The TV Shoot Story: Waiting 3 Hours for 3 Minutes of Action?

In Blog, Business & Entrepreneurship, Stories
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I spent all morning on the set of a new TV show.

You remember the show Jersey Shore on MTV? JWOWW from that show is the host of the new show “Young Americans.” It’ll be on TLC and debuts later this month. That’s all I know. Peep the behind the scenes in my Snap or IG story from today.

I’m not writing to talk about the show though.

I have experience modeling and doing large productions (TV, Internet, company Brand campaigns etc). They’re all unique, and always fun for a few reasons. There’s free food, lots of people who are serious about their business (I like being around these types of people), new folks to meet, and cameras. If I’m on one of these sets, I’m not behind the scenes. I’m there to be on camera. One thing all the shoots I’ve ever done — and yours, if you have experience— have in common: they never start or ends on time.

I announced this very point on my story earlier today around my 8AM call time (the time I needed to be there for “hair” & makeup).

Expect your stand/sit around :: action ratio to be about 60 minutes :: 1 minute. 

Read: For every hour sitting around doing nothing, there’s one minute of photos / acting / interviews / whatever you’re there to actually do.

As I said, my call time was 8AM. I left the National Hotel South Beach at 1PM. My total actual work/action time lasted all of 3 minutes.

If you’ve never been a part of any large media  production, understand a few simple truths.

  1. The more money involved, the longer things take. This includes confirmation of the work to be done, the work itself, getting paid… especially getting paid.
  2. The more money involved, the more people who will be involved, which adds time to everything. Approvals, people passing the buck, etc
  3. Anything set to go on TV and/or represent a large company’s brand image — think billboards or an ad that will be in all stores or on a website — will involved many cameras, shot setups, changes in plans, and more. All this = TIME.
[Remember #s 1&2 when you get into the business world. I’ve taken a real-life class in these truths over the past year-plus. Here’s where it helps to have a take-no-shit mindset, or someone on your team who has this mindset.]

I tell you all of that to make this point: Life will often be this way.

You’ll spend a time of time on-set: Working On Your Game, building your brand, paying dues, smiling and shaking hands, being a good employee/teammate, generally plugging away… and not get the type of action or response you expected to receive. You showed up on time, did everything right, and life responds by telling you to hurry up and wait.

And here’s the thing: there’s no hack for circumventing this. You just have to sit there and wait for the production team to get the cameras right, light the stage, get wardrobes in order, and still be ready when your name is called — which may be later than you expected.

And the 3 minutes you keep yourself ready for, just may be the 3 minutes that makes the 3 hours of waiting more than worth it.

Don’t miss your call time.