Thursday, March 6, 2008

Deja Vu, he's right on cue!

Yesterday was a great day in local television. It was Wednesday, the day I usually film my Algebra 2 show for the my district's local cable network, but it wasn't a usual taping. No, yesterday was the annually filming of the Spring Break episode, an episode that runs for two weeks, rather than one, which gives home viewers more opportunities to miss it. Consequently, it's a show that I put a bit more effort into, hoping to make a bigger "splash," but in actuality, since people on Spring Break typically don't watch math programs, the show affords me the chance to experiment with style, props, images, and using my son, Tate.

Yes, my 7 year-old loves the camera, and he's rather good at it, so I wrote him into the show, which will premier on Monday night. He's already began arrangements for his viewing party. The episode's premise is that I am on vacation, for Spring Break of course, so Tate is left to fill in for me. Donning a bow tie, glasses, and a sport coat, he conducts the show in the same fashion I would, corny jokes and all. Periodically, for the math instructional bits, he pretends to go to me "Live Via Satellite" from different parts of the world like Las Vegas, China, France, Rome, and Dubai. Of course, I'm standing beside him in front of a green screen, but I thing the affect will be understood.

In fact, it is only through the magic of the green screen that I can travel the globe so quickly and effortlessly in a 30 minute globe, only to be left standing at the end, with Tate now by my side, on the beautiful shores of the Persian Gulf in Dubai. It was pretty fun to get the chance to work with Tate again (he had a small role on a previous show as my Vet assistant) and to give him a chance to be on TV (wow), but to see how the entire writing, rehearsing, filming, and editing process comes together for the finished product. Who knows, perhaps someday he'll invite ME on one of HIS shows.

Of course, being only seven and not having much experience reading a teleprompter, he was not as polished as, let's say . . . his dad?, but he did a great job. Writing jokes into the script for the general population, with punchlines and puns that a small boy who loves to embellish his words, has its perils. At the end of the show I say, "Remember . . . seven days without out math make one . . .," and Tate was supposed to say, "Weak," a pun on "Week," but what he actually said, perfectly on cue was, "Long Week." I laughed on camera, went with it, and reassured him that he was also correct. It was such a nice way to end it that we didn't reshoot the scene. Yes, kids do say the darnedest things.

It was a great experience he and I will always share. Tune in Monday, 6:30pm on Time-Warner cable channel 98 and learn a bit and laugh a lot.


Anonymous said...

Not that your show is lacking in audience, but I'm sure Tate's appearance will increase the ratings.
Can't wait to see him dressed in his little tux accepting the Emmy..

Anonymous said...

I'll be tuned in for sure!!!