This is from my Tumblr Thingy. I thought it would be relevant to some of your interests.
QUESTION: Hello, I have a question about Tabletop (don’t worry, it’s not “when will you make more 😋). When you would film an episode, when would the interstitial commentary from the players be filmed? Because it seems like they should be like, during breaks in the game, so that people can give their thoughts as they come up, but during extended episodes I can’t see where that would cut and film them and rejoin, so maybe it was after? I can no longer sleep at night, this question haunts me. Ok bye now 😊
ANSWER: Good question, and you have it mostly correct.
What we’d do on a given day went like this:
- I arrive and we run through the day’s schedule.
- I shoot the introductions for the two episodes we are filming that day.
- The players for the first game arrive, go to makeup and wardrobe, then spend about an hour with the game publisher’s rep and Ivan Van Norman, our games expert, to make sure they understand the game and its basic strategy.
- While they do that, I shoot the rules explanation for each game.
- Players are seated at the table with me, and we begin. Each game has a rough halfway point, usually determined by the points scored, and we’ll break at that halfway point. For a narrative episode like an RPG, we’d break around the end of the second act.
- The players and I are interviewed about what we did in the first half of the game. We call these OTF interviews. I believe that’s a documentary term of art which means “On the fly.”
- We play the second half of the game, until there is a winner.
- We shoot the loser’s couch segment.
- We shoot the trophy segment.
- Now we shoot the OTF interviews for the second half of the game.
- The players are finished, and we break for lunch. They can stay and eat lunch with us if they want, but most players choose to get on with their day.
- The players for game 2 show up right as lunch ends. They’re always welcome to come before lunch, if they want to eat with us. I’d say about half of the players did that.
- We sit down, and play the first half of the second game.
- We break and shoot OTF.
- We finish the game.
- We shoot the loser’s couch.
- We shoot the winner’s wall.
- We shoot my OTF for the second half of the second game, so I can be finished and sent home as soon as possible. My union rules guarantee me 12 hours between when I leave set and when I come back, so we always try to get me wrapped (finished) early, so we don’t have to start later the following day.
- We shoot the remaining OTFs.
- Everyone goes home! That’s a wrap.
I’m glad you asked this question, because I got to revisit some of the joy that I felt when we were making Tabletop, Geek & Sundry was the greatest place in the world to be making awesome content, and I got to play games for my job.