I'm trying desperately not to say "Lights! Camera! Action!" but, oops, I just did, didn't I? Sorry to be so cliché but I've just come back from the taping of "Quilting Arts TV's" 11th season and I'm still dreaming of television production.
|Pokey Bolton gets ready to tape her opening segment at
the recent taping of "Quilting Arts TV," Season 11.
Editorial director Helen Gregory and I traveled to a studio in the Midwest last week to oversee and assist with taping the TV show. We met up with host Pokey Bolton bright and early at the studio and prepared for the segments. The guests arrived during the morning and set up their materials. Pokey filmed her opening segments. Production staff members were in and out of the studio and director's room setting up all things technical. I marveled at the efficiency of it all and helped where I could!
A television studio is a bustling place. The door opens and there is the "Quilting Arts TV" set, with Pokey's desk in one area and nearby tables to work on. The guest is escorted in and a member of the production staff helps her with displaying her artwork and samples, tools, and whatever else she has brought to show and work with. Are you using a sewing machine in this segment? Will the camera need to focus on a particular part of the presentation or a sample? How much time is allotted for the segment? These questions and more are answered in quick order-the studio crew and production team know their jobs well! There is sophisticated equipment to arrange and skilled technicians to handle the task. Pokey and her guest are equipped with small microphones, the cameras focus, and the team briefly runs through what will happen in the segment. As we leave the studio, the door closes and the "On Air" light gets turned on-no one may enter until that light goes off again. We head to the director's room, where a bank of monitors shows what all of the cameras can see. Sound and editing technicians, the director, and the producer are ready, and when the floor director counts down, Pokey and her guest are on!
|Guest Elizabeth Hartman, right, explains her techniques
to Pokey during one of the segment tapings.
One of my tasks was to sit in the director's room while each segment was filming and pay close attention to the demonstrations and directions.While all of the season's guests are experienced teachers and quilters, mistakes can happen and it's always good to have another set of ears and eyes on the job. In one case I noticed a portion of a block was oriented upside down. I alerted the producer, who was sitting next to me, and she spoke directly to Pokey through a small earpiece. Pokey turned the piece and chatted about it with the guest and, smooth as silk, the filming continued without a break.
I tried to take lots of pictures along with Helen, whose pictures are featured here. You'll see more of these photos online and in our blogs soon.
|From left, Jeanne Delpit of Bernina of America, me, and artist and quilt teacher Frieda Anderson model vintage aprons in the green room.
We also had a chance for a little fun, as you can see from the photo at left of Jeanne Delpit of Bernina of America, me, and artist and quilt teacher Frieda Anderson modeling vintage aprons.
This is a great story: A member of the studio staff came into the green room one morning with a collection of antique aprons from the 1950s. He explained that his grandmother made them to sell and, as a 6-year-old, he would accompany her to bars, restaurants, and shops as her translator (she did not speak English well, he said). And they sold many! Years later, after her death, family members found a cache of these charming aprons and he scooped them up to save them from the Dumpster. We appreciated the charming period fabrics and precise construction. They were really lovely!
I hope you are looking forward to the next season of "Quilting Arts TV," coming to a PBS station near you. I can't wait to see the final product myself, and will be watching along with you!