Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Building the Pyramid

Hey all,

Been a while I know and slack on my behalf but hey.....who's gonna discipline me? you?

Anyways, wanted to write a little bit about my experiences recording my new show 'Pyramid' for Channel 9.

Having filmed Kids' WB now for 3 and a half years I've been very used to that concept. Studio based fun with a co-host introducing cartoons, reading out letters and running competitions. Not to mention the ritual humiliation that is my life as a children's television host. So finding out that I was to host my own show with a much more adult based concept was an exciting and different proposition. I first learnt about Pyramid by looking it up on Youtube where I found out it has been running in the US for nearly 30 years and the current version is hosted by none other than Donny Osmond! Don't know who that is? Neither, but he sounded big and famous. The only difference between the two shows is that theres is an adult show and we had adapted this version for kids.

The premise of the show is this: two teams of two kids are going head to head over 3 rounds to eventually face the final Pyramid for the day's prizes. Helping them out through the first 3 rounds are 'celebrity' guests whos only job is to give and receive clues and generally provide entertainment. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Shura, how many 'celebrities' can you possibly have on a show like this, and what calibre or 'celebrity' did you get?". Good question, well asked and nice grammar I might say. Then I'll tell you this. Obviously in this country the term 'celebrity' applies to many a genre. Oh yes we love to celebrate a reality tv star, sportsperson and little known actor, but that's fine because it made the show all the more interesting. So with names like Yumi Stynes (Channel V/Max host), Craig Lowndes (V8 Supercar driver), Emily Seebohm (Gold medallist swimmer), Charli Delaney (Ex-Hi5), the entire cast of the Shak, my co-host Heidi from Kids' WB and many many more big name guests we were on our way. I might add Stephen Bradbury came on the show. Yup. A bloke who won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics 10 years ago cos everyone fell over.......ok.

So I digress. The way the game works is this. In each round there are 6 categories on the board (or pyramid). Each team goes 3 times in each round. When a team member chooses a category there are 6 related words they need to guess behind that category. Confused yet? Good. So for example the category might be: "Feeling Hot Hot Hot" and the category is "Animals found in hot places". The celebrity then has 30 seconds to describe as many of the 6 words as possible without saying that word, without saying it rhymes with, and without saying it starts with the letter. So the words might be: giraffe, crocodile, lizard, kangaroo, snake, camel. Each time the celeb can use their voice or their body language to describe the word. You can imagine it's pretty funny watching someone like Blair McDonough trying to describe snake to a school kid.

In the first two rounds the celebrities give the clues to the kids and in round 3 the kids give the clues back to the celebs. Of course it's a different entity when a kid tries to describe a word considering the different levels of vocab and education.

My role was really just to keep the show together. To come into the teams between each round, decribe what the category is, come in at the end of the round, try and be witty and give a score. The biggest test for me was that there was no script, no autocue and no definite way of doing it because naturally the game is different in every round due to how many answers the kids get correct, what they say and where the game is at. Certainly kept me on my toes. Especially the being witty bit. When in doubt, bag yourself! I know I did.

In the final pyramid the team that won heads in alone, without any celebrity help. This time round the teammates are trying to guess the category rather than the words. So in this case one team member is facing the pyramid and listing heaps of different words, ie: shoes, socks, flippers, boots etc etc. And their teammate is trying to guess "things that go on your feet". Every answer correct is a prize.

Ok so have I described the game enough? Probably. Does it make no sense. Definitely. Do you have to watch the show when it's on. Up to you. I guess I really just wanted to give you an idea of what it's all about. It's meant to air sometime in September but I can't confirm anything right now, it was originally meant for July but you know how tv is. Don't you? Neither.

In my next post I wanna give you some of the highlights of shooting this show because there were some of the funniest and most ambiguous pieces of tv that I've ever been involved with and sure to make you laugh.

Until then my friends. Say hi to your mummy for me (bad Egyptian Pyramid joke)

'Nuff Said

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just car

Not a huge rant or rave this time. Just an appreciation of two 'athletes' who can drive/ride a vehicle with the best of them. You've got to think when you watch videos like this, how many times have they crashed or hurt themselves? However when the end result is as good as this all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

Ken Block's driving skills
Danny Macaskill's bike prowess

Too much talent

'Nuff said