Shooting Season Starts
Most of our programs are already starting in earnest this year. A few have had their new seasons held over till March. One of them, our weekly comedy series Joke Aje needs a fair bit of planning and is too onerous to shoot once a week.
Thus, we scheduled a three-episode shoot today that would last the entire working day and keep us going for the month. My long-anticipated plan to spoof CSI would finally materialize today around the grounds of Media Prima’s vast complex. We shot with a full crew and only one person, the DOP, was a freelancer. Producer, host and actor Sariah joined the in-house cast as the female CSI co-lead and the only outsider (she hopped on from ntv7, fresh from her show Venus).
I enjoy working with her and she takes direction easily, even adding ideas occassionally. El, our other CSI co-lead and MIS Senior Executive, is also a brilliant actor. He improvises naturally and has a great comedic brain, adding countless ideas to my script.
There are new faces this year in my team, including Miya, my wonderful assistant producer who takes on her first single-camera production (SCP) attempt. She effectively works as production manager/first AD today. Kahar, my producer, actually has to shoot one of our weekly programs almost single-handedly with rising superstar Sari Yanti. So while he’s left to his own devices (literally), we’re out and about shooting from the North Wing to the South.
The only disappointment was the fact that Engineering couldn’t supply any (that’s right, ANY) lights we requested. Not even a humble redhead. Apparently, with general elections around the corner, every light is booked out on various news assignments that day. We gamely decide to go for camera-mounted or hand-mounted DC lights and rely on the fact that our Panasonic P2 cameras have great exposure latitudes.
We use these cameras with P2 cards that effectively deal away with tapes. I’m now a great believer in tapeless filming technology, and at New Media, the nature of our operations and workflow mean that an entire in-house program can be shot, uploaded and viewed without a single tape needed in the process.
The actual shooting day is hectic and we (naturally) go over schedule a bit. Shooting comedy is fun though and we’ve got tonnes of bloopers to keep us in mirth throughout. We wrap at 2030 hours and chow down dinner at the cafeteria before calling it a day.
I feel that technology, inspired acting and camaraderie have blended together for a good experience today. This is how production life should be every day!
Before heading back home at 2230 I trade emails with Sarah Lian. She’s just back from the US and is looking out for options back home. I offer her to auditon for our comedy news program Gua Centre and she’s keen. I feel she could be highly suited to the role of Sexy Temptress Weather Girl. She thinks so too.
Audition’s next Tuesday. It could be interesting…