Filming an interview when you don’t have an office

17 Jan

Carte Blanche interview 2

I don’t have, shall we say, a conventional work set up. This is part of the challenge of being a portfolio careerist. Yes, I’m a partner in an agency that has actual clients and is making money, but we’re keeping our overheads as low as possible. While we sort out a solution for offices, I work the way I have for the last two years: out of my parents’ home (they have wifi) or out of coffee shops.

So when people want to interview me as a social media expert (rather than an artist or an author) finding a suitably businessy location is a challenge.

My options include:

1. The couch/ bed/ desk I use in my parents’ house. Not really an option, mainly because the horrible chow-chow would have to be locked up (or he’d escape), then bark the whole time and generally cause chaos. Also, we’d have to tidy the house.

2. The room that used to be known as my art studio in my grandmother’s house. Not really an option either as the place looks like a bomb hit it.

3. Coffee shop. Hipster coffee shops include The Whippet and Motherland. Unfortunately, they can be noisy and crowded and sound and camera equipment takes up space.

4. Saul and Gary’s office. I didn’t think of this when I made the arrangement, or I would have suggested it. Their office is full of Macs and there’s a pug and loud people making inappropriate comments while updating content grids, so it would have been perfect. Next time.

5. My grandmother’s garden, which is quiet if you ignore the hadedas and the dooses on their Harleys on Bryanston Drive. I often used to sit there with my MacBook on my lap and a glass of wine at my side, so it wasn’t unrealistic. This is the option we settled on.

When the crew arrived, they were concerned. The setting just didn’t look “tech” enough. I offered to bring my MacBook, mifi and phone to look more connected and stuff. Also the Typo notebook where I write down my to do lists with a pen. “Fly the book” said the producer, Julian. I knew what he meant because “fly” is a term I learned during my stage management course in Drama School.

Eventually they carted a circa 1955 wire table down to the lawn next to the lower pond along with a 1990s plastic chair. I provided a bottle of rose and a plastic glass as well as the hat I used to wear in my avatar and hey presto, you have someone you can pass off as a person who Knows About Twitter And Stuff.

This is how an establishing shot is established:Carte Blanche interview

I drank a glass of prop wine before the interview started, although the producer was very pleased with my responses. So perhaps it helped. At the end, they needed to film me tweeting. My grandmother’s garden is in the Bermuda Triangle of signal so I had to use the producer’s Twitter account. I sent a couple of strange tweets from it. Oscar tweets


All in all it was good fun and I managed to combine it with wine o’clock too. Although, in hindset, this proved a problem as my +1 for the Elvis Show I was supposed to go to WhatsApped me to tell me she was feeling sick, and since I now couldn’t drive, I stayed home instead and followed the concert on Twitter while I prepared another PowerPoint presentation and worked on web copy.

I wonder if they would have allowed me to wear pink Crocs to a concert about blue suede shoes.


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