Friday, September 9, 2011

Smile, You're On French TV

We have a friend who has the habit of getting into adventures.  He'll meet someone for the first time at a restaurant and be invited to play with tigers the next weekend.  His stories have plenty of interesting characters, chance-encounters, and pyrotechnics.  We've often mused over how he manages to get involved in so many tell-worthy things.

"Well, part of it is just that he's Brian.  The other part is that when someone comes to him with an idea, he just says 'yes'."

That was Donnie's explanation.  I think this may have been in the back of Donnie's mind when Science Accueil, the organization that helped us find our apartment, called saying that Channel 3 was doing a story on them, and would he be up for an interview?  He just said "yes."  Another story to tell.

So, Donnie's Friday afternoon was spent with three people from French TV.  He answered questions and took part in staged "scientific" discussions with his boss.  I spent the afternoon wondering if a tv crew would really be descending on our tiny apartment.  You see, it turned out to be a slice of life piece, and they wanted to meet Donnie's wife and daughter and see his apartment (the one that Science Accueil found for him).

What do you do to prepare for a tv crew?   Donnie said they'd come between 4 and 6 pm, but that was all I knew. I hid our more unsightly clutter, put out a fresh table cloth, and put on a bit of makeup.  Maria was in her pretty periwinkle dress.  Around 5pm they arrived.  The crew consisted of two friendly Frenchmen, both named Daniele, and a serious-faced woman named Florance who was so slight that she looked like she would break under the weight of her camera.

The first thing they wanted was footage of us walking around town and going shopping.  We took Maria out in the stroller and tried to act naturally as the camera trailed us to our local bakery.   Our neighbors startled at the sight of a film crew, and we actually held up traffic as the camera person rode slowly in a car beside us.  The girl at the bakery seemed tickled to be on TV, but several of the customers saw the camera, turned tail and left.   We felt a little awkward to be keeping our neighbors from their evening bread and were giddy with the attention. After buying two baguettes we returned to the apartment, where we drank water and mopped our brows--the day was unusually warm and humid. They interviewed us about our impressions of France.  We had only positive and rather vague things to say--we've been here over a month, but it doesn't feel that way because no one else was here during the month of August!   They filmed Maria drawing.  They filmed me peeling some apples.  They left.

So that was our little adventure with French TV--not exactly tigers, but a good time nonetheless!  The show is due to air on October 4, 22:40.  We'll try to get it in digital form to share.

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