The Making of a TV Show
We are in full swing of the production for my show, Meatless America. With five episodes already shot I figured it was time to pause and reflect. Things have been pretty crazy up until now and you’re about to find out why!
The excitement of a network signing on a show that I created is one of the highlights of my life. The opportunity could not have come at a better time. Things are finally starting to go my way! Signing the contract was the first step. I had to negotiate quite a bit with the network to get the tiny budget I am working with. I found a team that would work within that budget, as the chance to have our creation on air was a pretty big deal.
Next came scheduling with the restaurants, my crew, and my family. All of the stars had to align for us to find the right restaurant and shoot date. Episode one was finally set to be produced. I made a hair appointment so that I had one less thing to worry about, but I did my make up and wardrobe myself. The script had been written and I called an Uber to take me to Avant Garden, where we were shooting episode one. It was an exciting day throughout. By the end of it, my hair, make up, and energy all started to wilt. I was just happy that it was over and we made it out alive, with footage, of course.
The first edit of the first episode was completed just before we began shooting episode two. There were some minor issue that had to be corrected, which lead to me traveling to Trenton, NJ early one morning to sit with my editor. I didn’t get back to my apartment until after midnight. This is the job of a Producer. I wear many hats in this production. From creating the concept, writing the scripts, scheduling the shoots, hiring the crew, hosting, and liaising with the network on a regular basis, I am involved in all aspects of this show. I am seeing my years of professional Project Management being utilized effectively.
Focus with Purpose
When we are in production we are focused and activated throughout the day. We oftentimes forget to drink water and eat because we have limited time to get all of the shots that we need. There is a lot of pressure on set but we try to keep it fun. One of my crew members consistently reminds me that we need more people to assist on set. With the small budget I have it isn’t feasible for this season. We are basically making a $10,000 show for a fraction of that.
So why are we doing it? I am doing it because I love to create responsible media. As a practicing vegan I want to show people the incredible variety of delicious vegan food available to them. My crew is in it because they are passionate filmmakers. The opportunity to produce a season for a multinational network is a step in the right direction. We may not be making loads of money but we are making our mark.
The Good, The Bad, and The Goal
While the past month can only be described as hectic I am happy with how things are going. Even the worst moment on set is better than the best day in a cubicle. We have faced many hurdles during taping and editing of the first few episodes but we have worked through them. I may be living out my dream job right now but it is by not means a piece of vegan cake.
We have our differences within the team and oftentimes there is a power struggle. Every team experiences this while figuring out the dynamics. The benefits of this production grossly outweigh the cons. Every restaurant we have wanted to shoot at has welcomed us. I have met some of the most powerful and influential restauranteurs and chefs in New York City and sampled their mouthwatering food. Every endeavor will come with challenges but what makes them tolerable is the end goal. I am making a show about conscious living and eating. My goal is to revolutionize the way people eat, and entertain them along the way. Five episodes down, five more to go!