PBS Frontline to Tackle the Question of Vaccines

I don’t usually wear make-up.

If you don’t wear make-up you look washed out on TV.

Last weekend a PBS film crew was in town shooting footage for a Frontline documentary about the vaccine debate. They have been talking to people around the country on both sides of the issue, including Paul Offit, Jenny McCarthy, Bob Sears, Barbara Loe Fisher, J. B. Handley, and more.

They came to Ashland, Oregon because many parents here choose not to vaccinate at all, choose to selectively vaccinate, or choose to vaccinate fully but on a different schedule than the one recommended by the CDC.

At any given time in my house there’s a rambunctious 6-year-old pogo sticking in the living room, an 8-year-old reading on the couch, a 10-year-old practicing cartwheels, and a baby being a baby. So the producer, who wanted to interview me about our family’s decisions, suggested I come to their hotel room.

The first interview was Saturday morning. Since I don’t have make-up, our 17-year-old babysitter brought over her mom’s in the morning. Only she was late because the power blipped off in her house and the alarm didn’t go off and she overslept. Luckily I could blame the baby.

“You look horrible,” my 10-year-old said when I got back from being interviewed by PBS for three hours. “You look like you have bags under your eyes. Take that stuff off.”

“It’s awful,” her younger sister agreed.

Sunday afternoon Etani went to his friend Finn’s house. Baby Leone and I were to participate in a discussion about vaccines with Dr. Jim Shames, M.D., who is the Jackson County Health Officer. Finn’s mom put some eye shadow and mascara on me.

Then we walked in a rain storm with gusting winds. You can imagine how I looked by the time we arrived.

Monday they took B-roll of Hesperus doing gymnastics, Etani swimming at the Y, and me being spit-up on by Baby Leone. It was so hot in the swimming pool area that I felt like I was having early-onset menopause. No make-up Monday.

Tuesday before they left town they realized they needed more B-roll and stopped by to film the front of our house (think: uncut grass, untrimmed trees) and me in my office. I work at my computer sitting cross-legged on a couch. I was wearing a skirt, which kept riding up. “Uh, that’s NOT going to work,” the producer said. No make-up Tuesday.

The filmmakers shoot dozens of hours of footage and then spend 13 weeks editing it down to one hour. The film airs in April. We won’t find out until then if my made-up face makes the cut.

PBS producer Kate McMahon reviews her notes before the interview

PBS producer Kate McMahon reviews her notes before the interview

Camera man Mark Rublee sets up the microphone before the cameras start rolling

Camera man Mark Rublee sets up the microphone before the cameras start rolling


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on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 10:04 am and is filed under rejecting modern medicine.
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