Teleprompting for the mega rich.
When you film a billionaire, you must be prepared! (Clearly, that goes for anyone!)
I got to drive up to Greenwich, Connecticut this week. It’s a beautiful place. Very manicured and planned for a “rural” look to the urban environment. There still is lots of farmland around, but now most of that real estate is occupied by businesses who’s buildings look like mansions.
Greenwich is one of the wealthiest districts in the nation. I don’t live there, but I imagine that the people who do have the propensity to be quite snooty. I don’t care if you are rich, but you should still be cool.
It’s like movie Stars. The real movie stars: Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, and Tom Cruise; don’t have to say that they are stars, they just are. They are cool people, who are nice and polite to everyone around them. That’s one of the reasons they are stars. People like them. It’s amazing how much pull that has in this business.
But the middle weight “celebrities”, reality show people mostly in my experience, declare they are “stars” and demand certain treatment, while going out of their way to be nasty to people.
Billionaires may be like that, but I’ve only worked with a few of them.
This particular one, Paul Tudor Jones, was quite nice. He has a charm that can only come from being raised in Memphis Tennessee.
Regardless, Billionaires count their time to be quite precious. I understand that, I count my time as quite precious, and I’m not even a billionaire!
So we arrived with two and a half hours of prep time, to shoot a 30 second spot for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Sounds easy right? Filming outside in a semi-secluded area, framing up a nice background, setting the lights, and lots of tweaking to make it just right. As a prompter op, I just set up and waited around, but gaffers are never satisfied. They are constantly making adjustments. With 20 minutes to go, the building suddenly suffers a power spike.
The generators come on.
20 feet from our location.
Great. We get the grounds caretaker on the horn. He’s making calls. We have one of the producers with us. She’s trying to figure out what to do.
The gaffer, the DP, and myself go running around to the front of the building to try and scout an alternative location.
We find one that will do, but isn’t nearly as good as the previous.
I help grab the lights and equipment, the prompter on the sticks, my computer.
We haul ass and get set up in 3 minutes. It looks alright, but we’re out of time, and Paul Tudor Jones walks up with a smile on his face, and apologizes for the power spike which he has no control over.
We shoot, he looks good, and does a great read.
2 hours of prep, 5 minutes of horror, 3 min of rushing, 1 min of filming.
This industry sure does keep you on your toes.
Paul Tudor Jones is cited by Forbes as being the 336th richest man in the world. He is definitely a Billionaire whose time is valuable.
We were proud to work with him.