Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some Kind of Monster

Jurrasic Fart
In an industry that keeps hiring younger and cheaper, it's almost impossible to age gracefully. And while I'm no longer the Velociphotog I was once was, I'm not quite to the Schleposaurus stage. So while I decide whether to chase another news story onto the fruitless plain or merely stumble off into the tar-pits, let's review the Top Ten Signs You've Been Shooting News Too Long...

10) Your first station-issued cell phone came with its own battery belt.

9) You were already working in television the year some of your current reporters were born.

8) You still feel bad about those silly-ass Y2K stories.

7) You remember when the station website was a test pattern.

6) That new photog makes you want to call everyone you worked with when you were twenty-two and apologize.

5) You'd pay good money for a few hours with a working three-quarter inch video deck.

4) You vividly remember quizzing strangers on camera about the shocking new Madonna Sex book.

3) You've spent a fifth of a century on-call.

2) You've watched the smartest people you ever worked with run like hell from this insipid business.

 And the Number One Sign You've Been Shooting News Too Long...

1) You find yourself writing about it on the internet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Outstanding In His Field

He may not be the FUTURE of news-gathering, but Ed Scannell knows enough to be present. Maybe that's why I see him everywhere: ribbon-cuttings, train wrecks, ribbon cuttings that turn into train wrecks. There I'll be - deep in the sleeve, zooming in on something stupid and my 'slinger sense will start to ping... BlairCostner,  Scannell! Actually, I call him Scan-lon, a mistake this dapper cat has never bothered to call me on. I like that. Some on-air types I know bleed through their spleen whenever anyone mangles the name their agent gave them. Not Ed. Then again, he's no pampered hair-do with a latte in one hand and a stack of autographed glossies in the other. He's like me: a denizen of the trenches who shoots, writes and edit up to two minutes of television a day.

Except Ed takes it a step further, walking around  in front of the camera to expound on said subject as if a coterie of assistants lovingly placed him there. That explains the suits. And the hair. Even the voice. And what a voice! Ed's got the mellifluous tone of an off-screen announcer with a delivery that's crisp and devoid of any accent. It's hard not to hate him! And while other news shooters may curse his breed for not needing them, I know Ed to be a resourceful sort. a journalistic journeyman who's not pretending to be anything he's not. We photogs can lament the demise of the specialized lenser, but we shouldn't pass judgement on the likes of Scannell until we've walked a mile of debris field in his thin, possibly pinstriped socks.  

In fact, I'm so suddenly taken with this smooth operator that I've gone to the trouble of clicking on his station's profile page. There, within a few short paragraphs, I learned more about the man than he ever divulged while waiting for the rodeo clown/ body-bag to appear. Did you know Ed hailed from Boston,  worked for years in LA. radio and spent fifteen years as a professional musician? I sure as hell didn't but the very next time we're babysitting crime tape, I'm gonna act like I did. Maybe ask about his time at the Menendez brothers' murder trial, drop some knowledge on that Papal visit he covered, maybe even talk a little O.J.

Who knows? I may even get his name right.