Behind the Scenes is your window into what it takes to put together a successful television program. Since 95% of the stuff you see in front of the camera is the result of a publicist's imagination (smoke and mirrors), I will provide a peak under the hood so that you can see how the music industry engine works from my perspective.
The words in these particular posts may bruise an ego or solidify a relationship, but my goal in writing this is to be honest and tell the story of how a lot of our great moments in television history came together.
One of the best parts of doing what we do here at the Planet is watching the finished product.
The thing is, I don't "watch" the show the way you might as a viewer. I critique it, I feel it, I live it - after all, this is what I do.
What the past and future viewer does not realize is all the adjustments, improvs, and sheer craziness that goes into each and every time we press 'record'. If a government job is the epitome of dependability and reliability - then the music biz is anything but that.
Anyways, I've dealt with (coordinated interviews/releases) with the good folks at Koch before, but this situation was different in that we did not know the location beforehand in terms of "mapquests and addresses", which is difficult for my team since their schedules are not as flexible as mine.
The representative from the label (whose govt. name I'll leave out of this post) was wise enough to have interviews scheduled for the Hotel, which is an advantage for us lighting and audio wise. With hip-hop artists however, they tend to have large entourages who wanna be famous too so that's an additional pain-point.
We are the quintessential guerilla filming team - in that we can create a location ANYWHERE - Our work down at SXSW was evidence of that for sure.
We were scheduled to meet w/ AZ and staff in DC at 9pm - but that's a journey for us since two of us are based in Baltimore and our producer is based near the Pennsylvania line. Our producer kept pushing to see if we could line up Baltimore. Sometimes, he forgets that Indie Planet is not established as some of our other television projects (where we could make that request) , but I made the call to the representative and discovered that they were doing promo at Morgan St.88.9 FM College Radio in Baltimore before heading to WERQ to do the Evening Mixshow.
So after a few back n forth calls we locked down a time and location - which was not favorable because it was late and outdoors, which affects lighting, raining off and on, which affects the camera.
My mind was telling me it was time for a Plan B in terms of finding an indoor location.
I went immediately into filming mode and drove around the location looking for outlets, locations where we could set up. Around that time my producer showed up and he was like "Let's Get a Location". We stopped by an area hotel and requested a room (no money offered or nothing - GANGSTA LOL) to do the interview.
The guy at the desk said "I don't have the power to do that" After that we stopped at a nearby restaurant where AZ and crew just happened to have just finished eating. Turns out somebody on the team slipped the hostess a copy of Undeniable , which definitely helped us out.
I started spittin some lingo that came straight out of an Iceberg Slim novel - and by the end of my request, we got an entire section of the restaurant roped off so that we could interview AZ "in peace and quiet" . The rep was
over at WERQ doing the interview and he mentioned that they would be there for 30 min. because they had to go do promo in DC right after. The DJ's on the Mixshow kept AZ there for an hour and a half. Props to the staff at Rap Attack, as a hip-hop fan I thought it WAS a great interview, but as the Program Director I knew that the longer AZ was at the station the less time we would have since the radio stations are definitely the priority in the industry food chain.
Finally, they came over - I made sure that our team had mics set up and lights on - so that when he arrived, all he would have to do is sit down, do a soundcheck and run thru the interview in 10 min or less.
I had a bunch of questions written down, but due to the time crunch and all that, they just started flowin off the top like Jiggaman in the booth. We got about 10 questions out rapid-fire, I think we are verrrry professional in our approach to interviews, I mean we've done well over 150 of them with our combined projects and the experience shows.
I'm gonna start writing down our drop script for artists, so it can be done with one take.
I ordered a few drinks and left a GENEROUS tip for the hostess who held us down as well. I was very proud of how we did for this interview.
Mr. E -
"I Love This Job"