EVOLVING A SERIES ON SET
I’m almost at the end of my last block of shooting for GWROMG. As a job I have to say it’s been weird and tough, but rewarding. I’ve done a lot of new things and found myself in a lot of very unusual situations. But as a creative working on a very tight schedule, it’s been interesting to see how the crew and the show have adapted.
Shooting at a hugely condensed rate (3-4 episodes a day) means a quite a few things. Not the least of which is that you get into a rhythm, and as it emerges hopefully you’ll notice some trends appearing that help give a show its signature.
As presenter it’s important for me to be able to rattle through my lines quickly, particularly for a show where 80% of the shoot is action. From this need came the recurring opener ‘this is test lab, the show where we […]’ and closer ‘make sure you’re subscribed because next week […]’. Anyone who presents content like this will tell you it’s good to have recurring phrases like this for the audience to learn to expect, so it ticks two boxes.
The first few days of shooting are usually full of wasted time, but after a while you find your feet. At first we were under-estimating the time we needed for action and over-estimating for lines, so in this second block we have learned to divide our shoots more efficiently into Action First, Presenting Second.
BUT with routine can so easily come boredom, for the crew and the viewer. That’s where the fun starts- after establishing a format and understanding our workflow/restrictions in the first block, we’ve been able to play with it in the second block. Jokes begin to emerge, like my trusty co-host Matilda, and my recurring sign-off lies. Brandy, who you’ve seen in previous posts, has filmed for a couple of episodes and been a very good sport. The crew themselves have even participated in some of my stupid ideas.
The reason I’m mentioning any of this is that in the new year, a lot of my projects will take a leaf out of OMG’s book- block shooting episodes with a steady crew rather than the student/guerrilla approach forced on a lot of us in the UK comedy scene. Seeing how this show has grown and changed under pressure will hopefully inform me on (albeit slightly more relaxed) busy shoots in the new year.