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The college TV studio production course included a lot of group projects. OUR HERO had over two years of TV experience already, and as a result ended up being pressed into a leadership role a lot in his group.
In April each group had to create, from scratch, a public service announcement. Someone pitched the idea of a safe sex message, and OUR HERO's group brainstormed its way through a few concepts, eventually fleshing out one of OUR HERO's ideas into this:
The shoot date is set by the professor, and on that day the group will have about an hour in the studio to light & shoot every little 'action shot', record the announcer audio, etc. A week later each group from the class is scheduled to work with an editor from the campus production house -- coincidentally OUR HERO's on-campus job, indeed OUR HERO is the editor the production house assigns to work with this particular class, conflict-of-interestingly enough -- to put the things together.
The group divvies up a lot of the prep work. One guy is in the military, and has dog tags, so he'll bring those and they'll tape some paper over one to use as the toe tag. Someone will bring a sheet to cover the 'dead body' in that shot, someone else will bring some loose change to buy a soda to open, someone else gets the honor of bringing a condom. OUR HERO has access to a piano and can play 'chopsticks', and armed with a stopwatch he records what he thinks is a perfectly timed version of the music. Turns out it's a little off, but in editing he puts the ending 'pedal tone' in the right place and backtracks, putting a fade up at the beginning of the PSA, and it's all good. Knowing that the studio doesn't have a boom microphone, the group realizes they'll have to get tricky to get in close with a microphone for the zipper and soda can shots. (They plan to strap a clip-on lavalier mic to a long pencil and hold it just out of the camera frame, which ends up working beautifully.)
Shoot day comes, and the group discovers that among the 6 of them there is only enough loose change to buy exactly ONE soda for that shot, so they'll have to get it on the first try or they won't have the shot. Worse, no one brought the condom, kind of a crucial prop for this whole thing. While part of the group is starting to arrange lighting and such, one person goes to the machines in the basement to get the soda they need, and someone else has to go get a condom. There's a machine in the men's room at Prentice Hall, one of the dining hall buildings, meaning you don't need a room key to get in, so someone will have to run there -- again, 60 minutes to get about 10 shots and an announce track on tape or they're hosed -- and buy one.
Naturally, OUR HERO gets stuck with that task. Sprinting down the sidewalk -- it would be about a 5-minute walk, and he can't afford to lose that much time from the shoot -- his luck holds true, and of course he passes someone he knows, across the way waiting for a campus bus.
Now OUR HERO was in no better shape in college than he's in now in his thirties, and naturally, as he sprints by and she gives him that quizzical look and asks what's going on, he has neither the time nor the breath to explain, so he simply shouts back:
"I HAVE TO BUY A CONDOM!!"
"Acoustic Ross" & "News From Around The Bend" © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization. All content not otherwise specified is also © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization. While we're at it, "Northcraft Entertainment Organization" is also © 2002-3001 Northcraft Entertainment Organization.