One of the things that was aesome about Nickelodeon was all of the creative fun promos and bumpers that were on the network. You became intrigued by the slogans and animations because the staff were just that smart in knowing what excites kids. In this interview we learn from Misty Gentle who worked from the beginning to when Nickelodeon Studios opened to about 1998 and was in charge of writing & producing promos, supervising scripts, and other producer roles on what her experience was like. She had lots of fond memories!
1. How did you get involved in the entertainment business?
I was a featured extra in Porky’s III and found myself more interested in what was happening behind the camera than I was being in front of the camera. So, I went to college for “TV Production”.
2. What was your first impression of the Nickelodeon Studios when you got there?
Fun, creative, and cool!
3. What was a typical day like being there?
There was nothing ‘typical’ about it. You just looked forward to a good day!
4. As a Florida native, how great was it to have all the film production going on in Orlando, being labeled as “Hollywood East” back then, and why it has since decreased?
Loved being part of it at that time!
5. If you could take home any type of prop from the studios what would it be?
We did get to take home props or wardrobe when they were cleaning out. I have the prop snake from an episode of “My Brother and Me” because I had to stand in for the leading actor when he went home sick (with the ‘real snake’). The producers thought it was funny and gave it to me at the end of the season. I have a few things from other shows also.
6. Any celeb sightings that you remember seeing as part of the grand opening?
When they ran out of tour guides to assign celebrities, I was a young college intern and had the opportunity to escort Christopher Atkins. So, I met and saw many of the celebs that were there.
7. Have you ever been slimed?
Luckily, ‘no’…not my thing.
8. Is there a bit of a difference between working on a game show and then a scripted series?
Yes, I worked on both and enjoyed both as well. I like the routine of the scripted shows but the energy of the game shows!
9. How great was all the staff who worked there? I always hear positive stories.
The best!!! Still in touch with many of them!!!
10. Were the promos something that were easy to come up with based on timing and assigning them out to the network?
11. What do you recall the most about the green slime geyser that was outside the front of the studio?
Just that it was there. Didn’t really think about it.
12. You may not be aware but how do you feel knowing that the studios and all the great 90s Nickelodeon shows made such a positive impact on fans and is still loved today?
It warms my heart and makes me smile! I love the look on peoples’ face when I share my experience there.
13. Do you mind explaining what you have been up to these days?
I am currently working on a new game show as a content producer. The show is called “The Game Plane” and will begin airing this fall. It actually takes place on an airplane – Allegiant Air.Look out, you could end up on our show!
14. Favorite behind the scenes memory.
So, many! But, at this moment I am remembering the time I had to stand in for ‘Dee Dee’ on the sitcom ‘My Brother and Me’ for a camera rehearsal with a real live snake that gets wrapped around his legs as he hides from his parents. I don’t like snakes and here I had to let the animal trainer wrap it around my legs as the director set his shots. The crew had a good laugh and they recorded the rehearsal to present to me later with the prop snake to keep as a keepsake.
15. Do you think your experience being there was a learning process in terms of the work you do now in a beneficial way?
16. What do you think made Nick Studios so great and special?
The fact that it was ‘for kids’!!!! It was edgy, messy, wacky, silly, and oh so creative!!!! Everyone could be a kid again.
17. Would you like to see it be re-opened?
I miss the old Nick days in Orlando but, I don’t see it re-opening. I really just wish it never left but, I am learning that things change and we have to adapt.