(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
YouTube link added 01.29.09
3:04 PM, Monday, December 4th, 2006:
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we're off!
It's an extremely high resolution version, you can watch it full-screen, and it makes my 6 MB version look like crap. However we want this video EVERYWHERE so I'm posting it here and your help is greatly appreciated. Email it, you tube it, post about it on myspace - share it as much as you can. Again, CBS wants this baby passed around and we're hoping to gain as much viral buzz about it as possible. There are no copyright issues concerning this piece so please do with it what you will. It should be a very fun and interesting thing to follow for 13 weeks.
As well, it'll be nice to have an archive of all of the shows and CBS won't keep older episodes up so you can always come back here and see old contestants. Hard to believe it's finally starting! What a lightening fast 13 weeks this will be!
(01.29.09 - From this point on I embedded a YouTube version for archiving purposes)

The first episode of any project certainly has some challenges. You want to set the stage, introduce characters, set-up tension... all sorts of fun stuff. However when your time is this limited you're kinda stuck with extreme subtlety. All I really wanted to get across was that they're an out-of-work boyband that never really made it. They're quick to bicker, they're holding onto their youth, and they now have the job of... picking OTHER talented people. To add insult to injury it's a Kid's Edition which makes them feel even older. Most important of all however is giving the contestants enough time to show their stuff and keep a nice balance to the show. Whew.

The only writing issue seemed to be the actual introduction of the band. Being that this is CBS News, I was driving poor Producer Jim crazy. "Who, what, where, when, why and how" is BURNED into your brain when working in the media (as I remember from my radio days and some media writing courses I took) and of course I don't introduce anyone in the episode but chose to just give you hints at their character. Over time of course everything will be answered but there just isn't the time to do much else in the first show. The title sequence put everyone at ease as it's a nice way to attatch names and faces.
...attaching hair however was a completely different issue. So Spencer is now a redhead. (sigh). Unfortunately the "highlights" didn't work out as well as planned and they're anything but blonde. I have a feeling Spencer's hair will be an on-going process as the weeks progress. Here's to Week 2!
This shot however actually freaked me out a bit. It was the first time in a couple years I really got that icky feeling. I mean if you actually put your fingers on the monitor and look just at my eyes... I look like a hot girl. LOL. It's so weird to see that on a monitor I can't even begin to tell you.
The shoot went off pretty well. I just love having the newsroom as part of the shot. Actually trying to create that newsroom would be so time consuming and all we have to do now is turn the camera around and voila: there we are. There's even people working on stuff, walking by - I love it. It looks great. I'm really happy with the overall feel of the piece and I think the make-believe of the "selection process" will really be fun down the road. I'm really hoping the kids have some fun with it. If Santa is real, so are the Egos. :-)
What isn't real anymore... is ME. Yes, I now require 30 minutes of make-up just to look like me again. How surreal is that. Since we had to really dye my hair, in order to be Announcer Adam we had to paint it. Then had to draw in more eyebrows, and of course fill in my goatee. It's kind of the highlight of my day to tell you the truth. It's really depressing to not look like yourself all week so I really look forward to being able to look in the mirror and see a familiar face. Such a strange little scenario I've set-up for myself ain't it?
Oh yes and apparently Dewey's bare chest was just too much for the youngins so Dewey now has to wear a hawaiian surfer shirt. Meh, what're ya gonna do. We also made a much more concerned effort to keep his hair out of his face. Unfortunately none of us noticed the GREEN in his shirt making the "green-screen" REAL fun to get out. LOL. Luckily on the grainy monitors in the real shot you can barely notice it. But a close eye will detect he does indeed have holes in his body. Poor Dewey.
And poor Gary! What did he ever do to Cameron? Heh. Gary just gets harrassed in this episode but rest assured he won't stand for it too long. Also you may notice that his hair doesn't seem to have the obvious "rows" in them as they did in the test show. That's because we had to paint over the dye job and it covered up any "rows" we had. Gotta work on that. It is indeed an ongoing process. But more than anything - I'm digging the opening tension between 'em. Good times.
The most exciting thing about this project of course is that the winners determine the plot. Because each "Ego" is connected to a contestant, they'll be affected by the outcomes. I won't know the winner until voting is closed on Wednesday and we shoot THURSDAY. It's a mad-dash to put everything together and work-in the contestants and outcomes each week. I gotta say... I LOVE IT. It reminds me of being back in radio where I had to come up with new stuff each week on an incredibly strict deadline. Granted, it was a self-imposed deadline back then, but it was good training for this. It's a cool kind of stress that seems to bring out the best. Can't wait to see what happens next.
And also, please don't take my lack of talking about the contestants as some sort of arrogance on my part. I simply can't say anything one way or another. I can't influence one vote, can't type a word about anything I may think or feel about each act. I have to leave it to each individual character in the show and even then I have to be incredibly careful not to be too opinionated. It's a very, very fine line and a tough one for me to walk because I'd love to do pieces on each contestant here on the site. Once they become "finalists" (winning 2 rounds) I'm actually going to interview them at which point I can talk a bit more about the contestant. For now however, I gotta keep mum.
Alright, I now get a day off before the crazy cycle starts up again. I may have an entry in between this and the next show, but that's probably pushing it. I need to sleep at some point. Lemme know what you guys think of the first episode by clicking the "Forum Feedback" button!!