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#16
Posted: 10/23/16 at 7:51pm

HogansHero, it has been widely reported as a direct quote from Alex Horwitz that when all was said and done, he had about 100 hours of footage. 

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joined:5/28/13
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#17
Posted: 10/23/16 at 7:56pm

100 hours of footage in total. Not 100 hours of performance footage. There's obviously a massive difference. 

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Mr. Nowack
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I don't feel the need to watch it again.#18
Posted: 10/23/16 at 8:27pm

^^ I don't think anyone thought it was 100 hours of performance footage...

That would mean filming the entire show 33 times (or using 33 cameras lol!).

Keeping BroadwayWorld Illustrated
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jl_smith81
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I will watch it again and again and again!#19
Posted: 10/23/16 at 9:02pm

 I absolutely loved the doc!  I was on the edge of my seat!  I brought back so many feels as I just saw the show live and in person just under two weeks ago!  One day Lin will unearth it from the bowels of Gringotts and we will get a full DVD of the show, but for now....I loved seeing the cast walk in the footsteps of who they are playing and get the history of their characters at the places where it happened.  

"Who lives who dies who tells your story"
Liza's Headband
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joined:5/28/13
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I will watch it again and again and again!#20
Posted: 10/23/16 at 9:20pm

Mr. Nowack said: "^^ I don't think anyone thought it was 100 hours of performance footage...

That would mean filming the entire show 33 times (or using 33 cameras lol!).


 

"

 

I never stated, nor suggested, I was only referring to Broadway performance footage. When I say "performance footage," that obviously includes any performance-related footage spanning the property's gestation from early-stage labs and workshops to award broadcasts and the off-Broadway presentation. 

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Mildred Plotka
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joined:7/30/08
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I will watch it again and again and again!#21
Posted: 10/23/16 at 10:15pm

Maybe my dvr cut  it off. It did end rather abruptly now that I think about it lol.  

"Broadway...I'll lick you yet!"
Updated On: 10/23/16 at 10:15 PM
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gypsy101
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joined:1/22/13
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I will watch it again and again and again!#22
Posted: 10/23/16 at 10:19pm

you can see the rest on PBS' website. i don't know why a dvr would stop recording mid-program though, that sounds strange.

"Contentment, it seems, simply happens. It appears accompanied by no bravos and no tears."
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dramamama611
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I will watch it again and again and again!#23
Posted: 10/23/16 at 10:31pm

Technology is imperfect. 

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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HogansHero
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I will watch it again and again and again!#24
Posted: 10/23/16 at 10:43pm

macnyc said: "HogansHero, it has been widely reported as a direct quote from Alex Horwitz that when all was said and done, he had about 100 hours of footage. "

Quite a bit of it was not shot for this project. He also explained that the amount of performance footage he was allowed to use was very limited. The bottom line is that the person to whom I was responding seemed to want more of the performance shown and, as many of us have been saying since this was announced, that was never gonna happen. Furthermore, if you have eve been involved in the sort of interviews used in this you know that in most of what you get the interviewee sounds like a blithering idiot and the moments of piercinginsight that makes it into the finished product is just the crème de la crème. 

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Mildred Plotka
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I will watch it again and again and again!#25
Posted: 10/23/16 at 11:27pm

Oh my dvr is possessed or something. Does the oddest things. 

"Broadway...I'll lick you yet!"