Monday, August 14, 2006

we're baaa-aaack!

Whoa! its been a few days, and i am still overstimulated from our trip to TV-land. It was simultaneously exhausting and yet exhilerating. I won't relay every second of the trip, because Sarah already beat me to the punch! Do go and read her travelogue, its quite an epic adventure. Here are some random thoughts in no particular order...

1) We had bad luck with LAX going both directions. my mother suggests that i don't fly there anymore because it must be ME who is causing the problems. har.

2) Other crafters who are ramping up for your filming in the next few weeks: MAKE EXTRA STEPOUTS. i can not stress this enough. more than your producer asked for, more than you think you are going to need. We thought we were really prepared, and we didn't have enough step outs. its still took 4 hours to film each episode, when they had scheduled only 2.5. And we got most of our takes the first time. Crafting really takes more time than any of the film crew anticipated. (they are all aboslute dolls, but the director and most of the crew put together couldn't sew on a button if they needed to.)

3) Allison Whitlock is awesome. She's tall, beautiful, clever, crafty, talented, etc etc. You have to be over-the-top smiley and energetic on screen, and she is a pro. I was endlessly amused that when the cameras start rolling, she'll turn and say "we're smiling, we're chatting... (turn to camera) Hi, i'm Allison Whitlock..." I'm sure i will look like a buffoon, because i was absolutely mesmerized by her perfectly white teeth.

4) i have a million times more respect for anyone in the tv or film industry now, even idiotic tv personalities like Kelly Ripa. I used to think she was a ditz, but now i completely respect how much talent it must take to film a LIVE television show without cussing, picking your nose, or saying "ummm" too much. and smiling the whole time! major respect.

5) the set is just amazing. I want to move into that set and live there. Its the nicest craft room any imaginary person could want. And the sewing machine!!! holy cow, its a ridiculously expensive bernina quilting machine (that i almost broke a few times. no stress!) it purrrrrrs as it sews. It's almost like this...
me: sewing machine?
Bernie: Yes, Dharia?
me: I'd like to sew this seam now.
Bernie: Absolutely Dharia. Would you like me to end needle up or needle down? Would you like some coffee with that?

my machine at home:
me: Sewing machine?
Singer: Duh... huh?
me: i'd like to sew this seam now.
Singer: Maybe. ummm... but first i need to cough up a hairball. come back in an hour.

6) television is an alternate reality. Its so weird, wild, and crazy. People are rushed all day long, the producers put out constant little fires, the prop guys run to target to buy a microwave 10 minutes before filming. You have a microphone on so the crew can hear everyone you say, even if you just talk into space. Allison has a little earpiece where they can give her direction while she's filming. That helps her ask really insightful questions, or ask about things you forgot to mention. Which is awesome because i was so nervous i forgot to say a few keys things (especially in the segment on dyeing wool).

7) the cameramen hate Lefties. Because the camera on a boom is over your left shoulder, so if you cut/poour/point with that hand you block his shot. So the director kept having to say "stop, can you put that down and pour with your right hand?" That was ok. The next day i had to sew and cut fabric. The rotary cutter they gave me was a) dull and b) set up to be righty only. So i had to cut right handed, with a dull blade, on top of being ridiculously nervous and my hands were shaking. oy vay!

8) after our second day of filming, we ran into the gals from Austin Glitterati at our hotel: Caro, Marisa, and Jennifer. They were super fun and awesome to meet in person. I really love meeting other craft/knit bloggers in person. they are always so nice and kind! We had dinner with them and told them (probably horrified them) all about our two days.

Well that's all for now. I'm sure i'll remember more over the next few days. If you click on any of the pictures you should be taken to this Flickr Pool of everyone's photos from filming UT. check them out!


At 8/14/2006 2:14 PM, Blogger textile_fetish said...

I totally forgot about your "southpaw" difficulties. Oh and I have heard plenty about dreadful LAX. I flew there once with no issues, but everybody else seems to find it horrible.

At 8/14/2006 8:37 PM, Anonymous Amie said...

LAX was weird. We arrived 5 hours early for our flight because we had arranged a shuttle and one person was leaving early. When we arrived, no one was there. It was a GHOST TOWN. We hit the bar and next thing we knew, it was PACKED. Crazy. I'd say, any other DIY'ers should hire a shuttle. Don't take a cab! It's too expensive.

Step outs: We had to make a couple extra, but we were lucky in that they wanted us to make one for the very beginning of the project. No biggie! And we only needed one copy of each step out. I can only imagine how annoying it might have been to make several of the same step out if it was for sewing or something of that nature.

Allison is INCREDIBLE. Although, I got the short end of the stick because she kept asking me leading questions, the kind where the only possible answer was, "Yeah." or "You're right!" LOL. But otherwise, I don't know how she juggles it all.

Ditto on the smiling bit. "MORE ENERGY!"

At 8/17/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Sarah Brueck Stallings said...

OK - I beat you to the punch with the boring, drawn out, inaccurate retelling, but I nearly peed my pants with your hilarious conversations with the Bernina vs. the(cheapie)Singer machine.


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