One scene in the Australian soap opera 'Sons and Daughters' lasting 65 seconds could take as much as 30 minutes to tape. There were said to be about 80 scenes in total for 4 half-hour episodes. Roughly 16 minutes of those 2 hours were allocated to on-location scenes. One 77-second scene took nearly 20 minutes to tape. About 90 people worked on the show including the stars. 

"Every week the program's 3 storyliners and script editor discuss the weekly breakdown of the events in the plot," it was reported. "Each stoyliner then takes an episode and breaks the story down into scenes. The dialog writers are given the storylines from which they write the scripts by fleshing out the scenes."

"Soaps, because they substitute stereotypes for characters, and sensation for dramatic action, need a wider range of characters than conventional drama to generate the constant scandal viewers crave," Catherine Sparks observed. Don Battye added, "It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle. The job of the storyliner is the hardest part of the whole show. Not only does the product have to be ready in time to meet the deadline, it has to be entertaining as well." 

"An added difficulty for the cast is having to adapt to rehearsing and recording set by set, rather than episode by episode. There is no storyline continuity," it was mentioned. Garry Shelley remarked, "Television viewers have always been baffling creatures: extremely loyal when secrets and taboos are there to be uncovered, but somewhat fickle after all has been hauled out into the open. They do not like too much too soon. They prefer to be tantalized."

John Holmes acknowledged, "It's a tragic and desperate situation for the storyliners each week. People don't realize the heartache they go through." The cast normally received the scripts about 2 weeks ahead of rehearsal time.

Mark Conroy had a Bachelor of Social Science degree. He also studied art and worked as a designer and graphic artist in an advertising agency. Before joining 'Sons and Daughters' in 1986, Mark spent 7 years modeling mostly in Europe. He recounted, "I was offered a job in an orange juice commercial. I turned it down at first - until they told me how much money I was going to get! So I took up modelling.

"Modeling is a great way to see the world, still be able to live and not spend your own money. But I can't say I really enjoyed it. There's a lot of glitz and glamor, but after a while it just becomes another job. But while I was in London I realized the modeling wasn't stimulating me and as I'd spent a lot of years studying, I thought I should do something about putting all that study to work. 

"I'd always had a fascination for acting and it eventually became a bug that gnawed at me...I'm learning so much more on 'Sons and Daughters' than I'd ever learn in a class situation. The only trouble is, while I'm learning, they're filming and putting it on TV! It was pretty nerve-wracking at first and very much a case of getting used to how things are done. It's a real buzz to be doing something positive and using your brain."

As Glen Young, Mark noted, "For the first few weeks I always seem to be bare-chested and kissing Belinda Giblin! But I love working with Belinda. I think she's fabulous, and there's so much to learn from her. She makes me very relaxed."

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