Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shocking Video
Political Sign Theft Season

I know kids will be kids but this is what happens when a kid's curiosity and a neighbor's angst over previously stolen political signs cross paths.

WRAL Reported the story at this link. which is not embeddable but on YouTube already....(the video is cleaner on WRAL's site)

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Biden" My Time
Joe Biden at Wake Forest University

When a VP Candidate comes to town, prepare to hurry up and wait.

Biden 027

Not just us media either. Everyone involved tries to get in place as early as possible, deal with mandatory security sweeps and then sit around until the guest of honor is escorted in with the upmost in executive security.

Biden 056

For those of us there covering the event for televised, web or even print (I guess)coverage there's really lot to do before Biden takes stage, depending on the demands of our respective outlets.

Biden 070

Print journalists run around interviewing spectators, sometimes even using mini-cams to gather video for the web. Radio journalists find sweet spots to gather actualities of the day. And the laptops, they do fire up, generating ones and ohs to send out over the pipes of the internet in conjunction with impending event.

Biden 035

We in TV, with all our equipment having been set up and declared off limits for the next two hours meet up with other crews and help out with other live shots and maybe grab a bite to eat if there's time.

Biden 025

At go time, when the national press comes casually strolling in, that's when the Sh!t hits the fan and there's real work to do.

Biden 066

The cameras are hot, the live truck is, well, LIVE, and the candidate is just about to make his grand entrance. About that time a Biden staffer tells everyone on the cut riser (that would be me and a few other TV and still photogs) to come with him for the grand entrance shot along the collumns and row of neatly draped American Flags.

Biden 024

I had to unplug from my camera from feeding a live picture and go, with little warning to our truck-op who was switching the event.

Biden 040

It was worth it though, a great shot that the two other local stations begged us to give them as pool footage....NOT. They simply didn't have a Photog on the cut riser.

Biden 057

The speech was about 40 minutes of the usual political retoric and the crowd at the private university was generous with fervor for candidate Biden.

Biden 072

After the speech was over and the live feed was through I went with Brent to get the obligitory react sound from the attendees and then he took the disc to write the 5PM (LINK TO 5) and 6PM stories.

Biden 078

I grabbed Kenny's camera and took a bunch more pictures while Biden gripped and grinned every last person left crammed up against the steel barrier fence.

Biden 132

It was kind of amusing to me because with a still camera in hand I had different access than my TV brothers looking for a closeup.

Biden 082

TV was shooed back to the cut riser while still photogs were politely escorted to the catwalk to get the over the shoulder point of view of Biden and the crowd.

Biden 083

Of course then I was stuck there until he was finished and all I could do was keep snapping photos - a hundred or so - while Kenny rolled up cable and gave me the stink eye for not helping. (Sorry Kenny - but thanks for use of the camera)

Biden 154

Finally freed, I helped gather the rest of the cables and I even jumped in to edit since my cut riser shots and Biden walk in were the b-roll to which the story was weaved.

Biden 158

Just another day. Imagine doing all that as a one-man-band, or VJ or whatever you want to call it. Even the local cable news outlet had 3 or 4 people out there and they're all about a VJ.

Biden 131

I bet there's no one man band security details.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sarah Palin at Elon University
She's no Tina Fey

I got Sarah Palin duty today at Elon University in Elon. I can't and won't be partisan since I work for an FCC licenced house of unbiased
repute. Really, we try to give everyone a fair shake. Let's just say we leave the leaning (left or right) to our cable cousins. (And do any of you ever agree 100 percent with a cousin, or even your Mom and Sister for that matter.)

Anywho...I arrived at Elon University's baseball stadium at 9:15 and hauled my gear past the Secret Service Bomb dog and set it in its spot on the riser over 2nd base.

My Camera, Tripod, 2 bags of equipment, and a portable microwave transmitter stayed in that spot - the security sweep zone - for the next 5 hours while I milled around outsite of the forbidden area.

But we were forward thinking and we had a second, and even third, set of gear to shoot with out in the common area where 1000 or so of Sarah Palin's closest freinds and at least one not fond fan stood in line waiting to stand in the sun for the next 5 hours.

And since my digital camera is dead I don't have pictures to prove it, but our local paper does and thanks to their nifty embed feature here are some excellent pictures of the day.

Enough with the great pictures. Hank "Bocephus" Williams Jr was the opening act for Palin, and I don't think it's partisan for me to say I love me some Hank Jr.

Hank picked and sang his way through a melody of his classics, including the reworded ones for the McCain/Palin campaign.

During Palin's speech it got rowdy once when an Elon Poly-Sci student who favors Obama got boisterous and needed the assistance of the local law enforcers to be compelled to leave. What am I saying, he was cuffed and stuffed.

Overall, Palin said the same 20 things everybody's already heard before. At least that's the response I got from the 10 soccer moms, 15 high school students and 5 overly exposed (by the sun) men I interviewed after the event. But those who attended were still more than thrilled to have been in the presence of that Governor from up there near Russia.

For our part, from a journalistic standpoint, we put together a Live Story at 5 and at 6 about what Palin said and how people reacted.

Technology-wise this as a good day too. We used our Portable Digital Transmitter to link us to our Sat Truck. We sent a Live Video Feed of Palin's Speech into our Sat Truck which was turned around and fed into space and down to earth and transmitted live to the internet. We also used the portable unit for our 5 and 6 o'clock lives. Without that unit we would have had to stay much closer to the truck AND the riser for the Palin Speech was a good 500 foot cable pull.