Saturday, March 31, 2007

Did I turn off the stove?

Pretty dramatic view coming into work on Friday. I could see the smoke as soon as I hit Crenshaw. I'll be back in a bit to actually write something about "sort of" covering this fire.

Okay, I'm back.

There was a mountain lion prowling around our neighborhood. It attacked one of our neighbor's dogs and I grabbed a golf club and chased it off. Yeah, it's still April 1st.

Most of the time I take Crenshaw to work in the afternoon to avoid the downtown freeway traffic. The smoke from the fire made the hills above Hollywood look like a volcano. If you live here you already know that. You could freaking see it from everywhere.

The closer I drove to Hollywood, the more I was feeling bitter and and kind of disgruntled. Crap, it was still a training day. I wasn't getting assigned to the fire and my trainee wasn't ready to shadow another crew. He was going to need the full session. Nothing to do, but call the assignment desk and forget about the raging inferno happening just over the hill.

Yup, just gotta be an adult about it and do the job I volunteered to do. . .

. . .or I could skip calling the desk and move the training session off the lot. Somehow, I can't help but feel like that was. . .I mean would have been wrong to do. It's kind of a grey area.

We took a look at things from the Hollywood reservoir side of the hill. I didn't know they wouldn't let cameras onto the DWP property. That's some more 9/11 fallout.

I can understand the higher security for the area. We just wanted some coolshots of the water drop helicopters filling up. Not that serious. We got the shots we wanted, but had to take them through the fence.

It turned out to be a great day of training and I even got a few still shots from the field. I don't know if any of the footage my trainee shot made it to air, but we did manage to help out one of our crews. I stepped up to assist with a liveshot around 4:00. They might have been fine without our help, but it kind of justified our sneaking out.

Darn, I'm out of time.

Okay, I'm going to go wrestle an alligator and then go to bed. What? Come on, it's still the 1st.

Five Things You Don't Know About beFrank

I'm not smiling, I'm gritting my teeth.

Dave Goodman (why he hates me, I don't know) tagged me with this meme. I rarely participate, but Dellis (my lovely wife) thinks I should be more social. Pffft.

1. When I was in my twenties I performed standup comedy and was part of an improve group. We had a regular gig at a restaurant in Lomita, California called Seymour Hamm's.

2. I'm a lifelong asthmatic (hey, T) and I carry an inhaler with me every minute of every day. I rarely think about it because that's just a normal part of my life.

3. Right after college I wrote a novel, but never really tried to get it published. It's not that I don't have faith in it. At the time I put it away with the intention of doing a re-write and shopping it around eventually. I went on to other projects and just lived my life. I still expect to go back and get it published, but I'm just happy to be able to say that I've written a book.

4. My first car was a white 1979 Camaro Z-28. I've only bought myself two vehicles since my Camaro; a 1986 Nissan pickup and a 1999 Jeep Wrangler. Not by choice, but they've both been white also. It's turned into a tradition and my next car will probably be white also.

5. It hasn't happened recently, but every now and then I get an assignment that involves interviewing nude women.

I was going to write about some other stuff I did in my younger days, but I'm not sure about the statute of limitations.

Well, I guess I have to share the pain with other people.

Stuart (Lenslinger)
Rusty Surette

I swear you can tag me all you want, but this is the last meme I'm doing.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Bobba Frank?

These have already started popping up around town. They're mailboxes made up to resemble R2D2 from the "Star Wars" movies and marketing enterprise.

Don't let the word "enterprise" confuse you. I'm only talking Star Wars here.

Back on Wednesday, the United States Post Office and Lucasfilms held a big old splashy premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. New movie? Nope.

It wasn't a new movie. The two increasingly irrelavant entities unveiled. . .

. . .stamps. . .commemorative stamps. It makes perfect sense on a marketing level. There are--


(sigh) Okay, the art looks cool. I just wish Lucas would put some effort into better writing for his scripts. All that money he's raked in from the fans of his original movies and we can't get satisfying entertainment out him?

That's right, I said it. The emperor has no clothes. . .and soylent green is people!

Okay, skip that last part. I admit, I'm being a little snarky about the whole thing. Heck, I'm the last person who should complain. It was a training day for me.

Woo-hoo, just happy to be out of the office!

I'm not all that impressed by grown people dressed up in "Star Wars" costumes. On the other hand, there were some young kids in the audience and watching them react to the characters was pretty nice. Warm fuzzies from an assignment is a rare good thing.

I'll admit, for the most part it was a fun event to cover.

I even got to meet a couple of guys from Starlog/Star Trek magazine. Heck, I used to read Starlog pretty regularly and I'll still pick it up from time to time.

For me, just meeting nice people is another one of the rare perks of working in news.

Getting out and seeing things for myself, events that most people only get to watch on TV, that's always going to be a thrill. I'm lucky and thankful for the experience.

I'm not going to go so far as to apologize to George Lucas or the United States Post Office. I'll stand by my criticism of George's cinematic efforts. I don't think I've crossed any lines, but it would be kind of cool if I did write something on my blog that Lucasfilms didn't like.

I think we all know that if Lucasfilms sent me a cease and desist letter and it had a Star Wars stamp on it, without a doubt I'd frame that sucker.

Hey, look. Son-of-a-gun, it's Friday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Right place at the right time?

