Careful With That Wish Eugene
By Chris Martinez
Once and a while someone on one of these message boards makes a comment
to the effect of \”I wish I had your job\” or \”You have my dream job\” usually
directed at one of the \’No Reservations\’ producers.
I recently had the opportunity to observe producer/director Paul Cabana and
segment producer Rennik Soholt \”living the dream\” as it were and it was
an interesting reality check.
I met the whole crew when they arrived at our hotel in Tokyo with the intention of taping their arrival. They were coming off of a week in Laos and looked it. In fact, they looked so sick, tired and out of it I actually took pity on them and turned off my camera.
Rule #1 to the dream; you work sick, you work tired and then you start the next show with one days \”rest.\”
Incidentally, Rule #1 doesn\’t apply to Tony. He had a press conference an hour after he arrived; or Rennik. Segment producers work with our in-country \”fixers\” to make sure that we really have something to shoot so that there\’s a show to edit later. Segment producers quickly learn that about half of whatever\’s been \”confirmed\” over the phone has changed, disappeared, been misrepresented or otherwise come unglued by the time we\’ve arrived.
Our Japan fixer Michiko is as good as it gets and yet she and Rennik were either in conference or on the phone constantly during the trip.
Other things the segment producer does;
a) Log the 75 hours of tape shot in Laos so that they can be loaded
as soon as we get back.
b) Act as camera assist on the shoots. Rennik knows whose wide angle lens
is whose, which batteries go where and keeps the gear from disappearing.
c) Supply food and drugs. Yes, drugs. Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, Excedrin,
a dozen other pain killers and most importantly Imodium (don\’t leave home without it, seriously).
So maybe you\’d like to direct. That must have been Paul\’s dream once. To show up at a location you\’ve never seen, plot out a two camera shoot and try to establish a story line consistent with the rest of the show in
about 20 minutes. That and get enough B roll footage and establishing
shots, much of which he shoots himself as our third camera.