Things I’ve learnt about the production of television…
Its all about the sandwiches.
Not kidding. I’m pretty sure if you took the free sandwiches out of television production the whole machine would grind to a grumpy halt. You’d have massive class action on your hands. Those people have a lot to deal with. Don’t touch their free food stuffs.
Duct tape can do anything.
I know this is a fact of life but TV takes this philosophy to levels most dads would never dream of. You know the couch on GNW? That thing is (I’m not joking) about 80% duct tape. Most of the black patches are actually duct tape. The back of the chair actually isn’t supposed to sit at that angle. Ever wondered why the guests don’t lean back on it? Guess what’s holding it on? The sound proof booth? Is actually a flat sheet of plastic. The patterns on the front of the desks? Yep. Duct tape.
Time is an illusion.
Nothing will ever run on time. This is more or less a given. As far as I can tell production schedules and shotting timetables are works of optimistic fiction.
There aren’t a lot of windows.
You know how sift workers get all kinds of weird illnesses because they don’t see sunlight for days on end? I’m pretty sure someone should be studying this in TV peeps. I’m not saying the people who work in television have weird illnesses, I’m just saying that when I work at GNW I do it on a pretty seriously casual basis. And some days I didn’t see a lot of sunlight.
Studios obey their own special laws.
The studio is like its own little ecosystem. You can’t plan what you’re going to wear based on the climate outside because this shall bear absolutely no resemblance to the climate inside the television studio. Also the temperate inside the studio in the morning might be completely different come the afternoon. Don’t even get me started on the air quality.
Logic (or lack there of)
Some of the stories I’ve heard. Seriously. Apparently back in the original run of GNW they decided to film a special in Perth. The logic of that is fairly bind-bendy in itself. The only way to make this trip viable was to film two specials. One which would air nationally as per normal and one which would be specific to the local WA station. Cue tales of total carnage and shotting at 2am. There are lot more stories like this. They seem to occur with alarming frequency. Trying to think your way into this situation from the point of view of an ordinary, non-television person actually hurts your brain. I can only imagine these things make some kind of sense to someone at the time.
Despite all the insanity the people who work in television are genuinely passionate about what they do. It takes a fair amount of commitment and dedication to climb into a barrel of nuts. And stay there.