Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Things That Go Bump In The Night

For Memorial Day, my live shot was to be at a cemetary where there are veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. The cemetary had fallen into a state of disrepair. There was to be a re-dedication ceremony that afternoon at 1:30p.m. Of course this is 5 a.m. dark and I'm headed to a cemetary.

I arrive there and it's dark. I mean really DARK. Bone chilling dark. Dark that makes you shiver. I'm talking really, really, really dark. I get out of the truck after putting on my high beams, revealing the gate of the cemetary and it's fence. Actually it revealed what was left of it's fence, minus the six foot gaps of missing wrought iron.

Looking up, I saw no above wires and proceeded with the set up of the live truck. I start pulling cables and thats when the noises started. The wind picked up and tree branches rubbed together. Bushes rustled with unseen monsters and zombies looking for braaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnssssssssssss....

As I set up my cables, camera and lights, something ran right past my leg. I almost lost it then when I caught a glimpse of what it was. It was one of Satan's minions come to take me away. Ok, not really. It happened to be a skunk.

SKUUUUNNNNKKK..!!!! I leapt about ten feet into the air (no small feat for such a big guy like me), made a noise akin to what my wife makes to when she sees a spider and punched a hole in the air that would make Chuck Yeager proud, as I ran to the safety of my live truck.

Safely barricaded within the confines of my truck, I called the station and proceded to have my live shot dialed in. My reporter arrived and I told him what happened so now we're both on guard for nocturnal mammals wandering about. Not to mention the undead out for a stroll.

Then it hits me. I need to pee. Badly.

I just want to let you all know that it is not considered desecration of a grave if you pee outside the gates of a cemetary, in the dark. The tree might not feel that way, but I'm sure it'll get over the indignity of my bodily function.

And as I finished, I could swear I heard someone say, "brrraaaaiiinnnssss..."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pubic Library...Yes, I meant it.

You'll have to forgive me but I'm piggy-backing this blog idea off of the TVPhotogBlog website. Chris Weaver posted this originally and I think it was a great idea. Since it's my station that aired the story by Carl Monday, our investigative reporter at WKYC, the link was posted to I guess I didn't post a link to it because I've seen it a good amount of times.

A lot of people at b-roll are bashing this as trash journalism and such. Yes, it was indeed a sweeps piece. Was the story aired to draw ratings? Of course it was. That's what sweeps is about. But I ask you, in your local market, don't the stations do similar types of stories? Undercover video, confrontational scenes by the investigative reporter and reports of the same genre? If you say a station doesn't, I'm calling bullshit. All stations do it in one form or another and none are above it.

Where's the outrage about Dateline's TO CATCH A PREDATOR? Oh that's right. If it's the network doing it, then their shit doesn't stink. Or course not, it's good journalism? I mean the Cleveland story used a black and white undercover camera. The Dateline story wires a whole house with color cameras and works in conjunction with local law enforcement authorities.

If this was happening in your local library, and don't be pollyannaish as to think that it doesn't, wouldn't you like to know? Wouldn't you like to know if someone like the adult man beating off at the table in the Cleveland story, might be a threat to your children when you take them to the library?

I didn't shoot the story but to ML and Carl, a very good job.

As seen on

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is It Just Me??

Seriously, is it just me? Am I the only one in the country that doesn't give a rat's ass about American Idol? The hype?? Feh. The bad music? Double feh.

I think I'd rather trim my toenails.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Baby Steps Are The Hardest

Yesterday our station is now broadcasting in 16:9. We switched over for the 6:00pm show. That means now, everything we shoot is in 16:9 aspect ratio. It's a bit discombobulating because after shooting for 15 years in 4:3, learning new habits and having to toss old ones for shooting will be a rough road.

Some of the video shot for yesterdays show was a bit squashed but all in all, it was a good first day. We go t a new graphics package and a new news set and a weather set out of it. It's our first step to true HD by 2009. Now if we'd just get those XD Cam cameras that are ordered rumored to be coming...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Friday morning, I waited and waited for my reporter to get her stuff ready for our morning live shot. It was to be on the reaction to the Da Vinci Code movie. Our show starts at 4:55a.m. and it was getting extremely close to 4:30a.m. and we hadn't left the station yet. Jacque, my reporter, walked by me and said, "Go ahead and I'll take my truck."

At least, that is what I thought she said.

So, I ran to my live truck and headed out. Not two minutes later, a very upset reporter called me and asked why I left.

I told Jacque that I thought she said that she was going to drive herself.

Apparanlty I heard wrong. My bad. OOOOPS !!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Busy Day...

And I missed it. The visit of Dick Cheney and the instalation of a new Bishop for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

Both happening waaaay after my shift is over and a "No O.T." edict at the station made it an enjoyable day.

Except this is the fourth straight day of rain which is enough to given anyone the blahs. Hope tomorrow provides a little break in the downpours.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What I Wish I Could Say

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Who Put THAT There??

This morning I did a live shot at Geauga Lake. It's a local amusement park that has a waterpark that they converted from the former Sea World of Ohio. Well, we're there at 5 a.m. and it's an empty amusement park. It's dark...really dark. Why we're there that early I don't know. I half expected KISS and the phantom to show up. Anyways, as I'm setting up my shot, I took the a/c reel and set it beside the truck. I went back to get the a/v cables and then walked around the side of the truck again and WHAM....

I ran my shin into the metal reeler.

I started cursing a blue streak right in front of the P.R. lady as I hopped on one foot while rubbing my shin with my hands. My God, did it hurt!! Plus it was very embarassing because the P.R. lady was extremely cute.

Now, I'm starting to show a huge bruise on my right shin. Well, I'll call it a battle scar.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hot Wheels

After getting set up for my morning live shot, I settled down for two hours of live picture bumps. Sadly, I should have know that it was going to be short lived. I did two pictures when my phone rang. "Nice picture you have up. Now break down because you're headed east. We've got a house fire," the desk told me.

Wonderful. It was beginning to rain so driving east would mean that I'd be driving out of it for at least a while. I plugged in the address to my GPS unit and headed east hoping there'd be something left after a 45 mile drive.

After winding my way past the local nuclear plant I came to the fire scene. It was white trash heaven. It was a mobile home park. A trailer had caught on fire and was pretty much a goner in about ten minutes. I shot video of it and then found the fire chief. After finding out everyone was able to get out safely, I asked if the fire may have been meth related. "Why? You looking to buy some?", Madison's fire chief responded. Great. A comedian.

All in all, the estimated the damage done to the trailer at $12. Yep, it was a total loss.