Thursday, May 22, 2008

Newbie to Stupor (in 7 Easy Steps)

Vintage JensenAs a wise wookie once told me, it's hard to age gracefully when you shoot ribbon cuttings for a living. Tru Dat. Still, as I settle into my 40's, I can't help but feel I'm on the cusp of enlightenment. That, or I gotta stop eating that dollar menu chili. Either way, I do feel a bit wiser than I did back when all this silliness started. So while I may never learn to make my live truck levitate, I can fake a positive attitude with the best of them.While I do, check out the seven steps of news stupefaction - featuring actual dialogue I made up from memory...
SHOCK: “Dude, I cannot believe they gave me a camera to keep! And a car! All I gotta do is jump and run every time the scanner burps…How cool is that? Even better, I get to drive like a cop - at least when the police aren’t looking! I tell ya, I’ll never get tired of chasing news - EVER! Yep, I’ll probably shoot news for the rest of my life!”

DENIAL: “Nooo - I’m not losing interest in my job. I just … need a break! Just because I ripped that intern’s head off doesn’t mean he wasn‘t a douche bag. He hasn’t spent the last three years processing mayhem , meetings and murder! So I been on edge lately, so what? Give me one good week at Sunset Beach and I’ll be itchin’ to shoot another groundbreaking!”

BARGAINING: “Yeah, I figure I’ll shoot news for another year or so, then maybe work on my screenplay. Ya know all this running around has really honed my navigational powers. Maybe I’ll go to flight school! Until then, I could make some extra scratch driving a cab. There’s sure to be lotsa jobs I can do now that I got mad skills. Hey- where’d that flyer for the community college go?”

GUILT: “Should a listened to Mom. Maybe if I had applied myself in school I wouldn’t be schlepping this cursed boat anchor every where I go! Just once I want to drive by a car crash and keep goin’. Or notice a plume of smoke in the distance and ignore it. But I can’t. Not with this freakin logo on my car door…Guess it’s my fault for watching all that TV as a kid.”

ANGER: “I swear if he pages me one more time I’m shoving this beeper square up his newscast! So a train derailed into that orphanage -- Big Hairy Deal! It’s not like those kids had a future anyway! Back in my day, we didn’t soil ourselves every time the scanner burped! We had STANDARDS! Huh? What? The station’s on the phone? Sweet Mother of %#&@%^$&@!!

DEPRESSION: “Hmm? Yeah, sure. I’d love to drive three hours to that Liverwurst Protest. Yeah. That’d be fun for me. Maybe the potted meat people will hurl loogies at my lens. Bring you back some hillbilly spit for a set prop. Why don’t you send along an intern so I can shoot a few stand-ups for their reel while I’m at it. Doesn’t really matter. I feel dead inside.”

ACCEPTANCE: “Sooo, you want me to turn the four o clock county commissioners meeting into a five thirty lead AND wash all the live trucks? Sure - I can do that. I can do anything. I once turned a nat sound piece on a Mime Academy. What’s that? The reporter can’t make it? No sweat. We’ll chroma-key her in when I get back…Yep, I’ll probably shoot news for the rest of my life...”
(I'll let you know what phase follows next - as soon as the voices in my head stop sending me to house fires.)


turdpolisher said...

looks like you're back.

i'm planted firmly in acceptance. that's ok with me. it's comfprtable there, and it makes great blog fodder.

Eric Wotila said...

Great post -- I got a good laugh out of a few of your comments (especially the "Nat Pkg at the Mime Acadamy" bit).

On a side note, I really enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work! =)

Carolyn said...

I distinctly remember the anger phase...screaming "you are F****** me!" at the top of my lungs over the phone at a producer who wanted me to write, edit and feed a pkg in 15 minutes.

Not sure I ever got past that phase, really...I've been out of the biz for 10 years now, and its SO NICE to not physically cringe every time the phone rings.

Miami Fan said...


It's posts like these that let me know you are FOR REAL!

Thanks for letting us in your head again!

It's pretty cool in there!

Duff said...

Dude this creeps me out. Clearly you are wise beyond your years, as I am tempted to print out this chart and check it off as I go. Last week I worked through your "Denial" stage, word for word, and after a 3 day weekend have found myself firmly planted within the "Bargaining" stage. Clearly I have a ways to go before I reach the ranks of Master Photog (AKA "acceptance"), but it's good to have a step-by-step chart. Thanks!

cyndy green said...

As I recall, the stages are:

COOL! - I got the greatest gig in the universe

I'M COOL - yeah, I know you're lookin at me. I got the gear and I know how to use it. Piece of cake.

I'M COOLIN - my soul is so's been dead babies all week. Please let me shoot weather for a change.

PAST COOL - I have a life and I'm not afraid to live it and and do my job - the greatest job in the universe.

Angela Grant said...

Very funny post!

Anonymous said...

Oh My... you want to know what's past acceptance... nothing... find the escape hatch please!