About two weeks ago, my professor asked me to accompany her to watch with her class a taping of a reality show. We arrived at the venue very early and we thought we were late that my professor even asked the driver to drive faster. Well, that was the original call time. The time was moved and then moved again because there’s another taping going on at the same studio we are going to shoot. It’s surprising how much patience people have in waiting for shooting a program. Imagine the time consumed and wasted in waiting. We have a lot of things to do that we realized doing that everyday would be unbearable. The allotted time you gave for the taping run out by just waiting. My mentor said that she understands the workers, the staff and the celebrities because it is their job but for the audience to queue for long hours and wait for the show to begin, it’s extremely bizarre. It appears to us that time is just poured down the drain, that they don’t have anything better to do. She was able to talk to a few people there, conduct a simple survey or interview. There was one mother who goes out her way to see stars and for her that is enough. She doesn’t need to photograph them or let them sign an autograph, but just by seeing them she is satisfied. She doesn’t mind long hours of standing and waiting. There are talent fees for the ones directly involved in the show for example (since it’s a reality show where they guest two opposing sides to help them face the problem and hopefully find a resolution), but for the regular audience there is free food and transportation provided and but it might just be mere entertainment and a chance to be starstrucked. But we also studied how the entertainment scene is being used to suppress the problems we face every single day, it’s a sort of medicine we seek to temporarily forget the worries in this difficult life.
We had quite a bumpy taxi ride back and forth. In the end, we weren’t able to watch the taping of the show. We just reached the first part of the orientation and sent the students in before we left. There are other appointments so we couldn’t stay. And the contact told us that the audience has to watch at least two episodes or they’ll lose the studio audience. We were reluctant to leave them behind as the show could get pretty nasty (there was a group of medic that came in but the guard said that it is SOP for every show to have that back-up) depending on the parties involved and the issues being discussed. Waiting is one of my fortes, but it is important to make good use of our time during the wait like if I have a book at hand or a paper to write on then time is not misused.
But I was able to do some catching up with my professor, have lunch and coffee with her. We spotted a vendo machine upon our arrival. It has Korean characters that I helped read. After having lunch, my prof said that we have some coffee from the one we saw earlier. There were instructions on how to get your cup of coffee posted there. First, put two P5 coins, and then choose which one you like: coffee or hot chocolate. Press according to preference. After that just wait for the cup to come out and the drink to be ready then you can now enjoy the coffee. It was surprisingly a good cup of coffee, which resembles the taste and texture of milk tea.
She wanted to watch even just an episode of it. But then we really had to leave. My prof just wanted to find out how the show works behind the camera. How the editing is done and how the director cuts the scenes. It is quite curious how they do it; do they allow it to flow naturally? Like during the scenes where the people involved are in the midst of rising anger and then there is something they need to retake, do they re-enact what happened earlier or just continue? I also like watching behind the scenes of the shooting of a film or drama. Right now, dramas being aired provide backstage scenes or ‘the making of’ the show. It is fun to watch the NGs, retakes and fun moments among the artists, the director and the staffs involved in the creation of one show. It entails a lot of preparation and resources.
I had the opportunity to watch a noontime show then with our classmates too. That started on time since 12 nn marks the start of the variety show. They had two screens then at the side. They are watching side by side their competitor at the other network. At first, there was a simple orientation on what the audience should do, like clap on cue and participate attentively since it’s a variety show. They also had a rehearsal for the performers before the start of the show. Props and stage per segment were already prepared and will be pushed in during commercial breaks. The technical director calls the shots in the studio. The hosts and guests should be attentive since it’s a live show. It was a fun experience then.