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, February 03, 2010

Our Man in Miami

Ken CornWhile I wade through week old snow here in the Piedmont, 'Colonel' Ken Corn is sticking his toes into the sands of South Beach. Okay, so mostly the Charlotte photog is stuck in a sat truck; one of the many mobile newsrooms currently camped out around Miami. Seems there's some sort of religious event involving pig's skin down there this weekend and the good Colonel's got orders to report on its many sycophants. Of those, there are plenty. Athletes, gasbags, flunkies and pundits - all converging on a city not known for its subtleties for a celebration so staged, so garish, so deeply American it can only be called 'Super'. But it's not all fun and games for the embedded journamalists. First, there's there's the not so wintry weather...
Well, I got one word that will strike fear into every photog’s heart, HUMIDITY. Yea, it wreaked havoc on me today. The first time I fired up the tape machines in my satellite truck this morning, they refused to work. Both editors gave me an ERROR-1 HUMIDITY. I had to run the A/C for an hour with the decks open before they would cut tape. Next was the blasted camera. Because I ran the A/C so hard, when I took my camera out for a live shot, it rolled over and died. The lens is full of fog and the tape will not roll. I got it to do the live shot, but other than that, it’s just a fancy boat anchor. So I had to have the A/C cranked for the decks, but it screwed my camera. I can’t win. I should put my camera in the cab of the truck from now on to keep it acclimated. Speaking of the satellite truck, well, without getting too technical, let’s just say I had a few problems there as well. But, all my shots made air, even if one of them was the wrong aspect ratio. Isn’t everyone 16 x 9 now? I thought the sports guy looked like he lost a lot of weight.
Weather and technology notwithstanding, there's a chance to kibitz with the rich and gifted during Media Week - provided you make your 18 daily deadlines...
Media types like me get to mingle with the players. Some players have their own booth as if they are on display at a convention or something. The “lesser known players” (yea, I heard a reporter actually call them that in a live shot) just walk around hoping for a cameraman to stick his glass in their face. So, did I get to meet Payton or Drew? No. I was out in the parking lot setting up the satellite truck. Truck operators don’t actually get to participate in the events they cover. Instead of hob-knobbing with famous NFL stars, I walked over to the Wal-Mart next door and found a killer deal on Hawaiian shirts. Slinger will be proud of the orange shirt with yellow flowers I picked up for eight bucks!
Proud I am, Colonel - if only because I know you'll still be wearing it the next time we break bread in the path of a hurricane. For now, though tell me 'bout those hot Miami nights...
Also, I’ve got to tell you about the Media Party the NFL put on out at Miami Beach (also a city not part of the metropolitan area of Miami) late in the evening. The party was on the beach! They had a live band with dancers dressed up like cheerleaders. They provided free food and free booze. The NFL puts on a kicking party. The dancers/cheerleaders started a line dance and we all joined in. Later, I saw my co-workers walking away from the bar with a beer in each hand and two more tucked up under their arm pits. Yee Haw!
I'm sure what the colonel meant to say was that he and his fellow professionals will continue crafting coverage of this blessed event into the wee hours of the evening, whereupon they'll pause for quiet reflection before turning in feeling old, sober and alone. After all, this isn't some silly game they're down there covering...

(Click here for Colonel Ken Corn's complete debriefing of Media Week in Miami. And know that Florida is bursting at the borders with photogs and sports dorks. Our very own Chris Weaver just rolled up in Daytona and will soon file reports from the cradle of Nascar civilization. Me - I'll be at home waxing my snow shovel...)

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