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Behind the Scenes

The New Yankee Workshop schedules two, 10 hour shooting days to capture each 1/2 hour program. The amount of show time we shoot each day is more important than actual clock time, so the actual time it takes varies from project to project.

We shoot with a single hand held camera. I've never used a steady cam to capture this show.

The crew is one of the smallest that I've ever worked with. Besides Norm, there's a Director, the cameraman, a Production Coordinator and an assistant.

Norm and the Director discuss each scene. They set up each scene to make it conise, while explaining the specific tools needed as well as the various techniques required for that specific task.

It's during these discussions that I figure out the best shot(s) to illustrate the specific situation.
If the Director likes my shot, I'll hear:"action". If not, he and I work together to find the best combination.

Norm builds all of his own furniture. I may spot him while he's cutting a 4'x 8' sheet of plywood on the table saw, but every cut, every connection of every piece of furniture is all Norm.

Challenge: Almost every scene we shoot is a one take situation. We're building furniture, Norm isn't about to build another table leg, because I didn't get the shot the first time. Because it takes place in the shop I'm always looking for the best combination of shots to illustrate to the audience what techniques Norm will use. The goal is to keep the show visually stimulating, while also telling the story of how to build each piece of furniture.

Most of the show takes place in Norms shop, but even Norm enjoys visiting several remote locations to get an inspiration for his next project.