Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Behind Every Great Reporter...
...is an equally great photog. Okay, so that's not true. I know reporters who could make Sasquatch cry on cue no matter WHO'S standing behind the camera - just like I know shooters who can concoct whole operas without the aid of any on-air talent. But overall, TV News is a collaborative effort. Hell, even a needy loner like me has to employ the assistance of former reporters to voice his precious anchor-packs. Yes, the act of broadcasting can be best described as a team sport. So why do I so love to go it alone? Well, you could say I don't play well with others, or that I'm a tad anti-social, or that I have something of a chip (or 3) on my shoulder. You could say ALL that! Just don't say I don't like reporters. I LOVE 'EM!
I love reporters who bring in the Emmy they won nine years ago and plant it firmly on their desk for all to admire. Where ELSE am I gonna stick my old chewing gum?
I love reporters who can double as game show hosts. That type of personality comes in damn handy when you're trapped in a Wal-Mart parking lot interviewing random strangers about abortion, moratoriums, or The Lord.
I love reporters who take 45 minutes to tease their bangs yet can log an entire morning's worth of footage I shot in the time it takes Ellen to stop dancing. It's a favor I usually returnin the edit bay.
I love reporters who can accompany me up a widow's porch, get the pictures, soundbites and details our bosses so desire and NOT make me want to take a Lifetime Shower afterwards. They're rare, but they're out there.
I love reporters who constantly remind everyone around them of their personal tragedies, semi-famous spouses or priviliged upbringings. THEY are a satirist's dream.
I love reporters who aren't quite yet ready to admit they're gay - even though it's the ONLY thing their colleagues talk about. Coming Out can't be easy no matter where you work - but TV newsrooms are filled with angry, self-loathing reprobates who live to denigrate anyone more stylish than them.
I love reporters who think I'm some dumb-ass photog. God, how I love them!
I love reporters who used to be debutantes, 'cause they make me stonger. See, I've carried more prom queens over the finish line than most parade floats - and I got the callouses to prove it.
I love reporters who can discern innuendo, cohesion and nuance from rambling county commissioner soliloquies, l-o-o-o-n-g after my dumb-ass photog eyes have glazed over.
I love reporters who come to the morning editorial meeting with a dozen story ideas, because chances are I'LL get to turn the really visual, fluffy ones the suits don't want to burn a full crew on. (Thanks, Whitey!)
I love reporters who carry around their make-up and haircare in those six-tiered, oversized tackle boxes. I've produced weekend telethons with less gear.
And finally, I love reporters who can take vague, protracted, esoteric issues and make them electronically palatable for the masses. It's something I cannot do and it serves as a constant reminder that the broadcast world cannot live on smart-ass cameramen alone.
(Speaking of smart-ass cameramen, the one pictured above is one of my all-time favorites: Rick 'Turdpolisher' Portier. The reporter he's standing behind I don't know, but if Turd's backing him up, he's okay by me. Now go check out Rick's latest post on Truisms of Photogerry. And give him my love, would ya?)