Thursday, May 12, 2005

What Were They THINKING???????

So the crew and I get to Boise last night (actually, early this AM) for the Cowboy Fast Draw Championships. The event is in its second year, was heavily promoted and presented to us as a mature event, beautiful location, best of the best yada yada.

We show up at 8:30 AM this morning to start filming, and instead of the promised venue, we see...what appears to be a small minimum security facility for cowboys. I am not joking. I wish I was. Everything but concertina and guard dogs.

It's in a huge Giganto Big Box Store parking lot, a space on the side of a Sportsmans Warehouse, like where they store the carts at night, maybe 12 X 30 and surrounded by an 8-foot chain link fence. The targets are up against the side of the Warehouse, where you'd stand the unfortunates for a firing squad. The shooting bays are separated by raw particleboard partitions, and chunks of particleboard protect the one scraggly tree in a planter on the side of the Warehouse. The detention facility is bordered by a highway and...a highway, and the endless procession of trucks is already a steady roar. Of course, it's hard to hear the trucks because of the giant generator powering the targets, which sounds like a cross betwen a crashing airplane and a train wreck. With the three-story concrete wall of the Warehouse to reflect the sound. About a dozen cowboys are milling around, no doubt looking for their parole officers...they tell me the governor is coming...I hope he pardons them all!

So chalk this one up to experience...a very expensive experience!

While I'm scraping the egg off my face, I'd like to make a couple of points:
• Do not misrepresent your event to me or my crew on the theory that we will say, what the hell, we're already here, we might as well film! My team has two very successful shows in production, and we WILL NOT compromise the content of those shows for love nor money.
• If you want your event to be a successful televised event, step back from it and try to see it as the viewers will, as opposed to your brother-in-law, your mom or your labrador retriever. There is a reason that athletic events are, as a rule, not filmed in giant parking lots. Think about it. There a reason stadiums and NASCAR tracks are decorated. Televised sports are a leisure time experience, in competition with a lot of other leisure time experiences.
• As much as we might wish it otherwise, most personal sports — including our sports — are not sufficiently riveting to carry a program on the sport alone. Heck, even the NLF has scantily clad women jumping around. Sports are only interesting insofar as the athletes are interesting, and part of making the athletes interesting is presenting them in the best possible light. This is why you often see Tiger Woods interviewed at a beautiful golf facility as opposed to standing in the middle of the beautiful golf facility's gigantic parking lot.
• Yes, as a matter of fact, if we spend the bucks — and more importantly TIME — on your event and we are not able to get a show, we will not feel warm and fuzzy about anything else you might suggest. You will be officially relegated to the Black Helicopter/Dancing Yeti File



Anonymous said...

So I take it they won't be on The Outdoor Channel anytime soon (read not in this lifetime).

I think you menat to say, "What the HELL were they thinking?"

Michael Bane said...

I mean, it's on ME!

I believed 'em when they told me what they were doing, and I made the decision to bring the crew up there.

I suppose most of this is flailing myself for not ASSUMING that everyone I speak to is a liar peddling snake oil. Jeez, I already assume that everyone outside the culture is'd think that I could drop my guard occasionally.

Whine whine bitch bitch. Tomorrow crack of dawn it's Atlanta and the USPSA Area 6 championships. That was MY MATCH! I was the original match director. I ought to be able to make this one work! Well, I guess I got an evening with my Sweetie...priceless!


Michael Bane said...

PS: I even did a match poster that featured a pink and turquoise 1911, a la MIAMI VICE. I think I have the only existing copy...


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