The Real World: Jamey’s Condo

I’ve spent a large portion of the last 24 hours on camera. It’s been weird…and kind of wonderful. And there was a surprise at the end.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by two filmmakers, Gin and Alex, who are working on a web series (and maybe a documentary) about game designers. They proposed a fairly involved filming schedule, but they seemed really nice, and I figured I could plan in advance to make it work.

The filming began yesterday with a roundtable discussion at Pieces Board Game Bar & Cafe. Three cameras surrounded me, Don Eskridge (The Resistance), Christopher Badell (Sentinels of the Multiverse), and Carol Mertz (Pass the Buck) as we talked about game design for about 2 hours. They’re all people I respect and admire, and I ended up asking them a lot of questions. I was a bit nervous, and I’m grateful that they encouraged me to speak by asking me a few questions as well.

Carol, Christopher, and Don at the the table while Alex and Gin set up.

Today was the day of filming at my home office. Alex and Gin arrived at 9:00 and set up behind me while I worked. It was interesting to see how many things they have to test and adjust: camera position, audio, lighting, etc.

Alex sitting in the interview chair while Gin adjusts the camera position.

Around 10:00 we started filming, with Gin asking me questions. I was a little nervous still, but both Gin and Alex did a great job at helping me forget that the cameras were there. I like that this method of filming allows me to rephrase things if I don’t like the way I say them the first time–that is, it’s not live, so there’s no pressure to be perfect.

Biddy, of course, wanted to be involved. He served as an uncredited third director.

We took a lunch break, and then we spent a few hours getting “B-roll” footage of me pretending to work (though at times I forgot we were pretending, and I actually started to work). I had told Gin and Alex that I spend most of my time working at my computer, so we made sure to capture those riveting moments on film:

Photo courtesy of Gin & Tonic Productions, much to Biddy’s chagrin.

We wrapped up filming with a cupcake-eating session around 4:00, after which Gin and Alex departed to get some more St. Louis footage.

On their way out, though, they dropped a surprise: I was vaguely aware that they might try to Kickstart this web series, but I didn’t know that it’s currently live on Kickstarter. I immediately went to the project page and backed it, because–and I don’t say this lightly–Gin and Alex are absolutely awesome. They’re talented, professional, and compassionate. I look forward to seeing how they edit all of the footage they’re collecting into a cohesive web series.

Have you ever been filmed for something? How was your experience?

4 thoughts on “The Real World: Jamey’s Condo”

  1. I have never been filmed, so I cannot share an experience on that. However, one of the pictures you posted led me to a question:

    Do you work standing up at your computer desk? You seem to be standing in the picture (although Biddy makes a better door than a window). I’ve heard of some people who do.

    If yes, how come? Did it solve whatever problem you might have had sitting down?

    Reply
  2. Jamey,

    I”ve had only a few experiences in front of a camera. Most notably when I served as the Senior Cold War Analyst for the POW/MIA Office in the Secretary of Defense, I gave a briefing to more than 500 people…mostly family members of servicemen lost while on aircraft over the then Soviet Union and what we were doing to find their remains. It’s tough to not get emotional during such an event, but fortunately, the cameras were off to the side, so I could deliver my presentation to those in the audience and not into the camera.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    Reply

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