As of next week, approximately August 9, I will be the proud owner of my very own TV Channel, “Get Sexy, Lean and Strong TV” on the BONBON Networks, being distributed on over 30 networks, world-wide!!! Who would have thought I would be doing this at this time in my life? I am turning 65 in just a few weeks, and most folks are winding-down at this point. I am actually taking on something on the scale of projects I did back in high-tech, in my 30s and 40s! Creating a TV show is an amazing, exhilarating, and daunting experience. Especially for someone who does not make many videos or use Facebook Live (yet), and who has yet to post on Instagram! So, what made me want to put out a TV show, you ask? I have a great practice as a health coach, helping folks be Sexy, Lean and Strong at Any Age, and I love what I do! Most folks resonate with my message, and my clients all experience improvement. So, when the offer came along, I decided to stop second-guessing myself and hold my nose and jump!
I chose that name for the show to tie in with my best-selling book, “Sexy, Lean and Strong After 50!”. I felt the teachings in the book would be of interest and could be distilled down into bite-size chunks. Hah!! It took several days of planning, scripting, checking lighting and furniture arrangement, booking guests, practicing with makeup and wardrobe, and then the day came! A major issue is every frickin’ wall in my home is a blah, beige-y light cocoa brown, and there are no ceiling fixtures — witness the picture above. This means I, a beige-y blonde, blend right into the walls and the shadows give me huge under-eye circles! I tried hanging pictures that would not wash me out. I tried using every lamp I owned to lighten the room.
Then the videographer arrived and I found out I just froze in front of the camera! Finally, I shook off the feeling of being under surveillance and was able to get the message on tape. The videographer had those square, multi-light contraptions, facing right at me. (I found out you are supposed to stare at the camera, not the red light or the light stands….) We taped the first video and it seemed OK. Then, I changed my outfit and all hell broke loose. Suddenly I had a shiny face, because I did not re-powder, my hair was all messed-up and the jewelry clanked in the microphone. In another video, my hair (wig) moved around, my necklace was crooked, my bra-strap was showing and my eyes looked really tired. (No wonder, I was up until 1:30 a.m. most nights, reviewing the day’s videos. We shot two to three a day, each requiring costume changes and moving furniture.) And I moved the furniture! Exhaustion began showing on my face. As a health coach, that is not a good thing. My practice was put on-hold, with clients being very understanding, for the most part.
I was the show director, producer, writer, script-girl, stylist, set designer, fed the crew and guests, and had to review all the dailies. Many little things, like my super-oily face in a few videos, shifting jewelry, guests who talked too low or avoided looking at the camera, escaped my notice until too late. However, I learned a ton about lighting and now own a Diva light (available on Amazon) and truly amazing for brightening your complexion, creating a pleasant hue and removing shadows. Too bad I did not have it until the last day, for the last video. Which is brilliant, I have to say! All my learning came together that one last day.
The biggest issue was not understanding how to provide a video with a thumbnail, to a TV network. It is not like YouTube (which I have used a bit), where you upload the video and YouTube comes back and shows you three thumbnails and you pick one. In television land, the first scene is the thumbnail. So, two nights of work creating great power-point slides, title slides, adding in a photo collage for each show, and a musical theme, was trashed once the network uploaded our videos and we found out we now had twelve identical thumbnails, with just numbers for the name of the show. And, we had duplicate shows, were missing shows, could not find shows. Catastrophe! We pulled back all the videos, deleted all the intro stuff, edited down so there were unique thumbnails for most of the shows. We had to shorten the music, which broke my heart. It was a really cool jazzy riff. Now, it may be all of four notes. But, we have the first season under our belt. Total hours spent filming and editing by my videographer — 40, plus all my scripting and design work, another 80. Not too bad for beginners!
Ultimately, I have launched with twelve videos, with very diverse topics. I will list them at the end of this and see if you readers have new ones to suggest. Season 2 begins in September and the network is letting me upload my own videos!! Scary thought!!!
Here are the topics we launched with:
Show 1 – Meet Deb Dutcher (1.25 minutes, short and sweet)
Show 2 – Don’t Give Up On Your Body!
Show 3 – Is Your Body Mad at You?
Show 4 – You Can’t Jump Off a Mountain
Show 5 – Setting Real Goals — with guest — Alison Conigliaro-Hubbard
Show 6 – Moms – Making Time for You — with guest Erin Green-Astone
Show 7 – Exercise Demo by Me
Show 8 – Nutrition Demo by Me
Show 9 – Supplements Saved My Life
Show 10 – Moms – Single, Smart and Thriving — with guests Jennifer Alvarez and Jennifer Jost
Show 11 – Addiction and Families – with guest Donna Lynn Spahn
Show 12 – Staying Balanced
Whew! I have so much more I want to cover, but, the network was targeting an August 1 launch. It feels like we produced the equivalent of 90 days of work in just four weeks! A big shout-out to my videographer, who stuck with me, and learned about TV with me, Larry Curtin, of MobileTraxPro videography. He is a dream to work with! We are ready for the next season! I am even going to try my hand at shooting my own videos. Wish me luck!!! Oh, and if you want your own channel, use my link to get a big discount: http://www.younetworks.tv?afmc=1g
And now, to sleep, perchance to dream of new worlds to conquer, even at 65!!! (Instagram???)