Summer 2015

On the Job: AD Eve Adair calls live TV 'damn fun'

By David Geffner

In the late-'90s Eve Adair was one of the only DGA associate directors in Nashville working in variety television, due mostly, she says, to a series of happy accidents.

"I was repping commercial photographers and my aerobics instructor mistook me for someone in the industry," Adair says. "Then I get a call from a cameraman asking if I wanted to be a PA for a director who was flying into Nashville for The Judds Farewell Concert, on pay-per-view. That director turned out to be Louis J. Horvitz, one of the go-to helmers for live TV. I had no idea who he was," Adair says.

After 10 days of fetching coffee and turkey sandwiches and running errands for Horvitz, Adair was invited into the truck to see the live show in action. "I was blown away," she recalls. "[Horvitz's] reflexes, his peripheral vision, editing in the moment—he was unbelievable."

Over the next couple of decades, Adair never really left the truck, working first in Nashville on Prime Time Country, then in New York, and L.A., "at the left" of directing pros like Jonathan Bullen, Ron de Moraes, and Glenn Weiss. Her resumé ranges from the Miss Universe pageant to Survivor to the Academy of Country Music Awards.

"One year on the ACMAs, neither of Keith Urban's two guitar amps would light up as we were coming back from commercial," Adair recalls. "So [stage manager] Gary Natoli told me: ‘I need a promo ... another and another ... ' We were in commercial black for over six minutes, and Gary has me counting back literally by the second, which is unusual. With just 21 seconds left, Gary managed to swap Keith Urban out for a band with gear that was working," she says.

Adair says working the Oscar night pre-show, Live from the Red Carpet, offers a different kind of nail-biting intensity. "There are three different stages and you want to prioritize those celebrities who have nominated films or performances," she explains. "But traffic being what it is in L.A., there's really no way to plan [if] they will land on your stage right when you need them, so you have to bank interviews."

Adair likens the atmosphere in the truck to a "Wall Street boiler room"—index cards flying everywhere as her headset buzzes with information."There are times when the EVS player has ingested an interview literally seconds before it goes to air," Adair says. "The goal is always to supply clean, concise sound bites and interviews that give each celebrity their moment. It's very challenging, and damn fun."

(Photo: Elisa Haber)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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