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NCIS MODERATORS' BLOG 31
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NCIS FANFICTION JUNKIE
This is a kind of follow-on from my co-blogger's entry yesterday. Until NCIS and more specifically since joining this site, I have never been a lover of books or novels related to a series. As a child I used to be a great fan of Dr.Who (the first 4 Dr. Who's only) and also of Star Trek, later on I became a fan of other series, and most recently X-Files and Bones; although today I only watch NCIS, as the former finished several years ago, and the latter's now got more romance than science. Even now I can't get up any interest in any the fanfiction of any other fandom not even BTVS, yet I've become quite a junkie for NCIS fanfiction and belong to several sites. Obviously I don't read everything that's going since there are some pairings I dislike intensely, i.e. TIVA - the fiction for this pairing tends to be very Mills & Boone; and I like a plot I can sink my teeth into.
One of the most entertaining things in fanfiction is when a writer, adds a 'missing scene' to a certain episode or rewrites the events of a certain episode to produce a different result. I think what amazes me most is the way people are able to keep dialogues in canon, which is no mean feat, particularly with certain characters. I think one of the reasons I don't like TIVA fanfiction, apart from the fact the pairing doesn't inspire me, is how out of canon Ziva tends to be in the writings. Writing a dialogue for a foreigner, for whom English is not their mother tongue, and have them make faux pas, requires a certain amount of knowledge of another foreign language or to have been in contact with foreigners speaking English. In European languages there are a lot of 'false friends' - this is a grammatical term referring to nouns/verbs whose spelling belies their real meaning, e.g. 'actual' in English means 'real' but in Spanish it means 'modern' (these are the basic meanings), or 'constipation' in English refers to someone who has problems with their bowel movements (the lack of) and in Spanish 'constipado' means having 'a cold'. These are the kinds of mistakes, which Ziva tends to make but at another level, not to mention she uses what might be classified as 'textbook' English as opposed to the English a native speaker would naturally use. There is the other factor, in that like most foreigners this character rarely uses contractions preferring to use the long verb form, i.e. 'is not' as opposed to 'isn't'. While this might not seem important, when writing fanfiction dialogues which include Ziva, these kinds of questions need to be considered, it's not enough just to use the word 'yes' as a question tag instead of 'isn't it?' for example.
Having said all that, there are some excellent dialogues out there particularly between Gibbs and Tony or Ducky and Gibbs. McGee is another character whose dialogues tend to go awry I find in general, however, when a writer gets it right, then it's fantastic. Abby is the female character whose dialogues tend to come out best in fanfiction. These are personal opinions I hasten to add, since no doubt there will be others out there who vehemently disagree with me. Although I think there is NCIS fanfiction out there to suit everyone's tastes, you need only look on this site, LJ, ff.net, etc., to name but a few.
When I have to pull allnighter, like tonight for example, these stories serve as a break when I'm getting bogged down in my own work. I fear I don't always remember to leave a comment but that doesn't necessarily mean I haven't liked something, and I think they all deserve praise because writing a story is not as easy as it looks.
Y con esto y un bizcocho y se acabó lo que se dió.
LAST UPDATE ON 29th September 2009 9:40 PM CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
NCIS TIE-IN NOVELS/BOOKS
28th September 2009
As we enter season 7 I would like to explore the idea of books tied into the show. All three CSI franchises have novels, so why not NCIS? It's much better than CSI, with much more interesting characters. By now you would have thought that CBS Paramount would have seen that the market is there. The sheer volume of fan fiction is a good indication of that. If it isn't there to read, I'll write it myself! Fan fiction is always an indication of a healthy, lively fandom. If the NCIS fandom was any livelier it would be hyper-active.
The only reason I can think of is the complexity of the characters and the ongoing story arcs making it difficult to slot novels comfortably into the canon. I can see the problem inherent in this. We could end up with the novels going one way and the series another. However, there is a way around it. Back date the novels. Set them in the shows past not the present. The Star Trek novels do precisely that. All the Star Trek television series are off the air, but the novels keep rolling along. A chunk of the original Star Trek's cast is dead, but Captain James T. Kirk still keeps sailing the USS Enterprise through unchartered space. So why can't the same be done for NCIS?
