You ever park in some professor’s spot, grab your gear from the rear and scamper across campus with your dignity and lens akimbo? I did just this morning and the inelegant sprint was indicative of the day to come. But I’m getting ahead of myself... Hey, have you ever burst into a small room to find a friend of yours grilling the ex-President of Pakistan? I did, about forty-five seconds after jacking that Reserved space in front of Elon University’s Alamance Hall. Pervez Musharraf was well into his response by the time my own camera kicked into gear. When it did, I fell into the eyecup, brought the former world leader into sharp focus and felt my own senses dulling. No bother, I thought. I’ll just capture everything that moves, drag it back to an edit cave and let some other neanderthal ponder its contents. After all, I had a reporter impatiently waiting back at the station...
You ever triangulate sketchy directions with your knowledge of the topography while a better dressed companion talked to a man about a (stolen) horse? I did, just after lunchtime and for a few minutes there, it felt like it was going to happen. See, when a fellow faxes over an ‘urgent press release’, you kind of get the feeling he wants to talk on television. Not always so, I’ve found. Hey, you ever bum-rushed three Mexicans and the horses they rode in on? Brandon Jones and I sure did, confident the gauchos before us were fully expecting a camera crew to come a callin’. Only after a few minutes of international shoulder shrugging did we discern these fine fellows didn’t know what the hell we were rambling on in English about. That was odd, as they were in the very pasture we were told to go to. One even handed me his cellphone, whereupon I listened intently to the man’s superior attempt to clear up the confusion by yammering to me in broken Spanglish. By the way, what IS the Spanish term for ‘mid-life career change‘ anyway?
You ever cold-call a furniture executive and tell him you’re about to put him on television? We did, right around three P.M. and before the gentleman could wiggle out of the idea, we were in his building’s elevator. That’s how it goes when your stolen horse story rides off into the sunset, leaving a big chunk of black in your very next newscast. Thus, Brandon and I stormed a High Point tower two hours before the story we were about to begin shooting was scheduled to air. Luckily for us, The Suit in question coughed up enough answers to feed our jones and within ten minutes we were back on the street looking for a backdrop to fill. We found it just outside a certain showroom. The sales staff was irritatingly giddy at first, but with a few heavy breaths they calmed down enough to speak in complete sentences. Good thing, that.
Hey, you ever popped the passenger side of a live truck up on the curb just so the mast you were about to raise wouldn’t lean over and crash into a fourth story plate glass window? It was the least I could do as I prepared to execute the live remote that would no doubt push our broadcast straight to the top of the never ending ratings war. Once both left sided tires rested firmly on the sidewalk, I commenced to flip a strategic series of switches while the tony Mr. Jones turned fresh soundbites into a script. Minutes later, I hunched over a steaming Mac, splicing and dicing random shots of pedestrians and settees into a haphazard news package. I’d like to say I did it all by my lonesome, but it wasn’t so. Knowing I’d not yet edited Final Cut Pro in a truck, The Mighty Weave materialized like some newly skinny Obi-Wan. Nary a Jedi was beheaded in the ensuing minutes, but without a few tips from Weave, I may very well have thrown myself on my light saber. Ya know, if I HAD a light saber.
Speaking of which, you ever looked back over your career and realized that, like a certain space trilogy, the script was stilted, the actors bad and the effects weren’t necessarily special?
Yeah, me neither.