Wow, where do I begin? All of this still seems surreal. Betty White was one of the hardest interviews to get but SO worth it. It took my Co-Producer Jon and I almost 8 months to get her to sit down with Carlos. That woman is the hardest working gal is show biz! She is 92 and still going strong! I don't know how she does it! When I got the call that she would sit with us we were overjoyed and wanted to film it ASAP! When I got to work that day I immediately told Carlos and he agreed to shoot the interview asap. So, we booked her the following week.
AWARD WINNING SPECIAL: "Love, Betty White"
What I normally do before interviews is sit down with the Anchor/Reporter and we discuss what we want from the interview and what we need to cover. We had a half-hour with her but so much to talk about, so we wanted to outline some key points from her past and also concentrate on the present. We wanted this to be a fun but informative conversation.
The day of the interview I was excited and nervous at the same time. I never get star struck but its Betty White! I got there with minutes to spare and took out my notes. She made her entrance and was very gracious. She sat down with Carlos and started cracking jokes. Ms. White exudes positivity and was very down to earth. I think she had a crush a Carlos. They bonded instantly as if they had known each other for years. I sat there thinking "Is this really happening?" The interview went by quickly and was so fluid! At 92-years-old Ms. White is still very sharp and witty with her answers and snappy comebacks with Carlos! She also agreed to shoot some quick promos and take photos right after. I asked for a photo and she was very kind and took my hand and had a quick but nice conversation. I was so happy with the outcome I could not wait to start putting this together!
This special took about two months to put together. I sat in on every edit session; I wanted this to be perfect. I wanted it to be informative, funny and have heart all at the same time. What I like to do going into this is have the interview carry the special. No, packages just an intimate conversation. To me this is much more engaging but hard to do. With Betty it wasn't hard. I didn't have to cut much out and it was very fluid.
Thanks to our Editor Tane McClure who put his all together and created such an amazing look!! Now, I need Carlos' approval. He doesn't see the specials till the end. So, it's time for him to look at it and lets me know what changes need to be made. We sent it over to him and I got to work expecting a list of notes. He looked at me and said, "This is perfect!" and he gives me a hug. I say "What? No changes?" He says, "Nope, leave it as is!" I had to pinch myself!! To me this was the most nerve-wracking part of the whole process! When someone who has been your mentor for years critiques your work. I admire Carlos so much. He is a great journalist and such a pleasure to work with. He believed in me and gave me a shot! I am so very thankful for that.
Now onto awards season. The first being the National Entertainment Journalism Awards an event done by the LA Press Club. It was November 24th at the beautiful Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA. We got two nominations one for our Betty White special and the other for our Hugh Hefner special we did last year. We were excited just to get nominated! We had some stiff competition from hundreds of entries! We all went and had fun not expecting much and guess what WE WON for our "Love. Betty White" special!!! We all sat there for a moment and said, "Did we just win?" Yes, we did! We won our first national award!
The Judge's Comments:"Love, Betty White" Fox/Carlos Media Corp: "Carefully constructed and researched. A complete and total retrospective told with grace and humor." They so GOT IT!! And we set out to put a different slant to it. WE did it!!
A VERY special thanks to Carlos Amezcua for believing in me and all of us! Also, my best friend and Co-Producer, Jon B. Patton who worked so hard on this!!! And our Editor Tane McClure for doing an amazing job putting it all together! GO TEAM!!! THANK YOU!!!!!
Up next Golden Mics and The Emmy's! Wish us luck!!
If you missed our special here it is: "Love, Betty White"