Saturday, October 06, 2007

Air Farce Live!

Last night after work my girlfriend and I headed down to the CBC Building in Downtown Toronto for a live taping of CBC's Royal Canadian Air Farce. The show, for those that aren't familiar, is basically a satirical weekly look at world events and daily living from a Canadian perspective. An example of their sketches:

For the show, doors open an hour before the show. So Yvonne and I claimed our free tickets, which we previously requested by following the instructions on the website, and went on up to Studio 42. We were sat front row facing the left hand side of the sets.

For each of the scenes in Air Farce, there are different backgrounds. So for the show we saw there were about six to eight diferent sets set up alongside each other. Each set is maximum the size of your living room. There are four main cameras for the show. Each scene utilizes two cameras at a time. That way there are always two cameras shooting and the other two cameras are busy setting up for the next scene of the show. This can be a little tricky for the audience to see as there is the floor manager, other cast members and two cameras in the way of the scenes. This is perhaps the only downfall. However, it is really interesting to see how this show was put together.

After the show is finished and the closing credits have rolled, the cast comes out to try a couple of items for upcoming shows in order to see how the audience takes it. Ours was a scene the cast had filmed earlier that Air Farce needed to test out as well as song that they were still working on filming aspects. It was interesting to be able to have an affect on what the cast would be utilizing for future shows.

The real question of the night was "was the show really live for this Air Farce's Fifteenth season?" The answer is yes and no.

The first tip off for the show is that the show starts at 7 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (Toronto time) yet the show is not actually broadcast in Toronto until 8 P.M. Why the difference in time if the show is claimed to be "LIVE". Well in Atlantic Canada the show is live as it is 8 P.M. Atlantic Standard Time (Halifax time) when the show in Toronto is performed. Then accross the country from 7-11 P.M. the show is shown either live (in Atlantic Canada only) or taped (Quebec westward to British Columbia). The taped show, Roger Abbott one of the cast and producer of the show, assured the audience all the bloopers are seen no matter where in the country you are. This is because, Abbott noted, no editing is done.

This coming Monday, the Season Premier of Royal Canadian Air Farce is being repeated. So watch for me in the front row of the audience as sometimes the camera does pan the audience for audience shots.

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