Wednesday, June 06, 2007
While I do not endorse the modern day live truck, the early models never fail to raise my mast. Take this WXYZ news van from back in the day. Between the thoughtful umbrella and the placid Action slacks, I can't tell if they're going live or channeling Mary Poppins. But neither this bucolic scene nor the frenzied live shot I did in front of that abandoned alleyway the other day would have been possible without the genius of the late, great Edward H. "Hack" Hewson Jr. Credited with assembling the first fleet of mobile newscasting units, Hack changed TV news forever by giving field crews the technology needed to provide on-the-scene reports. A trillion pointless live shots were born...
From there, broadcasters never looked back - eventually going live from every conceivable locale: smoldering crash site, charity bake sale, roped-off TV station parking lot. No area was safe from these roving newsrooms. Just ask the legion of absentminded photogs who pioneered new ways to shear high dollar masts and dishes from these heroic truck-tops. Low bridges, parking garages, drive thru windows - no low clearance sign could obscure the brilliance of Hack's Hewson's insistent tinkering. So the next time you watch a pretty young thing stand in front of a black hole at 11 pm and refer to day-old events in the present tense, tip your glass toward Seattle, home of the Hewson global empire.
Meanwhile, head on over to Photog's Lounge for an old school collage of vintage TV vehicles and Sir Edward Hewson's own modest obituary. And remember trucks ops, Look Up and Live. It worked for Hack.