As part of a new promo for Season Two, we spent the last bit of our day yesterday working in front of a green screen. It involved some individual stills along with the three of us — Danielle, Carolee and me — talking to each other before turning our heads towards the camera.
As we were prepping for the individual segment, I was trying to get a feel for exactly what kind of “movement” they were hoping for. For some unfortunate reason, I kept flashing to this:
So pretty much right off the bat I was delirious. It was the end of a long day, I was about to head to the airport and fly home to my babies and my main man, and all I could do was think about spinning a virtual basketball.
We got through that first part, me standing in front of the green screen alone (which happily required nothing even close to that clip), and then it was time for the group effort.
“Just look like you’re talking to each other, having fun,” said Adam, the creative guy, “and on the count three turn towards the camera.”
We have gotten pretty good at “fake chatter,” which is what you do when the sound is off but the camera is still rolling. Honestly, most of the time, we keep talking even when the segment is over, we’re still mulling over the issue at hand. But every so often there’s a point at which words have run out and you just look at each other with a big smile and sort of mouth things like, “that’s right! Yes, that’s right!” and “ohmygoshyes!”
So we’re trying to muster some fake chatter while getting ready to smile at the camera and I turn to Danielle, smiling (in advance), and she says “I know you! I know you!” pointing at me. And then for the next three or four minutes, take after take, we pretend to be these guys:
Unfortunately, I got kind of preoccupied with that image and kept forgetting my cue. Take one involved me still laughing. Take two involved me smiling towards Carolee and then Danielle (I know you!) and then on the count of three, continuing to smile at Danielle (I thought three meant we’ll start filming now). Take three had me turning on cue but looking at the screen only to discover that my head was inexplicably tilted much further down than my co-hosts.
“That was great,” says Mike the cameraman, “just, Rachel this time if you could look at the camera.” Oops! I was watching the wrong screen, the one with us on it.
Finally, the last take I put it all together — I know you! I know you! One two three look at the screen on top of the other screen — and then hold that smile. I lasted for five seconds before erupting in laughter and praying everyone in the room wasn’t ready to flog me.
Everyone was cool. Everyone else was equally delirious.
When I got home and was telling Paul about all this, he said I reminded him of this dude: