On Wednesday’s episode of Project Runway 5–also known as the episode where NBC Universal uses corporate synergy to get Bravo viewers to watch NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, as compared to last week when they used corporate synergy to promote NBC’s Olympics coverage–the workroom clock was more ubiquitous than I’ve ever seen it before.
The workroom clock has previously revealed how the editors play with time, and that also happened this episode. A close-up of the clock showed that it was 8:05 when Tim said the models were coming in, but as they entered the workroom, the clock was clearly visible in the background and showed 9:15, an obvious and unnecessary cheat. After the models left, another close-up of the clock showed that it was just before 9 when Terri and Suede argued.
In the morning, Tim Gunn told the designers that they had one hour to send their models to the [company that paid Bravo, not me, to sponsor their] hair salon and [seriously, why should I mention their names?] makeup room. That was about 8:50 a.m., but the clock showed 11:25 a.m. when he said there were five minutes left. So, assuming they did get their models out by 10, the clock reveled that makeup and hair takes about an hour and a half.
Shots of the workroom clock also revealed that Tim’s consultations with the designers can last over 15 minutes, and some take place so close to the end of the workday that there’s no time left to do anything with his suggestions.
Tim came in at 9:53 p.m., according to a close-up of the clock, but when he started talking with Blaine, the clock in the background seemed to read about 10:55 (both hands were approaching the 11). Tim’s consultations were clearly edited out of order, because he talked to the next pair, Jerell and Stella, starting at 10:15. At the end of that conversation, it was 10:30. Thus, after talking with him for at least 15 minutes, they had an hour and a half to implement his suggestions, although basically we only saw him praise the outfit.
The other conversations were not as apparent in terms of what time he actually started and stopped talking to them, because, unsurprisingly, the conversations are edited and condensed; there’s nothing wrong with that. But there were enough clock shots to show time elapsing and how much time remained in the day. He was talking to Kelli and Daniel at 11:23 and at about 11:27, and since he offered criticism, they had just 30 minutes to work. And he was talking to Terri and Suede around 11:42, and later Korto and Joe at 11:05 and 11:18–another 15 minutes of conversation, but also super-close to the deadline.
Is that kind of feedback helpful so late in the game? Is it by design that Tim shows up so late, so that he can’t really steer them in one direction or another, but can only suggest whatever tweaks they can make in an hour or two? And what do they talk about for 15 minutes? It’s all very interesting, and perhaps even more so than the actual episode.