My week was filled with Disney princesses, cameras, costumes, and emails. I am an actor, writer, producer, technical director, and one-time editor for the Biweekly Show.
A little background on Biweekly: We are a UD student-run TV show that airs on the Student Television Network (STN49) on campus. Every other week we get together, create, and run a 30 minute show. There are many technical terms behind a tv show but for the sake of discussion, I’ll define one. A “package” is a pre-recorded piece of material.
This week, I was the producer for a package titled “True Hollywood Story: Disney Princesses, Where Are They Now?” We had Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Sleeping Beauty all share where they are now. It’s funny, unique, and interesting. It was also a lot of hard work.
Here are some of the steps from creation to completion of an idea as told through Disney Princesses.
1. Idea: My friend Alana pitched the idea of a Disney Princess follow up.
2. Selection: The Executive Producers selected which ideas will be used for the show. They pick the writer, director, editor, and producer. Often times these roles cross-over. I was chosen for producer.
3. Organizing: I emailed everyone (multiple times) to find a time we could shoot their scenes. This is the hardest part- no one is ever available together. People often need to be re-cast by the writer. This one worked out well.
4. Scenes and costumes: I chose where to shoot as the day came. I had to coordinate with the director, Alisa, who would get the equipment. I also had to somewhat pick costumes. It’s actually extremely difficult to dress as a modern day princess!
5. Acting: I dressed up as homeless woman for the Belle shoot. I got a lot of stares walking out of my building in costume. I also was Snow White. Organizing that outfit was a challenge. Who has a yellow skirt laying around? Luckily I had a yellow pillow case. Dirtying my clean apartment for a scene was easy. Cleaning it up after was not.
6. Setting up shots: It took Alisa, my friend Dillon, and I a long time to set up a shot for the confessional-style shots in True Hollywood stories. Lighting has to be right (basically always have a spare lamp) and sound has to come out clearly. There is so much to balance in a camera shot. We spent about 10 hours or so filming this week.
7. Editing: This is the coolest part of a package in my opinion. A three minute package generally takes three-four hours of editing. Every moment one recorded is sorted through and shots are picked. Working the editing program may as well be speaking a different language. Alisa is editing Disney Princesses. Otherwise, I’d be at The Other Side (STN’s office) on this fine night rather than studying in my room.
8. Playing during the show: Once everything is approved by the executive producers, it is put on during the show. Describing how we get the content on during the show requires it’s own huge list for another day.
That’s a small taste of what I’ve done this week. It’s all done for a three-minute package that will air briefly on TV and online. The best part is hearing from people that what you’ve done is hilarious. It all pays off in the end.