Another Year, Another Holiday, Another Blog …
by Helen Cho, Production Coordinator/AP
You see, back at the ZPZ headquarters in New York, the crew blog purging experience is often times very much close to that of loan-sharking. It begins with the initial probe … “Do you have the blog?” “Soon, soon” is the usual answer. It quickly progresses to the more specific time-sensitive fishing …“WHEN will you have the blog?” A guilty “Soon, soon, I promise” and a brisk walk away. It buys you some time and you go about the rest of the week in your normal routine: you come in and out of our office, walk the same cruise controlled path from coffee to your desk, say hello to the same people … And? No mention of the blog. Coast is clear but it goes eerily unmentioned and unspoken of for some time … and then… just when you least expect it … a wrong turn from the bathroom and BOOM – you get “the look” It’s come to the point where no words are even exchanged but you know what they want. They know that you know what they want …you owe them … a crew blog. I’ve seen this same situation unfold countless number of times, indiscriminate of position on the production team totem pole. There have even been attempts of blog bribing… blog pawning. “Hey [insert former intern’s name here], so … how’s that blog coming along?” But no, no … alas, I somehow find myself in this situation again … writing the beloved crew blog.
But don’t get it twisted; this is by no means a complaint for lack of blog-worthy content.
From getting spoon-fed beef cheeks and chicken livers by Mario Batali himself, conversations with curious network staff questioning the band name “Das Racist,” to Ted Nugent calling our PA “a good meat handler,” to gun googling sessions after receiving a late night phone call with the Nuge’s last-minute gun requests and so on and so forth — it’s a lot to revisit. Had I known what this Holiday Special show would exactly entail previous to my hiring the summer interns, the ad would have looked a little different, something along the lines of:
Seeking Summer 2010 Interns for No Reservations – aside from all the predictable intern duties such as transcribing and logging, you must be comfortable stuffing your faces with expertly crafted pieces of cake including, but not exclusive to, bits of the Easter bunny, ground hog, gingerbread men, firecrackers, jack-o-lanterns, goose, dreidels and Christmas trees. Successful applicants have experience in the field of voracious eating, especially chunks of quality meats (offals included, of course) for camera and/or know of a secret location in New York selling Vernors Ginger Ale. Out of season prop, produce and kitchen-supplies-finding skills a must. Solid impromptu sock-puppet-making skills a plus.
As you can imagine, day-by-day as Michael, the producer mastermind behind this episode, continued shooting set ideas and requests, I was slowly amassing an eclectic collection of the necessary generic holiday set decorations and props for the episode. Strewn with bone marrow spoons, reindeer antlers, cutting boards, miniature log cabin, figurines of farmers holding cows, Easter baskets, curtains, pots and garland, my desk was looking borderline Hoarders status with staff starting to ask if I needed an intervention. I promised there’d be a light at the end of this dark tunnel and I can only hope that some of this generic holiday special kookiness shines through in Monday’s episode. But in all seriousness, at the end of the day, I love this motley mafia, and crew blog loan-sharking works.