DREAMS & REALITY - Me!! Peter Harmon

Hello!! Today I'm debuting DREAMS & REALITY, my new blog series. As a prototype I interviewed someone I know pretty well... ME!

Name: Peter Harmon
A handful of credits: Transcriber/Logger/Production Assistant/Story Assistant on Intervention, Producer on Celebrity Wife Swap and Home Free

How did you get into Reality TV?
My directing teacher back at Towson University was simultaneously teaching the class while also producing episodes of A&E's Intervention. He would go on location to shoot or work in post in LA then fly to Maryland to teach a Saturday directing class. Once I moved out to LA he was one of my very few contacts. I met him for lunch, asked him about work, and he said he did have a job for me, transcribing, but it wasn't a great job.

I said "I'll take it!"

What is transcribing?
At the time when I was doing it a few years ago, I would watch a DVD of interview footage and type exactly what the interviewer and the interview subject were saying. I made $1 per transcribed minute, which sounds pretty cool, except when you're trying to figure out what drug addicts are saying through their slurred, hazy speech.

How did you get promoted from Transcriber to Logger to PA to Story Assistant all on one show?
I worked on Intervention for about 5 years, roughly 7 seasons. This is not typical in Reality TV. Usually a stint on a show lasts a couple months and then it's time to find a new job. So, since I always got my transcription minutes in on time with few errors and took "rush minutes" and was a pretty cool dude they promoted me to Night Logger. Logging footage (when I was doing it a few years ago...) was watching raw footage and making excel documents about what happened in the footage for the producers and editors to look through to find a topic or a shot or an OTF (On The Fly interview) that they may need.
I actually could have gotten promoted to Production Assistant sooner but my wife and I had our first son while I was night logging and I logged at night and watched the baby during the day. So I didn't take a day position a couple times when it was offered because we weren't making enough really for childcare and he was still so little we wanted me to watch him. 
During that period of time I didn't get a ton of sleep... 
Once our baby was bigger we transitioned to childcare and I switched to the day shift and right around then the current Story Assistant was promoted and I took his spot. 
I attribute the promotions to: being around, learning, making my intentions of going into the story department known, having a good attitude, and being a chill dude.

What's a weird thing about Reality TV that no one thinks about?
People have microphones strapped to their bodies while they're being filmed. They forget they have them on. They go to the bathroom. 
I've heard dozens, maybe hundreds, of people pee.

You must have moved to Hollywood with a dream, what is it and how are you still pursuing that dream? 
I have been shooting video, making movies, and writing since I was a kid. I started as a camera person and switchboard operator on my elementary school's morning show. I wrote poems and stories throughout grade school and took television productions classes in high school. My curfew was before all of my friends had to be home so after I hung out with them I'd hit Blockbuster and see what was new, what was in the Sundance section, what else had some writer done that I had just discovered.
I went to college for Electronic Media & Film and Creative Writing.
Simply, I came to Hollywood to write movies.  
And I have! I've written several produced direct to DVD movies (when that was still a thing...), for example, anyone a big fan of Nora's Hair Salon 3???? I wrote that. I also wrote a movie that was released last year, shot in Tokyo, called Love In Tokyo. And a handful of sketch videos, a web series, and other various projects. 
I'm still out here writing and hustling to do bigger movies. I wrote a young adult novel that I hope will be adapted into a movie at some point as well. SO I am still on my journey.

Thanks Pete!
Check out The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last. The sequel is coming this summer.

Hey Reality TV friends! I'd like to interview YOU! Please email me at TheHappenstances at gmail.com or message me on Facebook or whatever. THANK YOU!!!

Pete Reads: Catcher In The Rye

I had a funny thought when I saw the movie Gravity.

I mean, the thought itself wasn't that funny, but it was funny that I had it while watching Gravity, you'll see what I mean. But let me first set the scene: I was a little buzzed and I was in the movie theater 100% alone. It was like a tipsy private screening for just me! It was awesome. I like to see movies alone and this was as alone as you can get this side of an extinction level event. I was going to say zombie apocalypse but if a swarm of zombies burst into the theater while I was watching Gravity that would not be enjoyable in the least!

I watched Gravity and loved it. Afterwards I was marveling at what humans are capable of (still buzzed, can you tell?). First, people go into space, that's intense, good for them (astronauts) and us (person-kind) and U.S. (USA! USA!). Second, the filmmaking was pretty incredible. I was like, well, they must have filmed that in space, that was a documentary, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are astronauts... sexy astronauts...

It got me thinking that yes, this is a very good modern movie, but there are so many incredible works of film, literature, music, PAINTINGS, for goodness sake!! I need to step up my game and take in the best art that I can. We only have so much time on this Earth, do I want to spend any of it watching the 4th Final Destination movie for the 3rd time!? (The answer to that question is yes by the way, so, bad example, but you get my point).

Pete, why are you telling me this? you may be thinking. And I would respond that that was my roundabout way of explaining why I just read Catcher In The Rye for the first time. It's a classic, I didn't have to read it in high school, and I've heard about it a bunch but I didn't even know what it was about. All I knew was that comedian/podcaster/actor/etc Moshe Kasher titled his memoir of his tumultuous teen years "Kasher In The Rye." And also there's that joke in The Good Girl when Jake Gyllenhaal (by the way just spelled that right on the first try, blammo) tells Jennifer Anniston that he's named after Catcher In The Rye and she says "What's your name? Catcher?" 

Also Ash owns the book and it was sitting around the house lookin' all fine and I just hadta read it.

I was delighted when I began Catcher In The Rye. I love Holden Caulfield's voice and the style with which he's written. In hindsight I've read that teens identify with his worldview, which I sort of get, but reading him as a 30-year-old I thought he was immature and spoiled and sheltered. His descriptions of people and events were hilarious. Since I didn't know the 'plot' of the book I kept waiting for the story to kick in but it never does and I was still along for the meandering ride.

Overall I give it 4 out of 5 Catcher's Mitts. Very enjoyable.