When Joan decided to join Melissa on her annual vacation to a Wyoming ranch – we were very excited. The idea of seeing Joan attempt to ride a horse was worth taking the propeller plane to Cheyenne. And when Joan wanted to join the family to go fly-fishing – we were eager to see if she’d catch anything. Now you have to know, as a producer, it’s our job to make our crew as invisible as possible. Not an easy task when you are out in the middle of the wilderness with no other people, electricity, or vehicles around. We kept our cameras at safe range for the most part and used wireless microphones on Joan, Melissa and the rest of the cast to make sure we could record what they were saying. That way, we wouldn’t ruin the mood by having our crew in the river, and spoil the shots with a boom (the pole that holds the microphone). It all seemed like a great plan.
Joan assured me that she felt pretty steady in the water and that the current in the river was not too strong for her. Let me give you a piece of advice: when a funny lady tells you she’s just going to go fishing and not to worry – worry. After about an hour of fishing, Joan started getting bored with fishing, or more correctly, with not catching squat. It seemed that Cooper only had to put his hook in the water and something bit. Not Joan. It was like the fish knew she was coming. She started getting bored and casting her reel farther and farther. Finally, she did hook something. A bush. The next few moments seemed like they were playing in slow motion. Joan tugged. The bush tugged back. And Joan went down with a splash and a glug. Of course, our first thought was for Joan. She’s hardly frail, but still, she’s no Jacque Cousteau either. And she had on waders – which are great for keeping out water, except if you are under water. With the help of Melissa and the fishing instructor, she was back on her feet. And in typical Joan fashion, she was delighted knowing that her spill would make for funny TV. She found a hilarious way of cursing the universe, except the crew couldn’t hear most of it because her microphone went under water with her. Joan was fine with a toweling off. The microphone – not so much. Six hundred bucks down the drain. It was an expensive lesson for me. Water, electronics, and comedy simply don’t mix.
What’s it like filming the series for WE tv? In a nutshell, insanity!!!!!
Well, we have had experience filming television shows before. We have competed on the Food Network challenge several times, and thought, “Oh well, this isn’t a competition, and they fly out and come to us to produce this show, we’ll do our thing, make the cakes, so it can’t be that hard, right?”
Not only did we have to make three amazing wedding cakes that were extremely detailed in a 5-6 day period, we had to run a business (we have two retail locations, and it was filmed right around Christmas), attempt to be funny and clever on film AND we had to look good on TV (without a makeup artist, and little sleep). So all of that combined sent us into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. However, in the midst of all the craziness, we managed to push through. We had a blast with the film crew and made some of our best cakes ever!
I think the biggest obstacle for us is that we were one of the only bakeries asked to film two weeks in a row. Being in Cleveland, there is a definitive line between when wedding season starts and stops. April through November, we have wedding cakes every weekend, but once winter hits, no one really plans a wedding in Cleveland. So the fact that we could even find 6 wedding events to film in December, was a feat in itself. It just so happened that all of those events fell mid-December, so that meant two grueling weeks of filming with no break in between!
One of my favorite recollections is, there would be a time of day during filming, right after lunch when everyone in the room would get loopy -the camera guys, the sound guys, even the field producers… there was a lot of laughter, and at times, we found ourselves saying things that we hoped wouldn’t make it on air for fear of our mothers scolding us… we felt really bad for the editors who had to sit and listen to everything we talked about, the dirty jokes and all-around inappropriate comments (sorry, Mom).
So overall, there were some good times, some moments we wanted to pull our hair out, and some pretty spectacular cakes!