Today I was interviewed on ChaiFM, a radio station, in anticipation of my “Road To Return” documentary, that will be broadcast this coming Sunday morning at 09h00 on SABC2. Was a great interview, the biggest surprise of all was the presenter…David Batzofin…a blast from the past. Not only does David do radio talk shows, but he is also an accomplished floor manager for Television Shows…this takes me back to the time we went to Nigeria to do an awards television show…..What an experience! ….bad experience. David can share a few of the experiences from his point of view. A few shockers from my perspective… It first started off when we, the South African contingent of crew arrived at the airport to depart, and we couldn’t, as no flights had been paid for….when that was resolved, the lighting designer couldn’t take all the lights that were required so we had to leave them behind,but were guaranteed that there were sufficient lights to produce the show we wanted…Finally we depart and arrive in Nigeria, no transport booked for us, eventually arrive at hotel to no rooms booked, after spending most of the night in the foyer of the hotel, we get taken up to our rooms, and no surprise, no water and to top it all no food. Just when you think it can’t get any worse…the norm is arriving a few days in advance to rehearse, and check the set that is being built to spec and go through the entire show that is going out LIVE throughout Africa and parts of Europe.
Needless to say, there were no rehearsals, the finishing touches to the set were being done half an hour before going on air..no proper scripts were handed over to us…..I was told there was 1 presenter only to discover when we started to roll camera’s that there were 2 presenters.
When it was time for a band to come on stage, there was nothing…if I didn’t roll something to place the gap we would have black on air, Dave is busy shouting through the comms he can’t get the band on stage, they refuse to go on as they have not been paid…don’t forget we are live……and it was a 3 hour show.
LIghts ..what lights we had two lights, one on either side of stage. Audience in darkness and so it was impossible to pick up the winners when they walked up onto stage or get any audience reaction!…and then the final cherry was, as they were handed their award, on more than one occasion the award broke in their hands….
I had diplomats that popped into the OB Van(outside broadcast van), where I direct from, and they were fascinated as they were saying that even though they are in the audience, the footage on the screen looks so different to what they are seeing on the stage, yet it was the same content…..so yes, I got through that, and knew that whatever comes my way from now on I can handle.
There is more, but we will keep that for some other time….