One thing about freelancing is that you never quite know what's going to happen next. One minute you might be sitting there thinking it's finally time to start that archiving project that you've been putting off for umpteen years and the next you may get an email asking if you're free to shoot stills for a reality TV show. That's basically what happened when I received an email from a prodution person at Disney / ABC Television asking if I would be free to shoot an episode of a reality show they would be taping in Chiang Mai.
The brief was pretty simple - candid portraits and action shots of cast and crew. Clean back plates of all sets. Turn in unedited, untouched jpeg images within 24hours of the shoot. The day will begin at approximately 8:30am and end at approximately 5:30pm. Transport to and from location(s) will be provided. ( and PS - clean your lenses).
As I wrote here I had no idea what the show was until I was able to ask some of the other crew. Not, as it turned out it would really matter, since I have been outside of US pop culture for some time. So much like a 'blind date' I figured I would work through the day and either have fun or get punched in the face.
A long day but it really was fun. There were no 'sets' or a formal script. I found out that there would be two locations in the course of the day but everything else, for my part anyway, was kept open. It was basically 'run and gun' all day. The challenge for me was to stay out of the way of 4 to 6 camera people and an equal number of sound people. I was jumping in and jumping out of 'scenes' all day. Not ideal, but that's how it works. The cast and crew were total professionals and if you see the show the 'bachelors' took an absolute beating throughout the day. How they managed to stay upright to the end I'll never know (it was about all I could to to get in the tuk-tuk at the end of the day).
Two days after this assignment I was shooting this story which for me is probably more familiar turf. But it never hurts to stretch out and try something different. All in all a good experience. The client was happy and I learned a few things in the process - like drink plenty of water and never miss a chance to use the bathroom because you never know what might happen next.