Portrait of a lady, day fifteen

SEVERINE THIBAUT Severine Thibaut -- 36 years old -- is a script girl for France Televisions on the Dakar, a race she is covering for the second time. "I am a freelancer, she says with twinkling eyes, discretely checking on her palls taking ...

SEVERINE THIBAUT

Severine Thibaut -- 36 years old -- is a script girl for France Televisions on the Dakar, a race she is covering for the second time. "I am a freelancer, she says with twinkling eyes, discretely checking on her palls taking a break and preparing some misfits' trick of their own... So I was working for France Televisions when -- two years ago -- the then director asked me to work with him on the Dakar. That's when I met the team of the present director, Lionel Wetzer, who called me back this year..." As she was finishing her studies in literature and audiovisual technologies, because she wanted to work in cinema, Severine was looking for some on-the-job training. She did not find anything in the movies, but in television she sure did. "I entered a world I did not know that I liked right away, she adds. I worked as production assistant for two years and for the last eight years, I have been working as a continuity girl which means that I am in charge of managing time during the broadcast and that I must anticipate upon the needs of the director. Work starts right after the shower and breakfast, around 10:00 AM, and lasts until 7:00 PM because we have three shows: one on France 2, one on France 3 and one on France 4. When she arrives on the Dakar, Severine finds a huge, well-oiled machine and a fabulous human adventure. "On television, like on the Dakar, there are people from all over the world; it's a real tower of Babel and it works perfectly. I love this 'family' feeling and this bubble we live in for three weeks... Here people show their real faces; there are no masks. At 5:00 AM what you see is what you get. And given our living conditions, in dust and sand and without much sleep... you see the real nature of people revealed. Here there are no men and no women; there are only human beings living together in harmony, there are only friends. It is -- by the way -- pretty surprising to be in a world of men... I set stylishness aside for three weeks but as there are not a lot of girls here, the guys take great care of me; they carry my bag. I am sort of their 'princess-pall'." My only regret is not to have enough time -- or courage for that matter, because I am pretty shy -- to go meet the participants that I see in our TV reports. I have a lot of admiration for what they accomplish. Next year, I will take the time to stroll around a little in the bivouac and discover their universe some more!"

-credit: aso

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Series Dakar