New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsFrames of Reference

Lulu Smith: The Chicken that Ate Columbus

Extent:
9 reels of 9 : sd., col. ; 16 mm.
1 videoreel of 1 (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videoreel of 1 (30 min.) : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videoreel of 1 : sd., col. ; 1 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (D3) (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) (30 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam SP) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (30 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
3 folders

Copyright Date:
1981

Copyright Holder:
Warner Amex Cable Communications and WGBH Educational Foundation

Artist:
Bartlett, Dick (Writer)

Background:
"Lulu Smith," 1981, was written by Dick Bartlett and created in collaboration with Warner Amex Cable Communications, Inc., WOSU-TV34 at Ohio State University, and Connecticut Public Television. This may have been the first interactive drama in television. It was broadcast as an episode of "Frames of Reference."

Scope:
Includes multiple 1" and 2" masters of various versions of the completed work, with accompanying Betacam SP preservation masters, and VHS and 3/4" screening copies. Also included are nine reels (with duplicate reel numbers) of 16mm film containing mix elements. One folder contains credits listings, edit logs, tape logs, correspondence, and notes. Black-and-white negatives, contact sheets, and photographic prints from the production set exist.

The work is an interactive comedy and drama concerning the development from infancy to young adulthood of a woman named Lulu Smith. Through the use of QUBE cable, viewers were able to vote on the events that would befall Lulu, thus contributing to the advancement of the story. For example, the viewers vote to make Lulu's father a clown and to give Lulu a special talent. In the edited version of the work, the story of Lulu develops parallel to the story of the writers, producers, and television executives who are trying to make a story out of the disparate elements of her life. The second part of the story features an adult Lulu, traumatized both by the unconventionality of her youth and by the portions of her existence the writers and producers chose to skip over. We find Lulu living with Sally, a selfish vixen who takes advantage of her, and entering into a romantic liaison with Ed, Sally's boyfriend. Sally leaves town for good and Lulu and Ed end up together. Just as Ed is declaring his love for Lulu, the executives cancel the show. The Lulu character enters the empty television studio in a daze and picks up the abandoned script, thus realizing that her existence has been fabricated.



Directors:
Barzyk, Fred
Lorentz, Michael (Codirector)
Berry, Mike (Codirector)
Stevenson, Carol (Assistant Director)
Brown, Robin J. (Assistant Director)
Silberg, Alan (Assistant Director)

Producers:
Barzyk, Fred (Executive Producer)
Tappan, Olivia (Associate Producer)
Arthur, Pat (Associate Producer)

Coproducers:
Warner Amex Cable Communications, Inc.
WOSU - TV34, Ohio State University
Connecticut Public Television

Editors:
Bartlett, Dick
Jordan, Jeanne (Second Editor)

Funders:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
National Endowment for the Arts
Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities
Rockefeller Foundation

Performers:
Helman, Andy (Big Lulu)
Steelman, Alissa (Little Lulu)
Vener, Karen (Baby Lulu)
Petty, Deborah (Sally)
Landfield, Timothy (Ed)
Dorff, Linda (Mom)
Marvin, Bob (Dad)
Martin, Irene (Mrs. Facenda)
Steelman, Ron (Mr. Facenda)
Conley, Pam (voice of Baby Lulu)
Massen, Martin (Blind Date)
Disque, Diane (Telephone Operator)
Crawford, John (Policeman)
Arthur, Jan (Piano Player)
Miller, Charles (Announcer)
Burns, Bob (Writer)
Dresner, Richard (Writer)
Eilber, Julie (Writer)
Ennamoranto, Tony (Writer)
Hamilton, Phil (Writer)
Huffman, Jim (Writer)

Subjects:
Television -- Production and direction


Genres:
Audience participation programs
Comedies
Dramas
Parodies





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