Filmmaker’s Dilemma and Disasters (The Great British Baking Show)

I’ve been an amateur filmmaker since I was about 13. After that, I went on to high school, UCR, and then film school. Now, almost 20 years after my dream arrived, I’ve learned a lot and grew a lot. The thing that has grown within me the most is the ability to compromise and think on my feet.

Nothing’s perfect! Things happen!

We deal with it as it comes! That’s how life works and how, as I’ve found, many projects deal. So, as I watched “The Great British Baking Show”, I found myself rather annoyed with how they handled some things, ESPECIALLY episode 4, when Iain’s ice cream was sabotaged by Diana. (You can argue all you like, but the footage is clear.) I read the aftermath of the event in an article from The Guardian and found a GREAT many details had been left out that REALLY MATTERS. I know, I’m just an amateur filmmaker, but even I have enough sense to know what to do to avoid such a fiasco!!

Dilemma >> Disaster

Freezers Breaking Down >> Scramble For Space

As stated in the article, two freezers broke down, which caused the contestants to use only two. But, because of the size of their projects, it left little space for all of them to fit given the ambitions of the others. Because Iain couldn’t fit his in the freezer he was assigned, he saw that there was space in the other so, he put it there. Not knowing Diana would take his out and leave it on the end of her work table. A careless mistake on her part but, she is the wrong-doer in this.

Hot Day >> Hot Tempers

THE DAY WAS SWELTERING. It was clearly caught on the cameras. THE TENT TEMPERATURE WAS SWELTERING. Everyone was talking about it, glistening with sweat, and everything was melting. When Iain first showed us his less-set ice cream, it still held its form. When he saw it at the end of Diana’s table, it was a melted puddle of goop.

Living in SoCal, I can attest to hot temperatures. I’ve left ice cream out to soften in 109 degrees Fahrenheit days and 40 seconds is not long enough to make it goop. It takes a few minutes. So, if the weather was hot, and Diana and the others claimed it was only out for 40 seconds, they are wrong. (I have done a similar test in the countrysides of GuiYang, China. Still takes more than 40 seconds.) If Great Britain is anywhere as hot as SoCal summers or China summers, it needs more time, which means it was out for more time than that.

Desperate Times >> Desperate Measures

The bake called for ice cream to set, so everyone was struggling due to the lack of space. Iain went to another freezer because he couldn’t use the one he was assigned to. And, though Diana would know it was wrong, she would be desperate to set her swan and could easily remove Iain’s without thinking twice about it. In desperate times, people act ridiculously and that can have a harmful outcome to anyone. Unfortunately, this costed someone their finished work and another’s reputation.

All of these things happen, but the one thing the producers could have done was change the theme and… THEY FAILED THE SHOW. I’m sure Paul & Mary had many spectacular pieces of work they could have compromised with like making an amazing Pound Cake or a Molten Lava Pastry. Instead, the producers chose to go ahead with the idea of making ice cream while on a shortage of freezers.


Which puts all fault on the producers. And you can argue with me all you like, but not just 2 people’s relationship was ruined, their reputations and public images were destroyed, along with the confidence of the remaining contestants in the show’s abilities to carry on a GOOD SHOW.

Weigh it in your minds:

  1. Change the theme to fit the weather and conditions
  2. Keep the theme and risk catastrophe

Which one is the more practical choice to you?

As an indie filmmaker, the choice for me is always to change the theme to fit the weather and conditions because, working on a set with difficulties stacked on top of what issues were already there isn’t a good idea. If two freezers break down before the challenge, I would change the theme to something that doesn’t need freezers as heavily and would allow them more time to work with the heat. Cause and effect… in independent filmmaking, it matters more than keeping up the appearance of control.

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