Looking back on the filming last week, I am begining to wonder which bits they are going to include in the programme, I don't know myself untill it goes out. A lot of people would not offer to take part in anything like this, for whatever reason, but when they asked me, I thought why not, a bit of fun. Why not step out of my comfort zone, grab every opportunity, and embrace every experience. Life is for living, and it is better to have tried, than to go your grave with a list of things you wished you had done. Ok, so I have been filmed before, several times, I had a pretty good idea of what it's about, but I have no idea what will be shown on the screen. I took a chance, my life in their hands, my choice.
Filming was a long days work, non stop except for ten minutes break for lunch. As soon as the crew arrived it was straight to it, the camera was set up on the pavement in front of my house and all I had to do was look into it. That took about an hour.
Once inside, I could see that the producer had a long list of scenes she wanted to shoot. All the research had been done on the phone, so she could forwarn me about any props that were needed. Exact positions were essential, backgrounds have to be pleasing to the eye, scenes have to be set, and important words have to be spoken to get the message across. Their job is to produce something polished, artistic, and professionally made.
As the day was going on I found myself having to do several takes of the same scene, a bit like the out-takes you see on the comedy programmes. My brain was slowing down and processing information was becoming more and more difficult. I am a morning person and at my most energetic before mid afternoon. After that I start slowing down, not good when the pressure is on to get all the scenes in the bag by the deadline, because the crew have to catch a train back to London.
Several people have asked if I get paid for it, and the answer is no. I am at the point in my life where I can afford to do things for nothing, because I don't need to earn money, I have enough. Whatever I do now is because I want to, not because I have to. People might think I have been taken advantage of, I don't see it that way. I had a choice, I could have said no.
It was fascinating to watch the crew work, the producer giving instructions to the camera man while scrutinising my every move on a small screen she held in her hands. Her own creative flair told her exactly what she was looking for, and she had to convey the image she had in her head to the man holding the camera. The reason that so much is filmed and so little is eventually shown is because every tiny error shows up big time, so it has to be perfect. I can understand the need to strive for perfection, if I can't do a job properly I'd rather not bother at all.
Anyway, I gave it my best shot. I do know one thing though, I could never be an actor. I could never learn thousands of lines, and I could never pretend to be something or somebody I am not. I am me, what you see is what you get. I was on a chat programme on TV once, and found doing it live was far easier than being filmed, because I was in control. I can stand up and speak to an audience of two hundred no problem, again because I am in control. I feel comfortable ad libbing because what ever comes out of my mouth spontaneously and off the top of my head, is often funnier and more entertaining than words practiced over and over again.
Anyway, you are free to judge me for yourself.
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