Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I’m pretty sure every reporter across the country will go the extra mile to make their story stand out on the evening news. They want to keep the viewer talking about their piece long after it hits the airwaves. Most times it’s from someone that says the one line that will live on and on and on. Other times it’s the use of a creative stand up the will make people ask, “Did you see what (blank) did on the news?”

This leads me to Rebecca Shlien of WAAY 31, in Huntsville, AL. I’m guessing she went to work as always, drew the nice feature assignment of a local person who likes to help animals of all kinds including, snakes. In the words of Indiana Jones, “Why’d have to be snakes?” Not withstanding there was still a job to be done. So how do you get everyone talking about your story… stand up. An element to most stories to help draw the viewer in. But in this case it’s not the final result that will get people talking but what happens when the camera accidentally rolls on.

Ms. Shilen, we here at with The Senator’s Forum salute you. You turned a good day of story and kept people all over the country talking about this one. You showed some courage, since most reporters will not put a living belt around their neck, and got your peers to laugh with you. However, I think Samuel L. said it best.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dances With Wolves

The life of a Television Photographer is always an interesting one, especially for the ones who work in the public television. Never know what their fate may entail because of the crazy dreams from someone who thinks this is a good idea. I can only imagine how this one came about.

Producer: “We’re doing a special on the zoos in the state.”

Photographer: “Alright. I’ll be careful where I step.”

Producer: “I’ll need you to get inside of the wolves' cage.”

Photographer: (gulp) “I’ll really have to watch where I step.”

One can wonder what is going through the brave photographer’s mind knowing that they go onto the turf of one of the most vicious animals on the planet while the producer is safely tucked away snapping what could be the final moments of existence. Not to worry pretty sure that no photographer is going to do something that would put them in eminent danger from any assignment. Think about would I have scaled down the side of one of the largest stadiums in the country if I didn’t think it wasn’t safe? Yeah you’re right I would have done it anyway but that’s not the point. I want to see this special that’s being put together. It’s not the first the public news team has gotten rough on an assignment.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Marathon Debate

Senator’s Log: April 4th, 2012. – It was the final day of eighth straight days at the asylum. It just so happen it was "Judgment Day" at the “House That Huey Built”. A few hundred teachers decided to make one last ditch effort to challenge legislation that would leave the biggest impact on education since the days of desegregation. Educators locked in a fierce battle with the sitting Governor on what should be the right path for the future of the state’s school system. It was the peeps in Red versus the Ones wearing the Suits. Lots of chanting, lots of name calling, lots of endless debate in the chamber yet not enough of Aleve to go around. Nonetheless I knew that it was going to be a really, and I mean really, long day in front of me and I just had to grin and bear it.

A day that was going to require a lot of shooting, a lot of fast editing, and a good pair of shoes with all of the moving around. Why does all of this madness have to happen on the days I’m here? It was all hands on deck for this one, good thing one of our young, intelligent, and hard working interns decided to come along for the ride. Another pair of hands is always welcomed help while the capitol correspondent sorts out all of the details to make sense of the story for the evening news.

Yet with all of the facts, pictures, and sound bites the key essentials for success today were patience & endurance. Patience was needed because the debate in chamber was more of a marathon. Some of the lawmakers drew a line in the sand also since they had some doubts about the plan also. Endurance was required because the rest of asylum was spread all over the place. Thankfully the debate finally ended before midnight and we all got out at a decent hour. Just hope the rest of the session isn’t going to be like this but another round is right around the corner.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where's The Love???

It’s no secret that people of HBO have delivered some of the best television in recent memory. Shows like The Sopranos, True Blood, and The Wire. Now the network is going to bring us a new series this summer called The Newsroom. A gritty drama about the behind the scenes issues of a popular cable news network. The problems of the main anchor losing his cool & becoming a viral video sensation. Producers constantly bickering with the talent on the direction of the show. And the managers who must somehow find balance to produce quality television while making a profit. Yes all this and more but I have one question,


After watching the trailer there was no mention of the hard working men and women who throw fancy cams with fuzzy mics on their shoulders. The ones who go beyond the call of duty to make the talent look good while trying to fit a lunch break in with dozens of live shots trusted upon them. Don’t get me wrong this has the makings of a great show but I employ the creators of this series to please bring in a strong group to accurately portray the photographer ranks. No doing live shots in the middle of a tornado. For that matter no doing live shots without a live truck. And for all that is good please let them hold the camera the correct way. And if you need someone to bring guidance to actors & actresses I do offer my services, did you know?