Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bayou Classic

In what has become an annual tradition spanning 35 years. Two proud and historical programs, Southern University & Grambling State, travel to the Big Easy to continue a rivalry spanning decades. A 60 minute event that causes rifts between family and friends. A game that turned names like Carmichael, Williams, Blount, and Robinson into legends of college football. Where winning can make or ruin an entire season.

This is the Bayou Classic, the 35th edition. The championship stakes are high but bragging rights are just as valuable. Winner goes to the championship game in Birmingham, AL. Loser has to hear the smack talk for 365 days. Not an easy thing to deal with.

But this is more than just a game. The attraction brings families back together, at least before kickoff anyway. For the Big Easy this means dollars. An instant way to help plug up any hole in the budget. For the fans pure entertainment. The Bands, the Greek shows, the parties. For us at the Raggedy, one more hurdle to clear.

I've dealt with the madness before. The crowds. The unnecessary people roaming the sidelines getting in front of my lens. And of course the endless number of TV time outs. For Erin this was her first experience. I know she covered the team this year but this game is a totally different beast. Not because of the national television exposure but the people who act as if they have never ventured out in the world before. I know it suppose to be a good time but when you work in the media we don't have time to party until the deadline is done.

So after dealing with the endless number of people, mainly the ones who had too much liquid refreshment, we were able to get the game and shoot post. Now the hard part. Getting the stuff back to BR. No Sat Truck so email was the only option. Just one problem...the Internet was down in the press box. No I'm not kidding. So after shooting a four hour game, hustling to get players for post, and dealing with the idiots who wouldn't leave us alone to shoot some stand ups all of our efforts would go up in smoke because someone didn't check to see if the connection to cyber space was working. Not this time. Erin managed to find a working connection. It's worth having good relationships you can count on in this business. We got the stuff edited and emailed back in time for the show. Whoo, that's over but the day continues. We still have to fight traffic back to the Big Raggedy and edit for the late show. Just another day at the office.
And as for the game, there were some big moments but things didn't go SU's way. There's always next year, did you know?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Watchful Eye

With the holiday season in full swing being away from family can be tough. Being thousands of miles away from home can be hard. Now imagine the place you call home with family and friends being under siege by an unknown threat.

That what's happening to some college students from Mumbai, India.

While enjoying the Thanksgiving traditions, the NP and I find one who's in contact with his family as well as keeping a watchful eye on the unknown.

Team Players

After working an overnight fire yesterday, thankfully no injuries or fatalities, I had a strange feeling that it was coming. My lovely assignment editor laid out the sheet and informed XRAY TED and myself that she needed someone to quote, "bite the bullet". That means one of us is going to the airport for the annual busiest travel day of the year story. This was a blessing in disguise, I needed to keep the adrenaline going if I was going to make it through the day.

So I load up the White Whale with the Nubian Princess and head to the Airport. Besides some of the check in people acting like they have never seen a camera things were relatively calm. No long lines, no screaming families, just calmness. Going to have really find something to make this interesting. The NP and I find some stuff and manage to fill some time with some help from the Turdpolisher. Thanks again Polisher.

As for XRAY TED, he had his hands full as well. Pretty busy on the day before Thanksgiving, did you know?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deja Vu

This all seems to familiar. The afternoon meeting ends. The producers start putting the shows together. An idea pops up about a local tie in to a national story. An anticipated movie based on a book is about to premiere across the nation. The hype has been built. The fans are dying to see it. And we want to go live for the late shows. Didn't I do this earlier in the year.
So I head out to the Rave Theatre to see what all of the fuss was about. And maybe get the name of this must see picture.
The name of the film is Twilight, based on books written by Stephenie Meyer. It's a romantic tale that somehow has incorporated vampires. A romantic tale involving vampires????? She must be on to something since this is causing the same amount of hysteria equaling that of a certain boy wizard.
After setting up the truck, I discover the fanfare has already begun. Hyped up teenagers started forming the lines at 4:30pm. The only thing on their mind, "Will there be any celebrities here for the movie?" Unfortunately they had to settle for Street Beat. They screamed anyway since they were able to stay past their curfew.
So as I sit on the cold concrete. Watching the teenage girls fight over who is next in line to get in to the movie. I begin to think, should I go ahead and pencil in July 21 to do this once again. The boy wizard has another movie on the horizon. And with the opening night success a sequel could be in the works for this one, did you know?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Contest Day

There is never a bad time to chill with the Nubian Princess. Unfortunately all the attention she's garnering has to deal with to words...Contest Day. A day when the Louisiana AP makes things a little more complicated while dealing with the daily news duties.
The reminder comes from the suits. The producers now are filled with ideas on how to spice up their show. The reporters will put in more legwork than usual. And the photographers will stock the run bags with another bottle of aspirin for the ensuing headaches to come.

