New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsUnbroadcast/Unfinished Works



Collisions

Copyright Date:
1977

Artists:
Wagner, Jane
Beck, Stephen
Emshwiller, Ed
Falco, Louis
Hays, Ron
Vanderbeek, Stan
Wegman, William

Extent:
1 videoreel of 1 (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (Betacam SP) (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (Betacam SP) (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (D3) (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (VHS) (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.

Background:
A coproduction of the WNET Television Laboratory and the WGBH New Television Workshop. This work was considered a "failure" by Fred Barzyk and was never broadcast.

Scope:
Includes two 2" masters of the completed work and additional 2" masters containing the works of some of the commissioned artists. One of these, containing works by William Wegman has been reformatted to a Betacam SP preservation master.

"Collisions" was written by Jane Wagner and is an unusual comedy/drama. It stars Lily Tomlin and other well known performers, such as Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner. The work attempts to integrate short video works by Stephen Beck, Ed Emshwiller, Louis Falco, Ron Hays, Stan Vanderbeek, and William Wegman. "Collisions" tells the story of Eartha, a creature from the planet of Zymus, who agrees to take a human form and to observe the planet earth. Eartha inhabits Beth Barber (Lily Tomlin), a news reporter. At one point, Beth visits her family in Kentucky, who are played by Tomlin's actual family. Meanwhile, a panel of experts on a television program on Zymus monitor Eartha's impressions and contemplate whether or not to blow up the earth. Eventually, Eartha, who has come to respect the humans' vulnerability and depth of feeling, has a falling out with the panel. The fate of earth remains uncertain.

While the earthlings wear contemporary clothing of the 1970's, the Zymus experts wear silvery, metallic "space" costumes.



Directors:
Bartlett, Dick (Associate Director)
Hoving, Peter (Director of Photography)
Stevens, John Wright (Art Director)
Moscu, Alex (Assistant Director)
Soto, Ricardo (Assistant Director)

Producers:
Barzyk, Fred
Loxton, David
Tappan, Olivia (Associate Producer)

Coproducer:
Television Laboratory, WNET

Funders:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities
National Endowment for the Arts
Rockefeller Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation, Inc.

Performers:
Tomlin, Lily
Aykroyd, Dan (Mike Zook)
Corey, Irwin (Dr. Oort)
Radner, Gilda (Ms. Nova)
White, Charles (Dr. Skepler)
Bragg, Nelson
Morash, Russ
Kazanoff, Ted

Subjects:
Family
Interstellar travel


Genres:
Parodies
Comedies
Dramas
Science fiction





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