filming a gameshow

From: JJ
Category: Other stuff
Date: 08 January 2002


You sit around a lot eating sandwiches looking at monitors with the sound off. Lots of young smiley production assistants in very casual clothes run around, producers who are taller and better dressed appear sometimes to confirm something, executives in pinstripe suits may brush past in corridors. Before this stage you go to auditions where you do a quiz, they take a polaroid and a video, and you meet odd interesting people and normal ones too.

Then you are phoned and confirmed and you make your way or are picked up and taken to a studio on the outskirts of London which are cheaper. All the contestants who are necessary but not important in the tv hierarchy are nervous. Perhaps an individual is cocksure and boasts and alienates the other contestants and will not win. One is Scottish or Geordie, and there is a balance between men and women. Some are common and dowdy, and most have been on quiz shows before and watch them a lot. The contestants have a good spirit, are optimistic ( they might win a prize and bothered to try) and strange.

It is hard to answer questions on your will to win and buzzer skills in complete sentences, and smile or faciallly express, but you must, the producers are firm, otherwise the television will come out bad. Gum is chewed, sweaty shirts changed: no black white, stripes, checks, logos, or navy blue, hair done, faces powdered, the game practiced, the girls made up. We love each other now in solidarity, but some do not not know their horrid fate yet, they cannot escape their personalities, and are not loved.

The filming is on. 40 mins tv takes two hours and will be shown in three months. If it is a pilot it may never be shown, and be put in a terrible bin for being too clunky or not sexy. The playing of the game needs a little luck, some charm, and mostly general knowledge. God Speed and you will win, going home in a car(minicab) clutching a little cheque which might feed a family for forty weeks, and holding memories of a community that rejects capitalism or perhaps embraces it with a gambler's fancy.

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