I can think of several plots without even trying. Jethro and Jenny in Paris. What actually happened? Gibbs early years at NIS/NCIS as Mike Franks' probie. How Tony came to join NCIS. The case that lead to Gibbs and Fornell meeting and becoming friends. Maybe including how they ended up sharing a wife! The JAG/NCIS investigation into the murders of Shannon and Kelly. Just because we know the outcome doesn't mean we're not going to enjoy the book! Ask anyone who reads Mills and Boon novels.
One possible draw back is a few years ago author Mel Odom began a series of novels revolving around a team from NCIS. Though I am sure that obstacle can be overcome.
Another area of tie-in book that interests me are books looking behind the scenes of the shows. Maybe a book of interviews with cast and crew. Or take a leaf out of the Buffy-verse. An English writer compiled detailed guides to Buffy and Angel listing all actors, directors, plots, with a sprinkling of pop culture references and quotes. Speaking personally, I like the interview book idea best. We have everything else here already.
The possibilities are endless.
LAST UPDATE ON 29th September 2009, 6.23AM Australian Time
SUBMITTED BY MargyW
SEASON LIKES/DISLIKES, ETC.
Thought I'd give a twirl at this topic again, but as always it escapes me. So, why am I tackling it again? Well, you see, my fellow blogger MargyW has written several blogs regarding her likes/dislikes per NCIS season, sometimes centring on certain episodes, and you know, it fascinates me. Seriously, it fascinates me how she is able to pinpoint certain episodes which were better or worse than others together with reasons, and I've seen from discussion threads on here, that many more of you are quite capable of this too. So, why can't I?
Well, I've been mulling over this fact while preparing dinner, and I've come to the conclusion, that in relation to NCIS I'm rather like that parent who has 2 or several children, and a neighbour comes up and asks 'Which child do you prefer?'; to which said parent would reply 'I love them all, they're my children with their flaws and virtues'. This rather sums up how I view the series. Obviously there are episodes which I enjoy more and others less, yet I wouldn't eliminate any of them, I might give some a special mention. However, when I sit back and try to review with detachment, I find I'm unable.
Having said all that, it doesn't mean I'm blind to any flaws in plots or performances, etc., etc., because believe me I do see them, yet when I take a global view of any one episode or season, I can honestly say I've enjoyed everything I've seen to date, otherwise I would long ago have stopped watching. However, I can be a bit like loyal St. Bernard at times, and when I like something I tend to like it virtually come what may, i.e. something really drastic would have to happen to stop me watching this series.
Getting back to my specific likes or dislikes re. episodes, I would have to deal with specific points within an episode, since I enjoy all episodes, although there are specific scenes which I particularly like or dislike, and the dislike may only be because of some image, or particular character that I've taken a dislike too, but not the episode as a whole.
If I'm specifically asked which episode is my favourite, I tend to cite Call of Silence, mainly because there were more scenes which I liked in general and specifically, but obviously there were scenes, which I liked less same as with any other episode. As to the 6 seasons watched to date, I certainly wouldn't classify any one over the other.
Despite being a nitpicker (I think my obsession with dubbing quality and voice synch is by now well known by you all), when I sit down to view an episode, I let the episode take me on its journey from beginning to end, even when it's a repeat viewing. I dislike anticipating what's going to happen, and hate being with people who ask/whisper who do you think is the baddy, or I think so and so committed the crime or the outcome will be such, etc. For me it's entertainment, i.e. I let the episode entertain me, however, incongruous a plot maybe. Admittedly I attend a large number of avant-garde theatre performances or indie cinema, so perhaps my twisted mind can subconsciously find a logic or order even in the most unlikely of plots or absurd racconteur thereof.
What I'm trying to say in my garbled fashion is that when sat before TV watching an episode of the series I mentally switch off and let the series take over and do the thinking for me; and if a series can keep my attention span despite the bad dubbing, long commercial breaks, and when I re-watch on DVD without hitting the remote (I love zapping through channels!) or the FF button (another thing I love doing) - then for me that series is good. Otherwise, I'm one of these viewers who flits between different channels at the touch of the remote or hits the FF button, whenever I think something will be boring (and often have to rewind!); and if I'm at the cinema and my attention starts wandering from the screen I get up and leave, as I have done on occasion. To date, this has not happened with NCIS, so I'd like to vote for saying the entire series is great, all the episodes are great, and so on and so forth.
