Friday, April 10, 2009
What’s that saying about the best laid plans? We had a really nice day planned today. We were meeting about 5 other homeschooling families at the MOST for a morning of fun. We’d be leaving at noon so it would be a nice two hour block of time with friends. We were looking for something that would soothe our somewhat frazzled emotions with Dad out of town.
Well, saying it didn’t go as planned is really an understatement. After we paid for our admission (without anyone mentioning anything about a tv show) and started walking down the hall, we were greeted by a super cheery TLC producer who informed us that the TLC show “Table for 12” (described as a John and Kate Plus 8 spinoff) would be filming their season finally here and that we may end up on film and pointed in the direction of the little sign that if you enter you agree to be potentially on the show. Cool I thought-might be fun to see. Nope-not really.
So obviously there’s twelve in this family-fine, cool, good. But that wasn’t really the problem. It was the apparent 20 or so TLC camera men, audio people and producers that really mucked up the day. I do understand that you are filming a TV show, I do get that; however the little kids that are getting stepped on and pushed aside who actually paid to attend the museum don’t get that. About halfway through this I started getting a bit annoyed. We kept kind of moving to get away from the throng of camera people as Meg was getting increasingly scared of all the lights and the boom mikes and so on. We were in the cave section and doing some excavating when the entire production moved in and nearly swallowed my kids whole. The TLC people were so concerned with getting their shots that Meg got stepped on twice by camera men (who didn’t even budge I guess for fear of a shaky shot or something). My son got trapped in the excavation pit becuase the camera men all stood ontop of the stone miniwalls that surround the pit preventing him from exiting. He even said excuse me several times and nothing. I eventually had to lean in and pick him up and out over the camera man who didn't want to move since he was filming. Filming:fine--Blocking exit from scared kids not on the show: not fine. Then there were the two women who while following the clan stopped to have a conversation in between Michael and Meagan and the exhibit they were looking at (the kids were like three feet away so they could see it and they stood right in front of them). People stood in front of my kids while they were working on something , they stepped on my kids while filming and walking, and they bumped into and off of us like bumper cars.
But even more disturbing was the apparent attitude of the production crew that this was their day at the museum and all the other people (us) were in their way. I don’t blame the kids of the show because they are kids and they were being shown that this was their gig and there’s no reason not to step in front of another child who is doing something and take over because the cameras follow them as they do so and help further nudge any *non show* people right out of the exhibit. (Unless it made a good shot then the non-show people could stay). In the pics below Michael and Meg are excavating and then --WHAM!! tv show swoops in
So we left early. Meagan in tears frightened of the scary camera and light people and Michael frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t seem to escape the mayhem and enjoy the museum.
My message to the MOST and any other establishment taking part in reality television filming: Please… let the paying patrons know of the disruption before they pay so they can make an educated decision **or** allow a free or discounted fee for those patrons who may have their visit impacted by a television show filming.