Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Production Coordinator: Part 1

I have had the pleasure/pain of working for the mouse for nearly 10 years. Some jobs were fantastic, some made it hard to get up in the morning. As I continue down the blog path I will recap some from time to time; today being one of those times. For a stint, I was what is called a "Production Coordinator" at MGM, ahem, I mean the Disney Studios. What a PC does is basically this, everything. When I mean everything, I mean everything. From logistical planning, to activation, to strking, and a whole lot of diplomacy with others who plainly just don't want to be diplomatic.

So to get down what we do is whenever something big comes to MGM (sorry, that's what I know it as), like Super Soap Weekend, Concerts, Marathons, Cheerleading, Star Wars Weekends, we are in charge of it. (You didn't think it just "magically" happens did you?)
Anyways, if you have never been to those events, they are really circuses. Not only do we have to take care of production (film crews, staging, grip work), we then have to take care of talent (in this case we'll say Regis & Kelly), but then we also have to make sure the day guests are happy and not interfere with the production. Easy. Now, I have to say some events are easier than others, some are excrutiating, some are just plain odd.

Take for instance a concert we produced for Disney Channel's "Summer Jams" Concert Series. This particular one starred Britney Spears, but way before her shaved head and sans panties days. It was to be held in the brand new, at the time, Rock n Rollercoaster courtyard for about 2500 girls who entered a contest and their moms. This wasn't too bad as RnR courtyard has a gate that we can close, so while the day guests won't get to ride RnR for the day, they can still hear the music and if they crane their necks right, can catch the taping. Normally on day like this, shooting will take place mid to late morning as it will be ridiculously hot later, meaning our crew had to get in about 3:30 am. This, however, was a much better time than the stage techs who were there all night putting the stage together. (Disney is wildly known for having an empty space one day, the next day some monstrosity standing in place, and then overnight it seems to disappear, so kudos to WDW on that). Anyways, to get back to my story. We get in, go through all the logistics and set off to the stage. Everything is set up, and the camera crew is unloading, everything perfect. Fast forward about 6 hours to sound check/dress rehearsal. Britney is just finishing up wardrobe and the courtyard is bulging to the brim with pre-pubscent teens and parents who keep looking like they would like to be somewhere else. We are ready, the director's ready, and the back up band is ready (of course it's all tracked).

Out comes Britney in tight black pants and nothing but a long piece of green fabric across her chest, quite the wardrobe for a Disney sponsored event. So everyone gets quiet, lights go on, and the director yells "Action". Britney and her dancers bust into a sequence of twists turns and God knows what, the music is pumpin', the kids are screamin', and Britney turns her back to the crowd to perform a dance move. When she turns around the look of parents immediately turns to horror.

(Part 2 tommorow)


Anonymous said...

Yo Jahosifatz - That job name does not exist in the lexicon of florida entertainment titles, is it Ops?

Jahosifatz said...

Hi. When I got the job I was in Ops, but there were Ent. folks as well. I think it falls under Production/Special Events

Anonymous said...

wow.. I'm a Production Coordinator, too, but in the animation biz. What you're doing sounds like a whole new category of PCs. I'm getting a kick out of your postings! ;) It's so interesting to read about all the craziness other PCs experience. Let me tell you, animation is no different! (except we don't see topless Brit or screaming girls on the job.. hehe)