One thing I quickly learned was that television is not a natural medium for me! With this blog I have become accustomed to writing at length about sometimes tiny details, but this is simply not an option with such a visual medium.
>>You can watch the film here (I’m after Frenchie chef Gregory Marchand).<<
My brief had been to present three places that have significance or importance for me, but as I was representing my blog it was quite a challenge to choose these places. My blog focuses on the invisible, but here the necessity was to select places that would be interesting visually for the camera. Secondly, this was a travel show, so the chosen spots should be places that people might theoretically want to visit and see for themselves.
I finally decided to have three places that could be linked by a theme, with this being the edges of the pre-1860 Paris. I would talk about the villages – Belleville, Charonne and Gentilly (including the Bièvre river) – that were annexed into Paris, and what traces they have left in today’s city.
That was the theory anyway. Despite preparing myself a script, on the day of shooting the realities of filming became apparent. The angle of the sun made one shot impractical, cars constantly interrupted recording on another, and at the third the owner of a café told us that he didn’t want his establishment being filmed. As this last place – on the corner of a grafitti-filled street – is not at all my favourite bar in the city, I was quite happy to move on to another spot.
With all this, and with shots being recorded several times from different angles, my train of thought got a little bit lost. At the end of the day’s shooting, I wasn’t even sure what I had actually said anymore, and that was before CNN did the editing.
Looking at the result, I think it looks great. The CNN Go city series is genuinely interesting (albeit very fast moving), and I thoroughly recommend their guides to other cities. Even in Paris, the eclectic choice of guest presenters (a chef, a designer, a DJ, a musician, a tattoo artist…and an English blogger!) is quite audacious for such a mainstream channel, and shows a city far from traditional tourist guides.
However, it is also quite frustrating to see that many filmed segments didn’t make the final cut, elements that I think would have made my presentation clearer and more complete. For this reason, I have put the script I wrote online here. You can just imagine how it may have looked on screen, and perhaps I’ll one day try to film these parts again!
- Click here to watch the film
- Click here for part 2 with Mariama and Jérôme Dreyfus
- Click here for part 3 with Laura Satana and Mimi Xu
I would like to thank Lidz-Ama, France and cameraman Sylvain for choosing me, and for their efficiency and good humour which made me feel very at ease - despite being filmed for ‘a potential audience of 300 million people’!