Teleprompting for The History Channel
Armageddon Week on History Channel is AWESOME!
I don’t know about you guys, but my favorite “reality” programs actually have something to do with reality. History Channel has one of my favorite shows “American Pickers”. Have you seen this show? It’s crazy, these guys drive around and go through people’s old barns and houses looking to buy their junk so they can resell it.
I don’t know why I love it so much, but I do.
Anyway, History Channel hired us to teleprompt for their Armageddon Week promos.
It was pretty cool, it was a host behind glass, which had been drawn on by an artist, which the host then drew on the other side of, emphasizing his story with pictures. The only problem was that glass if reflective.
They had prepped the crew to not wear light colored clothing to avoid being reflected in the glass, which I thought was smart. But since I had just come off a long shoot, I didn’t think about how the prompter is going to reflect directly in front of the talent!
Now I tried to express this and a solution from the very start, but the crew was a bit busy trying to solve other problems, and I was cast to the wayside, until much later when the director said, THIS WON’T WORK AT ALL!
I then suggested that we move the camera back 10 feet and use a zoom lens. That way the prompter wouldn’t be bouncing so hard in the glass, and the talent could still have direct address.
Needless to say my solution worked like a charm. It was all a matter of speaking to the right person, which on a union shoot can be quite difficult to find.
We had a great lunch, and then launched through several more of these promos. I did not know that a volcano is partially responsible for Frankenstein’s Monster. It was Mount Tambora, check this out:
“It is estimated that around 10.000 people perished directly from the eruption. Yet, the indirect effects of the Tambora were just as deadly. Ashes from the eruption fell to land and destroyed all vegetation, including the staple plantations needed for survival. As a result, the death toll including those dying from famine is as high as 90.000 worldwide. The dusts and ashes shot into air altered the sunlight dramatically and the world’s temperature dropped about 0.3 Celcius degrees. Crops failed and in 1816 the climate was so disturbed that 1816 became the ‘year without a summer’ in Europe , the snow falling in July. Monsoon season in India was disturbed and China was hit by devastating floods.”
Crazy, I know. The year without a summer caused Mary Shelly to spend more time indoors, and thus more time writing, and she came up with the tale of Dr. Frankenstein. Here’s more information about this incredible tale.
Did Climate Change Inspire Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?
During that period, a volcano called Mount Tambora — located in what is now Indonesia — had erupted, sending vast quantities of dust and sulphur particles into the atmosphere. As a result, Europe and North America were plunged into one of the coldest periods in modern history, a year that became known as “The Year Without a Summer.” Having recently eloped with the poet Percy Shelley to Geneva, Shelley found herself writing the book under the influence of the bizarre weather events occurring all around her. Indeed, the final version ofFrankenstein contains many references to the weather — including lightning storms, ice and snow.Bill Philips, a professor of literature at the University of Barcelona, Spain, who has studied the link between the odd climate events of the period and Shelley’s writing, explained that the creature in her book was frequently associated with thunderstorms and cold. “He invariably meets his creator at the tops of mountains, in icy caves. Then at the end of the novel, they go into the Arctic Ocean and we’re led to believe that they die as they drift off on an ice floe,” he said.
John Clubbe, an emeritus professor of English at the University of Kentucky, doesn’t believe this to be just a mere coincidence. A scholar who has written at length about Frankenstein‘s connection to “The Year Without a Summer,” he noted that it had been snowing at the time she began writing — a highly unusual occurrence given that it was still summer. “Seeing this world of ice and snow at close hand, when you should be seeing green fields and trees in bloom, this is so unusual. It has to affect the way you feel and want to write,” he remarked.
Sound plausible to you? It’s a shame we’ll never get a definite answer on the issue.