08/11/2013 11:11

Tainted Dreams "Behind The Scenes" Part 3

 
(or.....Why Sonia Blangiardo Is So Awesome) 
 
This is part 3 of my special series giving you a look behind the scenes at Tainted Dreams.  I wanted to give you a glimpse into a world many of us never get to see.  We see a finished product.  A nice hour or half hour of beautiful people entertaining us with a story.  There is a lot that goes into making a television show, much much more than I ever realized.  
 
There is a lighting team.  They bring in lights, move lights, adjust lights, adapt lights with strategically draped fabric or dark paper clipped with clothes pins or other creative maneuvers.  They are perpetually running cables, lifting and moving apparatus all in an effort to create the perfect scene on film.  
 
There are the camera crew.  They use big cameras, handheld cameras, cameras that rest on their shoulders.  They have boxes of lenses that will be changed constantly.  They too are climbing around the room to find the perfect angle to capture the perfect scene.  They must get everyone into the shot and make you feel like you are there.  No one wants to see the back of an actor's head when their costar is speaking.  They can make a big room feel intimate or a small room feel spacious.  
 
Now, add the audio folks.  They put mics on actors and hold the big boom microphones.  They listen to every word, over and over.  They make sure when we are watching we never say “what did he just say?”   We hear everything we are supposed and nothing we’re not.  No clinking glasses, no people out of the scene whispering, no script pages being shuffled or dropped nearby.  
 
Then add in the wardrobe people, who pick the right clothes for the right scene and make sure the clothes are not worn twice or in the wrong scenes and don’t clash with others clothing.  And don’t forget the make up and hair people who keep the actors looking perfect through long and hot days.  There are the production people who make sure there is continuity.  The scene is staged right for each retake, the right clothes are all worn by the right people for the right scene, the right people have the same food or drink in front of them for every take.  The stage manager is there to coordinate all the crew and actors for each scene.  You also have the Production Assistants who coordinate all of this.  They make sure the trucks are there to move the equipments, cars are available to move the actors, scripts and props are available and everyone’s time is accounted for so everyone gets paid properly.  There are also others behind the scenes like investors (yeah, they are important) and public relations dealing with the media to make sure we all know about great projects.  There are the script writers who create the perfect stories that engage and touch us.  Of course after it is all filmed, the editors go to work.  This is a tedious labor of love taking months of carefully piecing together each frame of film.  I can't wait to hear about this process from Teresa who I know and love.  Her magic will be essential.  
 
 
All these folks have to gracefully dance around each other often in very close proximity.  They do this all day.  Some work days go 18 hours or more. They do it day after day for weeks.  They will change locations.  Sometimes they are filming in a restaurant, sometimes in a studio, sometimes at night on the streets of Manhattan, sometimes in the morning at a park.  In my eyes,  the miracle of it all is that everyone has been lovely.  EVERY PERSON from the Production Assistant to the Make Up Artist to the Acclaimed Celebrity has been friendly, helpful and kind.  They are truly professionals, who love what they do and are committed to quality.  They all show up ready to work hard.  They are all also really good people.  A tiny little issue could mean re-taking a scene several times, no one loses patience.  Ever.  Everyone is careful of all the equipment, the cables, the lights, the props, the costumes.  Everyone is patience with the retakes and adjustments.  Everyone is friendly and even jovial.  It is really impressive.  There were no divas, no tantrums, no outbursts.  It was miraculous to see people behaving so well under sometimes boring, sometimes difficult circumstances day after day.  
 
I attribute it all ultimately to one person.  Sonia Blangiardo.  This show is her creation.  She had the idea, wrote the story, cast the actors and turned a dream into a reality.  Sonia Blangiardo is a force to be reckoned with. Remember her name.  It is no mistake that she has already won 2 Emmy's.  I predict many more in her future. 
 
I can tell you first hand, no one works harder than Sonia Blangiardo.  I spent a few days on set.  I was exhausted at the end of an 8 hr day and I mostly was sitting around waiting or taking pictures!!   Sure, I had to stand for a while for my one scene and it was hot and exhausting.  But, the entire time I was there, I never saw Sonia sit down.  Not once.  I never saw her eat, I never saw her drink.  I also never saw her lose her temper or become frustrated.  No one works harder or has more patience than Sonia.  She is directing every scene.  She is watching and coordinating all the sound, pictures, actors, sets, script - everything!  Every decision ultimately comes from Sonia.  
 
Sure, Sonia could come in and demand perfection and she would be justified.  It would make perfect sense that she require a perfection.  But she doesn’t.  She doesn’t storm in making demands.  She inspires greatness.  This is the mark of a true leader.  She inspires greatness.  Everything, from her demeanor to her attitude, her vision and her dream inspires all the people involved in the project.  I never heard her raise her voice.  Not once.  I never heard her snap at anyone or behave unprofessionally.  Quite the opposite.  Every day I witnessed her treat everyone with kindness and respect.  I committed myself mostly to staying  out of everyone’s way, but Sonia would go out of her way to hug me and say “thank you for coming”.  I was floored.  She makes everyone feel they are valued and appreciated. 
 
The only regret I had throughout this process was that I was unable to bring my daughter to the set.  My daughter is studying film and cinema in college.  She has a passion for production.  She is busy working 2 jobs this summer so unfortunately she was unable to join me at the filming.  As my daughter sets her sights on a career in production, she has pointed out to me that there has only been 1 woman to win an Academy Award for Directing.  That happened in 2010.  Only 4 women have ever even been nominated, only 2 from the US and no women of color. These statistics are disheartening at best.   To me, as a woman and a mother, this is disgraceful and an embarrassment.  How do I even begin to explain THIS?  How has my generation not done better for our daughters??  There is no good reason for it.  Sadly, there just aren’t enough women in this field at the top to point to as role models.  That is one reason why I love Sonia so much.  I can’t tell you what it means to me to be able to tell my daughter of a great women who had a dream and made it happen.  I can tell my daughter about Sonia’s lengthy and successful career in television.  I can tell my daughter that you can be a determined, successful AND a kind woman in this business.  If you work as hard and with as much dedication as Sonia has over the years , it is possible to rise to the top!  Sonia is a brilliant, smart and successful role model for all young women getting started in this business.  To me, that is huge!!  That is what struck me most deeply from this whole experience.  Sonia is also just as masterful in making things happen as she is at motivating and inspiring people.  Sonia is a gifted and talented director, a smart and powerful business woman, an accomplished producer and a good person with a pure heart.  I feel so blessed to know her. 
 
Tainted Dreams is a project that is blessed with the best talent daytime television has to offer.  There is not a doubt in my mind that this show will be a huge success.  I am so grateful to have been able to attend the filming and watch the magic happen.  I am even more grateful to be able to bring the good news home to my daughter.   It really is magic.  I can not wait to see the finished product!  I know you will all love this show!!!  
 
Thank to everyone at Tainted Dreams for giving me this fantastic opportunity.  I especially want to thank Sonia Blangiardo, Anthony Wilkinson and Maree Blackston.  
 
Actor Paul Moon and Director Sonia Blangiardo
 
 
***  Please note:  I will be posting a lot of fun pictures just as soon as I get the green light!  

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