Proving that news photogs can do more than clamor at crime tape, a couple of senior 'slingers have tapped their inner auteur, in hopes of promoting b-roll.net. It all began when the founder of that invaluable site sounded the clarion - er, started a contest: "Make me a kick-ass commercial," Kevin Johnson intoned from on-high, "and I will hook you up with some serious photog schwag!"Cries of excitement followed this grand challenge; shooters began scribbling ideas on old tape labels and one guy fashioned a diorama using nothing but floorboard french-fries and tiny bits of scrim. In the end, however, only two (2!) submissions rolled in. That may sound like less than a groundswell, but considering the effort such a production calls for - not to mention the cruel and unusual critiques that would surely follow - it's understandable why many a lenser were afraid to try...But enough about me - THE ENVELOPE PLEASE!
And the Winner is.... Richard Adkins! Yes, THAT Richard Adkins! Seems the artist also known as Rad isn't content with traversing the Carolinas for broadcast powerhouse WRAL - now the dude's a director! His polished spot took the Grand Prize handily, no doubt for it's crisp premise, back-lit extras and slick execution. In it, Adkins envisions a veritable b-roll HQ, a bustling nerve-center where workers toil 'round the clock in lenslinging assemblage. This ad has it all! Minus of course a cameo from a certain Greensboro-based blowhard... Hey, Adkins - have your people call mine next time! We'll do lunch!
Speaking of cameos, it's the singular performance of a New Zealand deity that lies at the very heart of our inevitable runner-up. Stephen Press, narrowly revered as CameraGOD on many an on-line message board, takes the stage with little more than some index cards and gaffer's tape around his wrist. What follows is a cringe-inducing bit in which our nearly breathless steadi-cam operator blurts out the kind of inside one-liners that would make even a tripod lifer like myself groan. All goes unwell until an off-screen voice informs our hapless glass-hound he's barking up the wrong forum. In a word, Brilliant!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go rethink my dream sequence. The scrim holds up fine under the lights, but the french fries are starting to sag.