Nicole Butler: interning on lifestyle series Mother of the Bride (week 3)

Back in October our NSI Lifestyle Series Producer students blogged about each day of their bootcamp training. The next step in the course is an eight-week internship on a lifestyle series. We’ve asked our students to write a weekly post about their experiences.

Nicole Butler, RTR Media, interning on Mother of the Bride

Nicole-Butler

Nicole has been working in television production for over 15 years. She is currently working as a line producer for RTR Media with credits including Mother of the Bride for Slice and Summer Home for HGTV Canada. She holds an undergraduate degree in film studies from Queen’s University and an MFA in screenwriting from York University. 

“I’m starting rather late with my blog posts. So, right off the bat, I have to apologize for that. We are deep into post with the series I am working on. It’s been all hands on deck for the past few weeks as we move towards delivery. We are working away diligently to keep on top of our schedule which has unfortunately meant it’s been hard for me to write my blog (I know I must though!).

I suppose I might be in the fairly unique position of having worked as line producer on the first season of a TV series and now, as part of this internship, have switched over to mainly working as a story editor on the series.

Building the skills to wear many hats is certainly very common in the television industry. I guess, many hats, is in a way the definition of a producer. But, for me, it’s been challenging to be front line in helping to figure out schedule, budget and production logistics as a line producer and then leave most of this behind in order to jump into the creative process of helping to get Mother of the Bride through the post and delivered.

Why has this been challenging?

Well, I’m finding the story editing process forces you to put down on paper your thoughts about the manner in which raw footage can be whittled down into a succinct storyline for an episode. Just watching through footage and thinking about it in the abstract is definitely the easy part. But actually spitting out useful material for the edit of an episode can be quite daunting. It’s very different from line producing.

Although in both cases you search for processes that can help you organize and see the forest through the trees, with line producing you are constantly working at creating contingencies and regulating all of the detail involved in managing time and funds so you don’t overlook any factors. As part of the story editing process you need to edit, condense and be a storyteller. It’s right there in the job title. It’s still strategic and requires logic. It’s just different. And, as I practice and refer back again and again to the structure of the series that’s been developed to date to help organize the creative for an episode, some of the pain of switching hats dissipates.

Of course, the series producer on Mother of the Bride deals with these leaps between creative and logistical daily as he provides vision and leadership on the series. The deadlines and schedule of course never go away until completion. We are now moving through post and have completed our opening sequence (an amazing process!), are refining graphics for the series, have pulled together publicity materials, and are speeding towards delivery of our first episodes.”

About Mother of the Bride

Each week join Barbara Tibbetts, her daughter Terrie and the rest of the T.Carolyn crew as they deal with mothers of brides from all walks of life and with every possible problem.

NSI Lifestyle Series Producer is made possible by Program Partners Shaw MediaCorus Entertainmentand Bell Media; Supporting Sponsors Cineflix MediaPaperny EntertainmentFrantic FilmsRTR Media Inc.Big Coat ProductionsCellar Door ProductionsArchitect Films and Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA).

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