Behind the Scenes of a Lifetime TV Series: One Born Every Minute
He’s not a Doctor, but he needs to dress like one and blend in like the rest of the medical staff at Riverside Hospital in Columbus for the next six weeks.
While everyone else there is either having a baby or helping someone have a baby, his job is to make sure it all gets recorded and organized on at least one of nearly three dozen video cameras.
He’s Shawn Burrs, Ohio Center for Broadcasting Graduate and Instructor, decked out in scrubs for this stint as a freelance tape operator for a Lifetime TV series.
Shawn agreed to share his experiences with us during the taping…here’s the first installment of his weekly blog:
Burrs: What I’m looking at right now is a sports fan’s dream. Giant video panels displaying what 32 cameras positioned throughout the labor and delivery area of the hospital are capturing. If I was a college football junkie and this was a Saturday in September, I could have the man cave of all man caves.
Only I’m not, and this isn’t. The highlights I care about are scenes of ordinary people, going through probably the most extraordinary moment of their lives: the birth of their child.
If you watched “One Born Every Minute” last winter on Lifetime TV, you know the format. Shot at Riverside Hospital because it’s one of the busiest maternity wards in the country, and narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis. Each episode tells the story of three deliveries and what the parents experience as they go through labor and meet their child for the first time. The stories are dramatic, sometimes funny, occasionally scary, often absurd…and always intense.
My job is to make sure there’s a tape recording each shot all night long, and to organize who’s on each one. When the producers determine which stories they want to show, they need to know where to find the video of that couple leading up to the birth. So far, there’ve been at least a couple of babies born on each of my overnight shifts. Here’s one story you’ll probably see this fall:
Woman gets pregnant, father-to-be overdoses on heroin upon hearing the news, then stays clean for 9 months. At the birth, he cries harder than any man I’ve ever seen, then names the baby after his sobriety sponsor. But wait there’s more: the two families can’t stand each other and the nurses have to mediate their interaction.
Photo Credit: Sarah Reido