Another one, really?


You may be aware we are half way through the first season of my Television talk show, and I must admit, it’s fun and well received. The show is based on the Standard Media Group’s monthly article, The Story Behind the Person’, which I have been writing for a number of years.


Recently, the show’s producer, along with Rogers and the Standard Media Group, expressed interest in having a travel show hosted by myself. Of course travel is near and dear to my heart, so when I heard about the opportunity, I jumped at the chance.


I have tens of thousands of photographs, lots of videos and some neat stories to share, but the question was, how does one do all that? I have watched Rick Steves, travel Europe with a film crew for months at a time, but our budget is not quite there. We decided to produce a show, which would see me introducing a destination, and then narrating the segment, while photos and videos from my trips move across the screen.


My producer sat down and explained we would do five on air segments for each show. That sounded easy, and I can certainly manage that. It was then explained that we would film a year’s worth of content (actually only nine months) at one time. That prospect became a bit stressful. It meant sifting through thousands of photos and videos, but I was up for the challenge.


The research was actually fun, and it brought back many forgotten memories from trips around the globe. I was ready and showed up at the studio at 9 am sharp. The cameras were set, lights were being tweaked and microphones were being tested. A huge green screen was behind me (which would be replaced with photos in post-production). The makeup artist stood ready to do the best she could with what she had to work with, and the teleprompter was being readied with the scripts. And so it began.


Surprisingly, it was much easier than I expected. We finished all 9 shows, plus promos (a total of 65 clips) in 6 hours, and I was pleased with the process. The end result is fantastic. Now it’s up to the post production people to put it all together.


If you have an opportunity to watch the show, a new episode airs on Rogers TV the first Sunday of every month at 1PM. It will be played numerous times throughout the month. You can also watch it on the Standard Media Group’s web page, as well as searching for Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel on YouTube. The April episode focuses on Jerusalem, the cradle of civilization.

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