Sunday, February 26, 2012
Is it just every shop I'VE worked at, or does a hard rain turn YOUR house cats into Chicken Little? It's like the fine folk who work inside TV stations have simply never witnessed precipitation. That, or they really enjoy thrusting a co-worker into the suck. Take yesterday. There I was, trying my best to crawl up into the acoustic ceiling tiles, when a senior producer hit me with it. "Dude, it's really pouring outside... can you shoot it?" "S-u-u-u-r-e," I said, as I tried to wiggle through an opening in the overhead duct work, "I'd love to!"
It only took about forty five seconds to exit the building. I would have gotten out there even sooner, but first I wanted to offer a few of my colleagues to chance to take part in an exciting new television production. "Hey, the weather bunny finally pulled a knife on that sports intern! She's in the parking lot right now making him drink mud puddles!" I told a photog in mid-edit. He never even looked up from his timeline. "Yo! A Best Buy delivery truck flipped over in front of the station! There's broken Go-Pro parts as far as the eye can see!" No reaction from the two shooters molesting the drinking machine. "That chick from the Sports Illustrated cover is on the loading ramp! Says she's looking for a man with a fishing vest fetish!" Even the dude polishing his tripod didn't believe me.
Feeling defeated, I gave up on my charades and slunk outside. The producer was right. It WAS raining. In fact, it was coming down so hard I could barely see the outline of my news unit across the parking lot. ACROSS the parking lot! CODSWALLOP! Locked inside that distant Ford Explorer was the high dollar device I needed for the mission at hand (along with a bag of Funyuns I was really craving). Should I make a mad dash for it? Low crawl through the gutter? Go back inside and cue up footage from the last time it rained? Slowly, I turned...
And that's when I saw him. The Chief. Wedged in between two news cars. Hunched over hot glass. Focused. Stoic. Possibly sleeping. I stood there for a moment, admiring his shot selection and sense of duty. No one probably even told him to shoot the rain. He just... did it. The nerve! Still, I found my own posture straightening, an involuntary response borne of respect and the death of the battery belt. Should I offer to lend a hand? Begin a slow, steady golf clap? Or drop to my fingertips and low-crawl away before he spotted me?
I'll be washing up inside if you need me.