An extra PKG, more creative writing, and of course more reporter presence for their story in the show. If there is way to put it on television it will either be dusted off or invented for this day. But it doesn't stop there.

Every "i" dotted and every "t" crossed. Content must be strong while the facts must be correct. Not to mention the execution, mostly dealing with technical issues, must be flawless. You pray the switcher and teleprompter works while your lights don't blow out during the shot.

Then it all comes to an end. You look over the shows and decide which is the best one for the AP to pass judgement on. You may win then again you may not. One things is for sure...they'll send newsrooms across the state into crisis I mean contest mode next year, did you know?

Darin' Erin

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." - Muhammad Ali

Strong words that describe one Erin Cofiell. Her journey to Big Raggedy included her college time in the Northeast and a stay over at the local "Peacock".

Now her drive has created some of the most anticipated television since Evel Knievel's attempt to jump the Grand Canyon. Ladies and gentlemen this is "Darin' Erin".

Willing to do more than just lug around a camera. Striving to ask more than just questions to local athletes. Erin is ready to go beyond the boundaries to bring the viewers a different look into the world of sports. As well as increase the station's health insurance policy.

So far Erin has challenged a star football and soccer goalie, keeping her record at .500. Her next challenge from what I hear has something to do with a hockey team. I know what you are thinking, "Hockey in south LA????" Yes it is true. I believe it is an underground sport where not paying out the bets is more brutal then being cross checked through the boards.

The series is quite entertaining and has lasted longer than Super Dave Osborne. Once the bruises heal I'm sure Erin will tackle the next challenge lying in wait. I wonder if she'll do this one?

What's This?

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been tucked away in the edit bay going through tons of stuff for this year's reel. I did manage to come out and enjoy some the cool weather that has paid the Raggedy a visit. While soaking some of the warmth of the sun I noticed this...
....small black balls have rained on the parking lot of the asylum. What could they be? Where did they come from?
Did we make the news gods angry by not bending time and space when asked by the producers after the meeting? Did a flock of birds ingest too much fiber enriched bird feed from the park and thought the BFR was mid air porto potty? Did XRAY TED open his mouth again?

Who knows? I'll get some answers but I've ruled out one conclusion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LA Animal Channel

Why hasn't the promo department start the campaign of the Big Raggedy being LA Animal Channel. Think about it there have been so many stories involving our furry and feathered friends. I remember XRAY TED chasing a goat a few yeas ago that made it to the national outlets. Then the Turdpolisher stumbled into the hunt forJo-Jo .

Now Tippy's story has come across our radar or rather the classifieds. There is always something about dogs. You can be gone for five minutes but when they see you they act like you've been gone for five days. I hope Tippy turns up soon and in good health.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Must Have For The Tool Box

After reading one of the latest writings of the Turdpolisher I had to make mention of another must have for any veteran photographer.

I'm talking good old duct tape and look it comes in new colors. Why is this a must have? Let's say you are at a press conference and the participants decide to hold it outside, no problem. But there is no podium. Mic stands are useless. Clipping a lav mic won't be effective since more than one person is going to talk. So the only logical course of action...take a light stand, whip out some duct tape, and voila. Instant podium. It may not look pretty but you just have to play the cards your're dealt.

So whether it's a securing cable across a busy floor during elections or creating a podium for a presser it's always good to have a roll of duct tape. Now to and get some more, did you know?

Election Sanity

With all of the campaigning. With all of the dollars spent on ads. The debates. The stumping for votes. It all comes down to whom the people think will best lead them this time.

For us however it's the wall to wall coverage during the night. Unfortunately it also mean dealing with the jacks who constantly invaded the designated media space.
It's bad enough you must stay on your island while the "supporters" get to roam around, mainly near the free bar. Then act like they own the place. You try to section off you equipment, the camera, the lights, etc., but somehow the supporters manage move the protective barrier and walk around with drinks in hand acting like they don't have a care in the world. All of this while your are trying to make the person who sold them to their ideas look good on the flashing box in the living room.

I try to keep my sanity. I try not to lose it with the constant bumping of my lights during the :30 live shot. I keep my mouth shut and focus on the task at hand while the mindless dribble spews from the mouths of the idiots who say, "Why do you need that?", "Does this have to be there?", or "I don't think that light will make it through the night."

Alas the results come in and the final live shot happens. Time go and edit for the early show then go home. Somehow I manage to keep my sanity for another election. I hope there's a bigger room and a cash bar next time.