Last Thursday April 19 was our third day in the studio, making low budget TV history. We successfully shot episodes 4 and 5 of the game show all the cool kids are ignoring: 31 Questions.
This time we had the ability to play VTs (video tapes, for the uninitiated) and the crew had a few flying hours together so technically speaking, things were running smoothly. But the slight problem this time round was the embarrassing reality that virtually no one came to see it!
Not including contestants and crew, the studio audience for the second show of the evening consisted of two people… TWO!
This is one of the things stopping me from doing a REAL show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; How the hell am I supposed to get people to pay $15 to come see me do stand up, when I can’t even get them to come see something far more interesting FOR FREE?
I don’t know how those real comedians do it? Maybe they’re just really funny… Nah. That’s crazy talk.
Still, it didn’t stop us from putting on a show. Two shows, actually.
It’s a great atmosphere. There’s a lot of laughter in that studio when the 31Q gang is in town, but everyone knows they’ve also got a job to do. Though too often I find myself worrying about things – like whether the guys in the control room are getting all the gags and Jesus I hope they didn’t forget to press record on the tape – instead of throwing caution to the wind and just enjoying it.
Ahh, when the burdens of producing fall upon the talent… but then of course if it were any other way, it wouldn’t be my show. I’d be hosting someone else’s TV show.
But luckily I have the very talented Riyana Kasmawan sitting beside me in the producers’ chair. There’s no actual chair. But she is worth her weight in gold and we couldn’t do this thing without her pulling the strings off camera. Thank you thank you thank you!
And I know I’ve said this already, but we really do have an outstanding crew working on this show.
This is the biggest single creative project I’ve ever undertaken. In many ways it would have been much easier and simpler to do another single camera comedy show, something like my webseries Too Easy but for television, all shot on location with just a couple of people.
But I’ve done that. And I’ll do it again. But here was an opportunity to make a REAL television show, using a real television studio with four cameras; equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And you can’t do it with just a couple of people. You need a big crew. You simply cannot get around it. And as such, you have to delegate. But them’s the breaks. So why the hell not?
Of course, as impressive as all this is, this is NOTHING compared to any run-of-the-mill TV show on one of the commercial networks, or even the “under-funded” ABC.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the ABC studios in Elsternwick, the home of “Letters & Numbers” and “In Gordon Street Tonight” amongst others, was the ceiling. Take a look at the number of lights in the above studio photo there. Times that by about 12 and that’s roughly how many lights the ABC has in just the ONE studio!
But if the alternative is sitting in the rent-free east wing of my parents’ resplendent house in Adelaide, working some dead end customer service job and lamenting the lack of progress with my television career, which is very much what I was doing in late 2009 before I moved to Melbourne… I’ll take this any day.
So seriously, you’re running out of chances! Come join our studio audience. It’s quite likely after this, they’ll never let us make another TV show again.
We’re back in there taping episodes 6 and 7 tomorrow, Thursday April 26. 7pm to 10pm. Studio A Level 2 Building 12 RMIT University, Swanston Street, Melbourne. Free lollies!
Oh, and one last thing…
If you thought being a TV game show host was going to greatly enhance my sex life… guess again…
Exert from a recent conversation on Oasis Active:
Haha where are you performing?
I’m making a game show for Channel 31
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David M. Green
31 Questions: The greatest TV game show this side of Swanston Street and still technically within the Hoddle Grid of the Melbourne Central Business District… What an achievement!