Mary Fons: On The Other Side of The Camera – Fons & Porter

Fang (Cameraman/Superman) & ME

Every year, in the spring and in the fall, I have the pleasure of going back to my home state of Iowa to tape Love of Quilting. This has been true for a number of years – I can never remember how many – and I look forward to it. This last trip, I went back to tape the 2800 series (airs in June in Iowa – check your local listings for other areas!). Quilting shows, like this one, are a lot of work and hosting isn’t what I’d call easy; there’s a tremendous amount of pressure to do a flawless job, but I have always brought my 100% best, even before I knew what I was doing up there.

I love to meet the guests for each series and it’s good to connect with the Fons & Porter editorial team. But, you know what my favorite part is? The crew.

The behind-the-scenes team of Love of Quilting on PBS are some of my dearest friends, who I never get to see except during taping. I’m not talking about the production team at Fons & Porter (Colleen Tauke and Diane Tomlinson, I’m looking at you!), but of the guys and gals who make the pretty lights go on, move the cameras around, and finish up with snappy editing when it’s time for that.

Ande, Julie, Scott “Fang” Faine, Jim, Torpe, Steve, Rick, Russ, Phil, Tyler, the interns (Mary and Kelly this year and last!), and people I am surely forgetting (PLEASE SOMEONE EMAIL ME AND TELL ME BEFORE YOU PASS THIS AROUND!!!). They’re the reason this quilting show sounds great, looks good, makes sense, and, for me, is a blast to make.

You should see the control room where Ande, Julie, and/or Tyler “call the show,” which means they direct it, essentially. It’s on the other side of the building from the set. You should see the four cameras that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; they’re on wheels and are bigger than several of us stacked on top of each other. The headsets, the blinky lights, the step-outs, the tip table coordination… It’s all pretty amazing, and the guests who come to watch are always dazzled and overwhelmed when they see it all come together.

Incredible, you guys. I care for you all very much, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this part of my job an absolute pleasure.

Mary Fons
Happy Quilting!


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