The following pictures and words don't and won't tell the whole story(for now)... but follow along for a quick glimse into how a even a simple TV Photog from a medium sized market can get a great travel assignment every now and then.
Travel in the TV business, especially when it means jumping on a commercial flight, isn't cheap and schlepping heavy TV gear onto airplanes to cross the country isn't easy, so more often then not, TV stations rely on sister stations, those stations owned by the same company or linked by affiliate, to provide the footage from local stories in distant cities.
But last week a story came up that put me and my fancy XDCam on a flight to Beverly...Hills, that is...you know... Swimmin pools, movie stars.
It all started last Thursday...2 of my co-workers had already turned down the last minute offer due to previous commitments but when the bosses asked me to fill in it only took me about 2-one-thousanths of a second to clear my schedule and calmy(on the outside) accept the assignment.
Of course the only things on my weekend schedule were the Converge South blogging conference and a trip Sunday to see my 1 year old nephew. (he's coming to town next week anyway...)
As the plans were finalized and the details were sorted I disassembled and packed my XDCam and it's numerous accessories into two carry-on bags, and shipped my tripod, lights, cables and battery charger out to the hotel.
I was given Friday off in lieu of my impending long weekend and Saturday morning at 4-30 am I crawled out of bed to catch the 7-am (ET) flight to LAX.
6 and a half hours later I was looking at views like this...
yeah I know just the airport...
I had traveled alone to Los Angeles and had a nearly 2 hour wait for the reporter traveling with me to arrive on her later flight. So I took the shuttle over to the rental car place, got the car and went back to the airport.
I still had an hour to kill so I made the most of my blogging contacts and called up fellow TV Photog and blogger, Bryan "Be" Frank. He only lives a few minutes from LAX and so he jumped in his jeep and picked me up to give me the quick tour of his town.
It wasn't anything extravagant...really just enough time to go around the airport once but it was awesome.
Of course, one end of the airport butts up against the Pacific and provides this cool-ass view of what I think he told me was Santa Monica.
We talked a little shop, snapped a few pix and laughed about the similarities of the situations of our respective TV Stations.
I took in the views with the little camera in my brain, trying to soak up as much as I could knowing that this would likely be the only time I had to stop and gawk.
Really Cool! And what a nice guy Bryan is for taking me on the quick tour.
But I had a reporter to pick up at Terminal 5 so we continued our circle of LAX heading back east on the north side of the property.
Bryan showed me as many things as he could on our round about, including one of the last remaining open areas in the Metro area that is a wetlands that is slowly being encroached upon by developers.
We got back to the terminal just in time for me to jump out and for my reporter to call from her just landed flight. Then it was off to the assignment that would tie up the rest of our day.
After 3 hours of shooting I made my way back to the airport and grabbed the 1-am (PT) redeye back to NC. I was able to get a little sleep on the flights back, but certainly not the quality kind.
32 hours after leaving home, I was back on my couch, in bad need of a little sleep!