There are too many details of the dinners to write out in one post. These seasons were a monster of a masterpiece and was far and away the most work we had done for a show – even though we reused a lot of the skits and ideas from previous seasons. There were many witty lines, clever timing of lights and sound effects, and great background sounds and music. We had ten different people creating this one – for just 12 lucky guests. It was monumentous in so many ways.
This show was super high energy from front to back and it was great that we worked out so many smaller issues we’d have over the course of the other dinners. The food was great and timed well, we didn’t run out of alcohol, we had some awesome guests, too.
Hosts: Mike, Vianca, Matt, Kate, Iain, Dan, Rebecca, Emily, Mark, and Kevin.
Planning and Logistics
There were lots of meetings for this one. Some people were tired of them but I thought they were necessary. The dinners had evolved from a “wing it” to a much bigger production. Not everyone liked the new bigger awesomer monster we were creating but fortunately everyone stuck with it.
At one point, Vianca and I made a timeline to show what happens when. Instead of bringing clarity to the team, many people started thinking it was all “too much”. (Note to self: some people don’t like looking at the big picture and prefer to look only at their part.)
The videos were well received. Fun fact: I was not supposed to be the newscaster. It was supposed to be Kate (thus the KATE news channel) but she no-showed on the film date so I had to hustle up an outfit and fill in. Now I live in infamy.
Here’s the “quick view” of the evening we had posted in the kitchen. It was posted in two other places in the house so that we could always see what was supposed to happen next:
Here’s a list of the tech equipment that was involved.
- Candle remote
- Strobe lights ready to go
- Spotlight clamped to bookshelf
- TV cabled to control room
- Sound on videos set to go through TV, not laptop
- Computer 1 – (Note must have libre office installed)
- Computer 1 has slideshow queded up on Mikes Mac in correct order
- Computer 1 has been set to “”no screensaver”” and “”never sleep””
- Computer 2 (Rebecca’s)
- Computer 3 logged into youtube Red in incognito window
- Computer 4 with sound links up
- Disco light in clamp light
- Wavy light
- Color strobe
- TV remote
- Big disco ball set to white/blue
- Small disco ball in clamplight
- LED lights under table and remote
- LED crystal ball and remote
- Motion-activated dolphin
- Piano floor mat
- Living room lights wired together
- On/Off power strip for faster changes
The Curious Skits
The ghosts were extremely tricky to put on and take off because they were just sheets with holes cut in them. We had to hide sheets to “turn” people into ghosts in the dark and finding our way around them was near impossible. Hopefully charming.
The logic of the show was a bit janky but no one seemed to care much.
One of the show nights, people didn’t know they were supposed to come out of the desert dungeon so just hung out in there eating their desert with their hands. We were so busy in the front of house that we didn’t notice they hadn’t come out yet. That was kind of funny. Overall the dungeon was a big success because no one was expecting such a ridiculous thing in a whole other room.
Blocking was super tricky and required a lot of changes and practice so that everything and everyone was where it needed to be at the right time. Putting on ghost outfits quickly in the dark was a constant challenge. Finding the eye holes before the lights came back on was near impossible and often we just left them wherever they lay and walked around blindly.
That sequined saw was amazing, but the sequins were constantly falling off. Three years later I am still finding sequins in my house.
Master chef Iain was cook again and worked incredibly hard on an amazing vegan dinner.