Hey Frit-ers, it’s Maura here! This semester I am studying abroad in Paris through the IES French Studies program. My host father works for many TV shows here in Paris, and one day he brought me along to the set of “Le Grand Journal”.
“Le Grand Journal” is a famous French talk show hosted by Michel Denisot and Daphné Bürki. The guests on Le Grand Journal that day were chefs from France’s “Top Chef”, new downhill skiing world record-holder Marion Rolland, the band “Skip the Use”, and some political figures.
With my badge labeled “technician”, I sat at the host’s table on set and watched “Skip the Use” warmup and rehearse their songs for the show later that evening. Next, Michel and Daphné came on stage to look over their scripts. The set consists of a square-ish table and 8 chairs where the hosts and guests all sit and talk. During the prep time, the director would have me and other station workers sit in specific chairs while Michel and Daphné read through their scripts so that they could pretend that we were the different guests for that evening. Having people in all of the chairs also helped the camera and lighting crews calibrate their machines.
Even though the show functions smoothly every day when I am not there, I’d like to think that my presence was crucial to the show’s success that night. The hosts and guests were very nice. They all talked to me and asked me questions, and I responded in my “I-speak-French-but-I’m-nervous-because-I’m-talking-to-all-of-these-famous-people” French. When it was time to film, I sat in the front row and watched excitedly as everyone entered the stage in front of the ooh-ing and ahh-ing crowds and “Skip the Use” performed his fantastic songs once again. Being on the set of “Le Grand Journal” that night with my “technician” badge really made me feel French.