"If you shoot half as good as you write you are Sven Nyquist." - Michael Rosenblum.
I don't know about all that, but I do appreciate the nod to the legendary lenser. Truth is Rosie's just buttering me up, as he knows my passion for solo news gathering. And while I won't let the VJ prophet goad me into gloating, I'm more than happy to show my work. So, I've plucked the freshest fare from my station website, two stories that aired today within seperate newscast. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about either piece , but they're indicative of the kind of news I crank out on a daily basis. We'll get to the cinema in a minute, but first, a tutorial on how I roll. Word?
Most folks think of a news crew as just that - a crew: one camera-person and one reporter, working interdependently to accumulate interviews and images. It's a time-tested model, one that's produced 98.7 percent of the very few chunks of news you choose to remember. But not all broadcast fodder is collected by a couple. Many times a photojournalist ventures out unaccompanied - either to gather small video squibs to spread among several newscasts, or - like myself - produce the kind of self-contained voiced-report most people associate with toothy correspondents. For decades, these versatile news shooters were derisively referred to as One-Man-Bands. These days, they're called Vee-Jays - an equally loathsome title in most camera scrums. For the record, I consider myself either, but Master of Found Light just doesn't look good on a business card. And Cameramanthropologist simply won't fit.
In our first feature we visit suburban Greensboro, where Soccer Moms have turned in there angels' muddy cleats for day-glo elbow floaties. When I first arrived poolside, I had only about ten minutes to interview the swim coach (sorry, Aquatics Director) before the offspring of a hundred cul-de-sacs arrived to mass urinate in the olympic-sized pool. That didn't bother me none - as I wasn't planning to take a dip. Instead I hunkered down outside the splash-zone and worked the far end of the glass. Forty-five minutes later, the kids exited the water for a juice-box showdown and I grabbed a Mom for a quick sit-down. Then I went home and cut my lawn. Teh next day I spent about 45 minutes logging my footage and writing the script. After a passing reporter read my words into a sound-booth microphone, I grabbed some Hot Fries and crawled into an edit bay. An hour later I emerged with this finished report and a slight case of heartburn. I like the video better.
Today my indigestion was gone so I knocked back a hearty cup of Joe before venturing into the very heart of Randolph County. My mission: be there and rolling when state biologists dumped a truckload of baby bass into a newly formed lake. Knowing a sweet gig when I saw it, I whistled all the way there. Upon arrival, I found a few newspaper shooters trading lies down by the dock. I joined them and we shot the shit until the tank-truck finally arrived. As it did, I fell into a trance, coming to an hour later with a disc full of fishy images. It was then I turned my attention to lunch. Gunning my engine toward higher ground, I thought more about the southern fried Chinese food awaiting me in Archdale than how I might put together this latest daily saga. Only when the fortune cookies were depleted did I gaze upon my lakeside footage, whereupon the story wrote itself. I did however, edit it sans the assistance of any supernatural forces. Now - cue the fish...
There you have it - two garden variety examples of the soft news fruit I peddle out of the back of Unit Four everyday. They won't change the landscape of the new media horizon but I'm certain a few of my captured moments will live on in the collective consciousness of the Greater Triad Metroplex. I however, will have forgotten most everything about them, focusing only on the deadline in the distance while enjoying the pleasure of my own company.
Somebody has to.