Having said that, I'd still like to be able to do what my fellow blogger does, i.e. breakdown the different seasons and episodes, but it's beyond me, I get a mental block, same thing happens when somebody asks me to retell them them an episode I've watched and they haven't, I'm hopeless; my mind literally flatlines as soon as it hears the question, and I'm being absolutely serious here.
Bueno, y con esto y un bizcocho, se acabó lo que se dió.
LAST UPDATE ON 28th September 2009 9:15 PM - CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
SOUND & PHOTOGRAPHY
I suddenly realised while I was at the theatre this evening, that to date there hadn't been an entry in relation to sound and photography on NCIS. I know we've talked about the music, or rather Pauley and Cote's singing. We're certainly a privileged audience to hear such fine singers, and I shall certainly be on the look out for when Pauley and her group release a record. In general terms, the music chosen for each episode represents well the actions or plots, which is not as easy as it might seem to us the audience. Plus the fact each musical piece is distinctive, and in some cases it's what I'd call 'muy progre', i.e. it doesn't fit in with bubblegum stuff that tends to abound today.
However, with reference to sound, I wasn't thinking here of the music, but the quality of sound in relation to the voices and sound effects. On some series or films the actors' voices tend to sound out of synch, I've seen that quite frequently in recent years on both television and the cinema, it's what I would classify as playback gone wrong. And I'm not referring to the dubbed versions of televisions or films but the original, where this lack of synchronisation is disconcerting to say the least, it's when you get a time delay between visual and sound. On NCIS, this has not happened so far, and I presume that at this stage it is unlikely to happen, since this synchronisation precision of actor's voice and mouth movement aids in giving conviction to the actor's performance, because without this, you lose a sense of credibility. And this synchronisation is more difficult than it might seem to a layman, but having done a few voice-overs, I can assure you there's a lot of time and effort invested in it, same goes for the sound effects. This area of sound tends to be forgotten in any award system as if it were a minor science, when it isn't, not by a long chalk, particularly when you take into account that sounds are constantly being filtered in and out, so the actors' voices can stand out, or we can locate them in a certain situation or area. So I would like to say well done to the sound engineers on NCIS for the time and effort they invest to produce these results.
Another area, which had been forgotten to date is that of photography. The play with lighting by the cameramen/photographers in this series is quite incredible, since the plots have required extremely varied levels and kinds of lighting, from desert scenes where light is sharp or stark lighting of autopsy, to the ghostly images of the episode Chimera or the underwater photography in Requiem, to mention but a few. Even within a single episode there have been great differences in the light and shadow required. As with sound this also requires a lot of dexterity not to mention co-ordination between lighting, camera, and makeup, because these 3 go hand in hand. We've also seen some excellent black and white stills by NCIS photographer Mark Horowitz, which we have in our photo gallery here. And as anyone into photography will tell you, it's the black and white shots, which show the photographer's skill, and Horowitz is among the top. I'm an absolute pagan (less than a layman) in this field, but I recognise quality when I see it, and this series has excellent photography.
In fact it's all these accessories to the script and acting, which make the series what it is, and as such requires just recognition. I'd expound more on these two areas, but I lack the knowledge, however, I can still acknowledge the quality thereof.
Y con esto y un bizcocho se acabó lo que se dió.
LAST UPDATE ON 27th September 2009 11.50 PM - CET
SUBMITTED BY Sorgiña
Latest page update: made by MargyW
, Sep 29 2009, 4:16 PM EDT
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Sorgiña||Season Likes/Dislikes, etc.||12||Oct 19 2009, 3:15 PM EDT by MargyW|
|Sorgiña||Sound & Photography||3||Oct 11 2009, 6:00 PM EDT by jml709|
|Sorgiña||NCIS FANFICTION JUNKIE||14||Oct 6 2009, 3:10 PM EDT by MargyW|
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