Talking ‘Bout TALK SHOWS

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CAT’s Digital Filmmaking students have been busy filming episodes of ‘Two Night Show’, a 30-minute talk show concept they hope to air on local stations. Noah Arnott-Gannon, one of the producers, talks us through the journey.

“To start off the TV show was part of the cinematography and production course. Both classes were responsible to work together to create from concept to screen a TV show, specifically a late night talk show; however, due to having split cohorts there are two TV shows, both with the same set.

As producers we were responsible for maintaining the budget, finding or hiring talent, as well as finding our host, putting the crew together, as well as making sure the production was completed; this meant overseeing all aspects of the production from pre-production, production to post production.

I was responsible for specifically class B. This meant going around town, building connections and finding talent. For example, since we had a limited budget that was split between classes, the producers were forced to find shortcuts and work-arounds.

This forced me to be creative, in that it allowed me to actually go and find a sponsorship for the tv show. After knocking on the doors of several businesses I finally stumbled upon ‘Bia Boro’ which – in return for having their name on the credits – gave us a loan out of three different wardrobes!

Producers were also responsible for finding our host and talent as well.

This meant creating multiple casting calls and character breakdowns and sending them out to a variety of different facebook groups along with agencies. We actually got a great turn out and landed an awesome host who had experience running stand-up shows in both Vancouver and Montreal!

From there we had to go and find talent! Victor Poirier, Digital Filmmaking Department Head, had a great suggestion to try and get Anna Jacyszyn on, who’s a famous local jazz artist who is an experienced actor and owns her own jazz cafe right here in town!

Tracking her down was a challenge itself! After making many phone calls and sending many emails we finally stumbled upon one of her events, and luckily we were able to catch her after one of her performances.

Our second talent was Jon Summerland the film commissioner! Jon was one of the first people I thought of. First of all, he’s a super passionate, humble and energetic fellow. Second of all, this was a perfect opportunity to meet the film commissioner in a professional manner and to network and make further connections to the industry.

(Note: I would like to say that the music video project we worked on last term was a great way to sink my teeth into producing and it really helped prepare me for what was to come, from dealing with clients to organizing a crew.)

Following all of that we had to organize schedules! This was an interesting obstacle for there were two TV shows, this meant as a producer I had to communicate constantly with the other class to make sure there were no conflicts in using equipment or the production studio.

Victor was amazing in mentoring us and pushing the production in the direction it needed to go in. He made sure that we built a set both classes used, which meant all of us coming together to build a professional talk show set right here in our studio.

Another great idea Victor had was to use the first term’s as a live audience! This added to the atmosphere that much more and created an even better environment for the talent and host.

I would also like to state that Jeremy Komlos was an excellent director in that he truly brought his vision to life with this show and worked wonders with directing the crew and making sure the guests and talent felt welcomed and prepared.

In conclusion, I could not have asked for a better challenge or assignment to develop my skills as a producer as well as imitating what it’s like to work in the real world and industry. What I mean by this is working with an executive producer (Victor, our department head), constantly checking in with him, giving updates on the progress, asking for advice.

This assignment forced me to be in constant communication with the other class for we were building a set which we would both be using, so we had to find many compromises and common ground to make sure all the ends were met and that the production ran as smoothly as possible!

This project was also a great exercise in budgeting, as we had a limited budget which meant really thinking and deciding carefully what to spend it on. It also forced us to think creatively and get into a professional mindset meaning find sponsors and working out partnerships. By this I mean ‘Bia Boro’, as well as ‘Fleek Factory’ which we were able to work out a deal with to create our backdrop.

All in all it was by far one of the best experiences I have ever had being a student at CAT. Just watching both classes come together as one crew and creating a product was incredible. I’m just grateful to be a part of the process. Every single position deserves just as much credit as the next.

I can’t wait to see how this turns out and where it leads us! By far this was the biggest and grandest production we have ever created.”

Words: Noah Arnott-Gannon

Centre for Arts and Technology's Digital Filmmaking students filming on Knox Mountain.
Photograph by Victor Poirier.

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