BEYONCE "FORMATION" ROUGH CUT 2 NETWORK NOTES
Hello to you and your team for sending us this cut so promptly. That hasn't gone unnoticed. We have definitely made some progress but we do have a lot of work ahead of us. Right now, the cut is pretty jumbled and tonally not the right fit for our network. Does it have to be so angry? Can Beyonce call all the woman to join a happy formation? Let's go through the footage and do a clarity pass to make sure we are telling the sharpest and warmest story possible. There are a lot of controversial images currently in the cut. While we do want a lot of people to talk about it on Twitter, we don't want to upset the apple cart TOO much. We have some issues with the Red Lobster product integration (see below) and we are in desperate need for a chyron pass. Maybe a comedy pass too? Let's discuss.
Timecoded notes below.
00:01-00:04 While we appreciate the explicit lyrics warning at the top of the cut, Standards and Practices does not feel that is enough due to all of the salty language that follows. Can we use this time instead to put in an establishing shot with a short bite from Beyonce along the lines of "Hi, I'm international pop superstar Beyonce and I'm going to celebrate my Southern heritage with a great fun song. Hope you like it!" Please get this bite verbatim.
00:08 The VO asks "What happened after New Orleans." Do we have an answer for the question? She never answers the question, therefore this is really sloppy storytelling, guys. We are much, MUCH better than this. Also, legal wants a disclaimer saying that standing on a New Orleans cop car in a flood zone is dangerous and should only be done by professionals.
00:15 The VO continues with "Bitch, I'm back... by popular demand." Where was he before? Can we add a flashback as to where this person was before all this? This line needs the proper set up; right now it has no context and is therefore confusing to our demographic. Please recut this.
00:23 Let's add an infographic explaining what the Illuminati is. Audiences love some take home information!
00:33 Please make sure you have the proper material release for the Givenchy dress.
00:40 When Beyonce mentions that her parents are from Alabama and Louisiana, let's add a GFX map of the country highlighting where these states are. That way (1) our viewers in the South will feel some pride and (2) our viewers in the rest of the country will know where these states are.
00:59 You guys, our storytelling has to be on point. If she says "I have hot sauce in my bag" we need a shot of it. If I don't see it, how am I to know that she actually has it in her bag? HOW AM I TO KNOW? Please double check your footage and add this shot. Remember, reminding the audience of pertinent information is the height of storytelling!
01:10 Big Freedia's VO "I did not come to play with you hoes." Is she specific about the hoes she's referring? Have we met these hoes already? If so, let's explain that. Maybe a flashback? Let's get creative!
01:17 We hear Big Freedia say "I like cornbread and collard greens, bitch", but we don't actually SEE any cornbread OR collard greens. Can we add some b-roll of these delicious regional delights? Also, I think we're missing out on a great opportunity. If Beyonce really likes these dishes, how about we do a cooking show spinoff? A Southern-centric cooking show called Beautiful Fryer? All The Yummy Dishes? Countdown (To Lunch)? Celebrities hosting cooking shows are becoming very popular. If Valerie Bertinelli can host a Food Network show, why not Beyonce? If she does, that'll take some of the stink Paula Deen left around here.
01:32 Please double check to make sure that all of the dancers in the creepy empty swimming pool have signed a release.
02:11 Let's add a lower third for all of the places we go to in the cut. Right now, Beyonce and her dancers are in what looks like to be a dilapidated mansion. Is it hers? A relative's? I'm confused. Please clarify.
02:30 Did something happen to the camera? It looks like this scene was shot on a VHS camcorder back in the 90's. Sure, the dancing is nice and it's pretty creative but the weird film stock has no context and now I am no longer into this. Can we add a bite explaining this? Otherwise, we are going to have to do A LOT of work in color correction and I can tell you right now, my boss will not okay any cost overruns for this.
02:58 This whole section about Red Lobster is completely problematic. First of all, S&P is wondering if there's a take where she says "If he LOVES me good, I'll take MY LOVE to Red Lobster". Also, does she have to put up two middle fingers? If she likes Red Lobster so much, why is she making that gesture? I understand that they are very happy with this section of the song, we are not comfortable with it. We may want to change this. Is there a take where Beyonce has a rhyme for Applebee's?
03:44 Can we get a set up bite why the child is dancing (krumping?) in front of the line of police officers? It's coming across as more confrontational than life-affirming. Also, can we find a different b-roll shot at 4:24 instead of the "Stop Shooting Us" graffiti? This might make our target demographic rather uncomfortable. How about the kid does a happy dance and high-five the police officers? Instead of "Stop Shooting Us", how about "Believe in Love"? That's more on brand for our network. Let's see if we can make that happen with the footage we have.
Please send us a new cut tonight with notes responses. Thanks!