Name: Candice Francis
I met Candice a few years ago when I was stringing together my first several reality TV jobs in a row after A&E's Intervention went on hiatus (then was cancelled, then was brought back a year or so later).
I was the Story Assistant on The Car Chasers, a show where the host bought, fixed up, and flipped cars. Candice came on as a Story Producer a month or so into my time there and instantly fit into the story room but also added her own energy. She's brash, opinionated, and hilarious (see her answers below for a taste of her wit and writing style). Sometimes she yells at her computer monitor...
We also bonded because we're both parents, so we were familiar with the parent/post-production lifestyle.
So Candice, how did you get into Reality TV?
I always knew I wanted to do something with writing. Toward the end of high school I began to pursue songwriting. The best way for me to get my words heard was to venture out as a solo artist, which is very expensive. My mom invested in professional recording equipment and I learned to engineer by watching. Along with doing extra work in film and television, I found myself equipped with technical skills to accompany my writing talents.
"Extra work" or "background acting" is a low-paying gig you can get out here in LA where you're an extra in movie and television scenes that need people in them: party scenes, the mall, etc, etc. I did that work several months when I first got out here, that's a whole different blog post/ or maybe a whole different blog...
One day after an extra work gig, a peer of mine told me about her job as a "logger." Completely unrelated to it's subjectively more fascinating homonym, logging is the most tedious process in production; wherein footage is watched down and labeled for producers to more efficiently storyboard, as well as transcribing.
Isn't transcribing the worst??
Omg, transcribing is like when you became an adult and you had to start filling out your own paperwork. It feels great to be independent but you wish your mom would do it.
I started to do that at night, and worked my way up the ranks: logger/transcriber to story assistant, associate producer, story producer, senior story producer, and supervising story producer. I've since taken a step back to balance my at-home and work responsibilities.
What's a weird thing about Reality TV that no one thinks about?
The dichotomy of being sensitive enough to recognize nuance of relationship dynamics and having thick enough skin to handle the constant criticism.
Yes, a big part of our job is getting notes and notes (and notes) and reworking and reworking (and reworking) our scenes, how do you handle that aspect?
Breathe. And try not to take completely personally critical notes, personal.
I definitely have gotten a note that said something like "Are you an idiot?" Not helpful bro...
And you're a mom! What is it like 1) being a woman in Reality TV?
Like any office environment, post-production is a microcosm of life. The dynamics between men and women differ from project to project. Of course there are your boys' clubs but I feel like dealing with the opposite sex is about understanding the stereotypes and how to deal with people based on a general knowledge what their preconceived notions about you are; as a woman, a mixed-race woman at that (or just black to most people), a woman who curses, a mom, a Canadian. As all of those, being secure in who I am, I simply trudge on through the misunderstanding and misogyny and sprinkle in a little of my own anti-feminist humor to stay sane.
Now, PMS is another story; we should all just hide in the bathroom stall and avoid any professional interaction.
And 2) being a mother in post-production?
Rough. As you know the norm is a 10 to 7 schedule but being a single Mom I have to make a deal for every contract that I can come in early and leave at 5 to pick my son up from after school care. Sometimes "it's a thing," because I work for single people who just don't get it, and sometimes, everything is great.
And then we get notes... death. The end.
What is a PERK of post production reality TV producing?
The casual environment. From sweats to business casual attire is all acceptable. And sarcasm is an integral part of the fabric of making "quality reality tv."
I'm a big fan of this aspect of our job as well...
Thank you Candice!! 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!!!