Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear FN Shoot

Happy Monday!!

So, I'm on the road again to tape How'd That Get On My Plate? and began my day by waiting for 2+ hours on a tarmac in a plane with no A/C ... very funny. Now look, I know it isn't really funny, but watching how heat can really turn a good thing bad, is a bit funny. Like alllllll the pleasantries were over as soon as the people on the plane realized they were gonna sweat. Now, I've been in the land of sweat (hot factories, hot farm fields) plenty lately, so my resistance is built up n stuff. I just sat there in my seat with the sweat trickling down my face and watched as people complained. Honeymooners mad that they'd miss their connection. Another woman mad she'd have to add a day onto her vacation. And then there was the crazy man that got so bad, we had to pull back up to the gate after 2 hours of being pushed back just to let him off ... via escort. Now, that ... was funny. Ever see the Spike Lee flick Do The Right Thing? Kinda like that ... heat can make people go crazy! Anyway ... real quick, I wanna tell you about the Dear FN shoot I had this past Thursday with Brian from North Carolina.

He saw the posts and press about Dear FN and sent in his own video request for us/me ... I can't tell you what he wanted cuz that would give the segment away, but I can tell ya a bit about the day ...

So, I had some stuff to do before he arrived to set. We flew him in to be on camera with me and wanted him to be rested so I began the day early and he joined us after lunch.

That morning I got in and my task was to tape these little segments that will run in every show, I think there are 8 total. My segments are short n sweet with little ideas for holiday guests and parties. The afternoon shoot with Brian, our viewer, is more of a cooking segment. I was actually so busy in the days leading up to the Thursday shoot that I didn't know where the shoot was until that morning when I got in the car headed towards the city. The driver (I know, a driver lol) says to me "seventy-five 9th?" and I was like ... "I guess, if that's what you have!" teeheehee. I got excited immediately because that's the familiar address of Chelsea Market and Food Network! I dunno where I thought I'd be taping, on location or in another studio, so I was really happy to be going to a familiar place. Even better, I'd get to see some familiar faces -- as in almost everyone I worked with on Cooking for Real! The whole crew is like a set staff with only a few rotating parts. So, the guy that does camera on Iron Chef, chances are he does camera work on various other shows, like mine. Anyway, after spending a coupla weeks of long days with the entire crew, you get to really miss them when you are gone and done taping. I just sat in the car from Brooklyn to Manny Hatty thinking how seeing them during my Dear FN shoot was gonna be great. Now, you may say duh, Sunny, of course you were gonna tape at Food Network's studios ... and to that I say well, even though the show is on the network, it isn't produced by it ... so, that's why I guess I thought we'd tape elsewhere ... again, I'm a rookie.

Ok, so I get there and find out I'm shooting in the Food Network test kitchens. You've seen this kitchen if you watch NFNS or Throwdown and it's very familiar to me because it's where I did my recipe testing for both runs of Cooking for Real. It's actually where Aida and I did our commercial shoot as well. Everything was really fast and almost every 20 minutes or so I'd see a familiar face pop in from the Cooking for Real crew, so the morning whizzed by.

For lunch we all walked in a single file line like hungry little kids to another floor of the building where there's a break room, but forget the break room ... I WALKED PAST THE EDIT BAYS!!!! Yeah, here I am walking by these little edit booths and I hear something familiar ... me. I stopped in my tracks and looked right, there it was ... a frame of Cooking for Real, on a big screen being edited to life! Ok, call me stupid, but I kept walking while looking ... a bit caught off guard and slower like in a trance. Then not a few steps later, my continual right-facing slow walk paid off ... I heard me and saw me again, this time in another edit bay. So, finally I was like forget lunch, what is going on here?!!?!!? I'm all loud and noisy, so I back tracked to the first room said "hey!" and met the people that take all my stuff and piece it together into a show. That was super cool. I've wanted to meet everyone in the process, but sometimes I think we are kept out of the real stuff so the real work can get done ... no editor needs me sitting in his/her booth saying which angle I like better, you know? But how neat is it to meet the very people that "make" the shows!!! As a voice over person I also wanna meet the chick that voices some stuff on the network, what a velvety voice. Great pipes! And you'd think after watching hours and hours of unedited me, they'd be sick ... but they actually were really nice, welcoming to their office and even said they'd taken some of my recipes home. That's a huge compliment, especially from the people that see it up close and unedited. Thennnnnnnn I learned something I find quite crazy, but they said it's true ... I'm the first person they'd met at the network, that they edit. As much as it seemed a huge treat for me, I think we were all kinda excited by the Twilight Zone I'd walked into. I even got to dub a voice over for the promo in the next room they were putting together. All because I happened to walk by, doors were open and I could see them working on me. Lemme tell ya, I can't say enough how much hard work the editor's go through. I don't think they see daylight much because just imagine the workload ... and when you watch a show produced by the network, you don't get credits, so lemme give em some credit! Take a look at us ... we took this twice to juxtapose the screen in the back over us, so you could see what I walked in on ... ha, I'm wearing orange, twice!!

Ok, then after lunch I finished up some segment stuff and the whole time I saw this guy off to the side of the set just smilin' away ... I'm thinkin', must be an exec I haven't met yet. He was just watchin' and smilin' and then I'd smile ... it was a smile-fest. Turns out it was Brian!!! The man of the day!!! Just months ago he'd sent in a video about a holiday food issue and here he was now in the Food Network test kitchens about to get his food problem solved ... or so we hoped!! Teeheehee ... anyway, he was great!!! I think I was more nervous than him ... I'm like I hope I don't make a mistake! Then he's like me too! LOL ... I'm so wack right? I'm supposed to reassure him it'll be ok and here I am worried. Well, we go our nerves out and in just one take, got all the stuff done!!! Then we had to do close-ups and inserts ... those are almost self-explanatory. The close-up is of course a zoomed shot of a hand or a spoon stirring, a can being picked up ... sometimes they are caught live during taping, then sometimes they are done right after the wide shot. In this case they can also be categorized as "inserts" ... I'm the blind leading the blind here if you don't know TV terms ... I'm learnin' and lovin'. We did those and then moved on to the next segment ... I can't say what it was, but it ended with a drink!! A rum drink!! What a way to end the shoot huh??

So, Brian and I went into to the big studio that was being used by Guy Fieri for his Big Bite and I introduced him to Guy and the rest of the crew that also worked on Cooking for Real. Guy is such a class act, took time to say hi and all while he was in the middle of acts and taping his show. We watched for a bit, I showed Brian the layout of the studio, the mini kitchen and all the stuff that happens behind the scenes and then we parted ways ... me off to do some voice-over work and Brian off to tour the big city! I can't wait to see him on the show! He had such a funny story and really took well to the process. Hi Brian!!!! (he says he reads the blog)!!! I'll post a pic of us in the Food Network test kitchens as soon as I get it!!

I'm in Gilroy, CA a coupla days for GAHHHHHHHLIC!!!!

1 comment:

Alex Lopez said...

Hi Sunny! I just got back from Santa Barbara today from a great weekend trip. Went to Solvang, which is known as "Little Denmark". Fantanstic apricot Danishes!! Saw the sign for Gilroy Garlic fest heading back on 101 North to San Francisco. I went last was a stinkin' good Not sure if I am heading thie weekend..the traffic is nuts!! If you go, have fun, stay in the shade and drink lots of gets crazy hot in Gilroy!!