Archive for Television Production Stories


Across the Pond – Manchester Edition

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This trip started in Manchester, with a bunch of wise-ass WWE crewmembers standing in front of a bunch of sour faced customs officials. We sat and waited as the sour faced agents ‘activated’ our paperwork. In trips past, we’d walk up to the desk with a work permit, the agent would ask us some silly questions, then stamp our passports and we’d be on our way. Many trips ago, I learned the hard way that these officials have zero sense of humor. Upon handing over my work permit, the guard asked me what exactly I did for World Wrestling Entertainment.

“I am an audio engineer.”

“And you are telling me there is nobody in all of the United Kingdom that can perform your duties?”

“Nope,” the old wise ass Frenchy answered, “because we haven’t been able to find anyone sober long enough to do it.”

That little comment earned me a nice, long timeout in the immigrations office. Now I just shut my mouth and play nice.

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Time Flies

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How long has it been now?

Fifteen years?


I sat down this morning and tried to figure out exactly how long have I been a part of the never-ending carnival of insanity known as freelance television production. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even know, the past however many years have blurred by so fast there’s hardly even time to figure it out.

This strange career started innocently enough as a part time job as a cable-coiler at the Boston Garden during Celtics games. The job paid $50 a night, $25 of which was spent on parking, and at least $15 on gas. I probably took home about $200 for the entire season. Back then I wasn’t a very good businessman, but back then that’s what you did to pay your dues.

During that time, my ‘real’ job, my day job that paid the bills suddenly disappeared, as the cable company I was working for was swallowed up by a larger cable company. I decided to try my hand in the murky waters of freelancing until I could find another ‘real’ job.

That was fifteen years ago, or maybe sixteen; in a time before cell phones, before Facebook and blogs, before the Internet, before everything was soullessly digital.

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End of an Era

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Today is a sad day in television, because this day officially marks the end of the Supershooter 22 era for me. Supershooter 22, the production mobile unit of the WWE for the past six years will be retiring from this show at the end of the year. Starting in 2008, our former home will become,at least initially, the control room for a game show.

Never good at long goodbyes, I’ll be away on vacation for the official SS-22 farewell shows after Christmas.

March 6th, 2001 – Back when the mobile unit was new, and the WWE was still called the World Wildlife Fund

SS-22 Today – Six Years, 392 Show, 500,000+ Miles and One Corporation Name Change Later

Today is the last day I will sit in my cramped little corner of the truck and write these blogs.

SS-22’s Blogger Central Master Control

Today will be the last time I’ll have to trace a problem in that ridiculous patch field to the right of me in the picture.

My Job – Taming the Spaghetti

Most times I could beat it, but every now and then, that damn Chia Pet patch field beat me.

Look Closely – I’m In There

And some times I have to step up into the ‘Big Chair’ and mix the show. Unless something extremely drastic happens, my last WWE show as a mixer on SS-22’s Calrec Q-2 audio console happened two weeks ago in North Charleston.

Good Bye Q-2.

What ‘s the reason for all this? Have we been canceled? Thankfully, no. Has the bank finally repossessed our truck? Not quite. In the past six years, our show has grown too much to be contained in just one truck. Also, with the government mandated High Definition Television looming in 2009, the WWE is making the quantum leap into the High Definition digital age, and our TWO brand new production mobile units – code named Peanut Butter and Jelly – will come on line early in January, if all goes according to plan.

A few weeks ago I was allowed to go see the new trucks, currently being built in a top secret production truck factory, deep in the woods. The new trucks, code named Peanut Butter and Jelly were still fairly early in the build phase when I visited, but at least I got an idea what my eventual new home will look like.

The New Home of Frenchy’s Rant
WWE’s Supershooter Jelly – Still Wrapped in Plastic

Since we are going all-digital all-the-time, our Q-2 console needed to be upgraded. We opted for another Calrec, the excellent Alpha Bluefin series.

Bluefin – Still Under Construction.

Santa’s Elves, Hard at Work.

And best of all, Blogger Central Master Control in the new truck is, get this… an ACTUAL DESK! Doesn’t mean these lame blogs will improve, but at least I’ll have a bit more room to write brand new and improved High Definition rambling rants!

A toast to Supershooter 22 and a good six-year run!

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