Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wayback Machine


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.

6 comments:

Weaver said...

While competing stations in the market have their staff, managment and operations all buttoned up, WXYZ is always having to reach for their trouser fronts.

http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/xyz.jpg

heycameraman said...

That is one sweet live truck...i think we're gettin the exact same model next week. :-)

L

www.heycameraman.net

Carolyn said...

Someone I know left a mast in the middle of King Street in Kinston once. It sheared about three traffic lights before falling off the truck entirely. Very funny now, but talk about sphincter-tightening then...

turdpolisher said...

Looks like The Big Raggedy's own White Whale. You sure they didn't take that picture at my last live shot?

Anonymous said...

Its a shame that Dorothy Bullitt's broadcasting empire has fallen so far...

Grayson said...

Those things are surely museum pieces now! More on why that's the case here:

http://spaceygreview.blogspot.com/2007/06/bloggers-just-rock-do-it-on-live-small.html