So my experience as a Production Assistant for the Sharon Osbourne show was a blast, but would be pretty boring to write about. Basically, 3 people who do a lot of the “field” segments for the show came to Austin to do a remote from the American Cancer Society call center. They hired me, another P.A., a sound guy and a satellite truck here locally. Describing P.A. work is difficult, as you do so many different things. Basically whatever is needed. A sampling of my duties that day: improvise some door stops, take care of the snacks and drinks brought by the crew (it was a tiny crew, so there was no catering, just snacks and then we ordered dinner), and my most important duty was pulling the cables behind the cameraman to keep them out from under his feet.
Everyone was very cool to hang out with, and for the most part it was all casual and laid back. We rehearsed how it was all going to go, and then later in the evening recorded the piece “live to tape”. In other words it wasn’t actually live, but it went live to tape so that it was basically just like a live spot (although they could edit it in post if they really needed to). Sharon was talking to the to women who were on camera for the ACS through their earpieces and then what we were filming was being piped back to the studio in L.A. We had a few hectic moments when they thought they’d lost the sound board back in L.A., but figured out the problem, and then 5 minutes before we were going live, one of the lights blew out, and the cameraman and sound tech raced like a ninja pit crew to replace the light.
Twas a blast and only made me yearn for more work like that. Work that I actually enjoy doing. Nice work if you can get it! The show airs today (or tonight, times vary according to your market).