Monday, October 08, 2007

The Tale of Two "Specials"

Sorry for the delay getting myself back writing on this blog. I have been on the road with our 6PM show for the past week and writing seemed to be the last thing on my mind.

Funny thing about last weeks "Specials". It was kinda like a dejavu. You see way back in 1994, I went on my first big "Special" assignment. The plan then was to take our 5 PM show to the State of Florida and shoot/ edit and do a live broadcast with our two main hosts, all for the folks back in Maritime Canada. The reasons why we did this are not important to the story, but the idea was to broadcast via Satellite and then pack up the show and move to a different city and do it all over again the next day. My crew assignment on this venture was as an ENG Shooter/ Editor and as a hand held live camera during our show. Of course as any production crew member worth his or her salt, one was also expected to set up and then strike each set. Loads of heavy lifting and no complaining. I am sure our colleagues back in Atlantic Canada thought it all to be fun in the sun for the crew, but if you have been on such a tour, you know it's work and it grinds you down. This assignment would test me and the crew.

Last week's assignment was remarkably similar. Our mission: To Broadcast our Six O'clock Show from a different location each evening in and around Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Of course this assignment lacked the "sun and heat" of Florida but had the cold and rain of southwestern British Columbia. My assignment on this one was however, SNG/Switching and Lighting. Again, this assignment would test all of us on this crew.

I began to notice the similarities very early. In fact, on both occasions when informed of my selection to the crew, I was excited to be a part of something a little different from the daily news grind. (I have to admit that I was much more excited when informed about the Florida assignment as it was my first time out of the Country related to work and after all it was a cold and blustery March and we were going to sunny warm and tropical Florida.)

As I recall, arriving in Florida did not disappoint. It was indeed warm and we quickly changed from our winter gear into our shorts and sneaks. Once settled, we quickly went off onto our respective assignments, knowing that we would have to cut and feed our items before the show. Not to mention technical setup of the show. Needless to say, time would be the enemy each and every day.

I remember the first show on a warm Monday evening from South Beach Miami. The time crunch compounded a few technical issues. The show was a bit rough. But we made it. Exhausted and hungry we now struck the set and packed it into the 5 ton and headed onto our next location. Hoping that tomorrow would bring a better day.

Last Monday, was very, very similar. There were a few issues. Technical gremlins if you will. The weather was not helping. The crew and talent being out of the comfort of the studio added to the stress of the first show. We made air. The show too, like the one on day 1 of the '94 assignment, a bit rough.
As we all packed up, again hoping that tomorrow would be a better day.

On both occasions "tomorrow" was a better day. Comfort levels improve as one has a better idea as what would be in store. Technical issues , like troublesome IFB's and Comm lines were solved. Talent and Crew up their "game" the result, a better shows on day two.

This trend would continue for both assignments as the week progressed. Culminating with a final shows that everyone feels great about. It makes the problems of "Monday" seem far, far away.

Regardless, I always feel stronger after such experiences, even though my back and arms are a little sore.

1 comment:

'Widescreen' said...

Hey,

I want to send a non blog email to you.

Do you have a different email?

Reply to......

widescreen.tv@hotmail.com