Monday, May 31, 2010

Country Grammar

Senator’s Log: May 30, 2010. In years past Memorial Day weekend would be quiet. Not much is happening in Baton Rouge. This place is a virtual ghost town with everyone heading to some beach resort, not the case now with that black plume in the Gulf. Producers in the newsroom are hard pressed to find something to fill time in the shows besides the usual holiday travel and boat safety story, the latter did happen and with great consequences. However this weekend was a little different. Actually it was a couple of years in the making. The promoters of Jazz Fest, down in the Big Easy, decided to roll the dice and put on a similar event in the Red Stick but this time they went with Country Music. So the brains got together pooling their intellectual resources to create the inaugural Bayou Country Superfest. Granted Louisiana is known for its wide range of musical genera that has livened up most dance floors. There’s Zydeco over in the Acadianas, New Orleans has a reputation for some of the best Jazz Music in the world, and even Baton Rouge has spawned a Blues music following. However, Country music in South Louisiana? Will it work?

There must have been a persistent voice whispering, “If you build it they will come?” Hey it worked in Field of Dreams. Thousands of people from 43 states and three countries descended on the Red Stick to catch some of Country Music’s biggest stars. Naturally with an event of this magnitude within striking distance of the asylum we had to go and cover it. Just one minor detail, Country Music just isn’t my style and I had no clue what I was getting into. It isn’t every day I am thrown into the unknown, wait that is what happens to me during the week. Don’t get me wrong I knew some performers like Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, and Keith Urban. Thankfully my girl Taylor was there to point me in the right direction and get a picture of me in all of the excitement. Yeah Taylor. No not the one who was interrupted by Kayne during the awards show although she will be a well known sports reporter one day. With an all star line up performing over 14 hours of their greatest hits I was to roll off about four minutes of video. Hey, can’t afford the rights to play all of these songs surprised I was able to get that much.

Overall the event was a success. The crowd got into every lyric that was sung inside the stadium. The newsroom was happy to have something different on television. And I got a brief education from other music genera. Now I am more than just Hip Hop and R&B now good thing there is room on my Ipod. Next year may have to find some decent seat since I am familiar with the layout. For now it’s time to find some Aleve, got one hell of a headache at the moment.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Paging Dr. Hollins...

And you thought it was intimidating to see me with the fancy cam & the fuzzy mic. Looking at some large guy in scrubs, getting prep to perform surgery in the operating room, will certainly send chills down someone’s spine. Don’t worry, the only operations I perform involve turning ideas into interesting stories on the news. Whether it’s some scouts showing off their racing skills, the impact of the interstate shutting down, or some parents not taking responsibility for their kids part of the job is to mix and match video into a nice sequence of events. Now that I think about it our work mirrors that of Dr. Frankenstein, “It’s alive…alive!!!!”

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Beautiful Game

With the 2010 World Cup right around the corner I found this nicely done spot from our friends at Nike.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birthday 2010

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to have the day off for their birthday. Yes the sun is out, a few clouds are in the sky, and the heat is turning up but you still want to sit back, reflect, and then celebrate life. Unfortunately my birthday comes during one of the busiest times of the year. Granted I have been close a couple of times however news doesn’t stop even on the day you were given life.

So how do you enjoy the day? Well, you aren’t going to get the chance to hang out with a beautiful, intelligent, aspiring model every year. You enjoy it with an early morning phone call from your mom to start the day. You enjoy it with people who care about you sending their best wishes via your Facebook & Twitter pages, isn’t technology wonderful. You enjoy it with some homemade cupcakes from Darin Erin. You enjoy it with a surprise phone call from Nashville with C-Line on the other end. You enjoy it with the Nubian Princess, The Meeks, & XRAY TED surprising you in the newsroom with a card, a song, and a nice cookie cake. It didn’t matter what assignment was thrown my way, nothing was going to put a damper on May 20th thanks to some really good people in my life.

With that let me say thank you to everyone. You are the best people anyone could have in their life. Y’all really know how to make someone feel special and a keep smile on my face from the time the sun rises all the way through the moon gracing the night sky. I love you all.

I look forward to celebrating with you next year and the many more to come after that, did you know?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jedi Knights of the Red Stick

The year was 1977. I was a young child just starting life. My mom took me to one the of old movie theaters in the city to catch the vision of George Lucas know as Star Wars. I was a no more than year old and I must admit that I had no recollection of seeing Darth Vader on the big screen. After gaining a few more years and a grasp of Rebel Alliance doing battle with the Galactic Empire, I caught every movie and television show there was. From Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith I watched every saber duel, every dramatic twist, every Ewok dance, and every Yoda-ism as the battle between good and evil raged on in a galaxy far far away.

Fast forward to last weekend’s Live After Five concert. The band was rocking, the crowd danced like there was no tomorrow, and the heat was bearable. Just another weekly get together in the concert series. So as I was setting up my shot for the five pm show who would show up but these guys. Characters from some of my favorite movies are in the Red Stick. Leaping off the big screen into the newscast while promoting their upcoming concert. Anakin, Leia, and a couple of Republic Troops took some time to entertain the crowd and bring back memories of the time I first saw the Death Star get blown up. We all wanted an X Wing Fighter to fly in. As I stand shoulder to shoulder with these guys, I can’t help but think that the role of Jedi Knight and Photographer are one in the same. The constant training and use of ideas to better ourselves. The daily traveling from one side of the world to other. Not to mention the use of Mind Tricks to help tell stories to fill the newscasts. Don’t think we’ll ever get to use Lightsabers. Shotgun mics with fuzzy windscreens is the best I am going to do.

For now I will have to settle with the impromptu meet and greet, don’t know if can get tickets for the event. However as sweeps continues, be mindful I sense a disturbance in the Force.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dude @ The Desk

I am a photographer. From the first day I picked up my camera to when I added the Fuzzy Mic to enhance my bag tricks. Need me to head to a house fire in the middle of the day, no problem. Time to ambush some joker who got his hands caught in the cookie jar, piece of cake. Roll out of bed to a shooting during the black of night, I got it. But in the latest evolution of the television industry you have to be able to handle many hats in the newsroom.
Take today for example, I was needed to handle the duties of the assignment desk. I had been linked to the immovable object in the newsroom. No shoots, no interviews, and no roaming around the city. Just me, the scanner, and the phones. This was a headache waiting to happen since the phones would not be quiet. The voices on the other end were constantly bombarding me with some crazy things through the hotline. People were complaining about the weather. Calls came in to ask why a train stopped in the middle of their town. Another wanted to know if I was someone who just answered the phone. While all of the verbal clutter is clogging the phone lines only one thing comes to mind, how does the assignment editor deal with this on a daily basis.

Seriously, how do they do it? After the phones went silent , I developed a new found respect for my assignment editor and the ones in newsroom across the country. They are the ones who have to deal with what to cover, who is going where, and all of the tension that goes with it. This is a job that doesn’t get a lot of recognition. I don’t know how you pull this off but somehow you to do. I’ll keep this in mind when my lovely AE gives me my next assignment. May have to bribe her also, did you know?