It wasn't a publicity stunt. That's what Tim Kimball told me in the parking lot yesterday about the Enzo Ferrari crashed by Eddie Griffen.

I was wrapping up my day and bumped into him as he was starting his shift. Wow, I didn't know we had the only video of the crash. That was one of the most watched pieces of video on the planet this week.

What? You haven't seen it?

Here's a link to the video on the CBS2/KCAL9 web site.

Go watch it and come back. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Photo by Tim Kimball

Hey, check it out. The still shot was sent to me from Tim. He took it with his cell phone camera.

Heh-heh, I got an exclusive. Imagine a little animated cartoon Ferrari graphic shooting across the lower third of the picture and an audio stinger that goes "HATAI!" Like the character Hiro from the NBC show "Heroes".

Hmm, I really should consider doing video on this blog.


That's Tim Kimball there. Super nice guy and a heck of a good photographer. Anyway, Tim had gotten to the location early and he was lucky enough to be the only photographer who got the whole thing on tape (tape? we really gotta get those new cameras out the door). He was pretty modest about it, but I think it speaks pretty highly of his work ethic that he had his camera out of the cradle and was shooting before the event had even started.

Yay, Tim!

He told me there was one other person at the event at the time with a video camera. The other guy wasn't a news photographer (he was maybe the track's videographer) and that guy might have stopped rolling, but for whatever reason the other guy didn't get footage of the actual crash.

There seems to be some suspicion that it might have been a publicity stunt. Some people will probably want to believe that no matter what, but Tim told me he believed it to be a genuine accident. He's making that call based on everyone's reaction. Crash the Ferrari? Apparently nobody saw that coming.

I'm glad nobody was hurt. I can't speak for the owner of the Enzo, but if it was my car I know what my reaction might be at seeing my million dollar car go crunch.

Woo, I just had a terrible thought. I imagined it was my newsvan. I'm going to go sit down for a while.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Just ready and able! (okay, willing)

I'm a photojournalist and I'm going to say it one more time, I love what I do. Not right at the moment so much, but you know, like in general.

I want to try and make clear that I don't hate what I'm doing. Helping with the training seems to be something that I have a good personality for and I'm willing to do it. Just understand, it's just difficult to go from being on the front line of news coverage to what I'm doing for now.

Okay, daily gripe session over.

Here's what was cool about yesterday.

I was out with a trainee shadowing Reporter Mark Coogan and Photographer Carl Stein on a story about a fatal shooting in South Los Angeles. We were at the Music Center interviewing Councilwoman Jan Perry and somebody else (that's "somebody else" being interviewed in the picture). Sorry, but I wasn't paying attention to the story. I was in training mode. That's why Mark Cooogan is holding two mics. We're shooting the interview with two sets of gear; one set of DVCPro gear for broadcast and the XDCAm gear for training.

We had just wrapped up when the wind and rain hit.

Did anybody else get caught in it? Holy crap, that was some freaky weather. One minute the sun was out, but pretty quickly the sky went dark and overcast.

We'd just gotten back into the van when the wind really started gusting. The water from the fountains at the DWP building was being blown all the way across the street and hitting people as they ran for cover.

I wasn't happy to be out in the weather, but I liked seeing it for myself. That's really a big part of why I enjoy shooting for the news. I could go into the whole "working for the truth" spiel, but that's just part of it.

I get to see stuff.

Maybe I could say it in a more eloquent manner, but often there's no eloquence in the "stuff" I get to see. It's not all death and destruction, but you have to be willing to wade through the car chases and tragedy for the opportunity to have a front row seat to events that become part of history.

Well, it's just about time for me to leave for work. Heh, heh, I started this post last night, but fell asleep. It's another training day. The sun is up and the world looks full of potential. I have no idea where I'll be in a few hours, but I'm sure looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

They thought I was crazy, but I remember packing a candy bar.

Wow, Monday already. Technically I got a few more minutes, but for all intents the weekend is over. I sure hope everybody made good use of their time.

Hello, work week.

More of the same from last week is in store for me. Training, training, training. I'll be back in the field with a trainee and hopefully covering an interesting story. Somebody asked if I might have been assigned to cover some sort of party at the Playboy Mansion last week.

Yeah, right.

Nope, that would have been way too cool for me. The trainee and I were out at LAX for a presser with the Los Angeles City Attorney. Good ol' Rocard "Rocky" Delgadio was going after the TSA baggage handlers who'd been caught stealing out of the luggage.


I've suspected as much all along. Not that I have anything of real money value, but I've always felt this was a possibility.

The stuff they were ripping off came from Asian tourists and apparently Paris Hilton had a $100,000.00 watch ripped off. It was kind of cool to hear our reporter Mark Coogan say Paris Hilton's name in a story for the first time. He'd been lucky enough to have never once said it on the air.

Hmm, maybe I should feel sad for him instead.

We took it easy on Friday night. Dellis came up to Hollywood for dinner and a movie. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen at "Hollywood and Highland" and saw the late afternoon showing of "300" in the nearly empty Chinese Theatre. That was pretty cool. Almost like going to the Laemmle downtown, but you know, except big.

I wouldn't go so far as good, but the movie was fun. I bet the studio saved a ton of money on costumes. All the Spartans wore during the whole movie were Speedos and capes.

I spent some time on the "shed project" on Saturday. It's coming along. I'm looking forward to a little extra space in the garage. Hopefully the elbow room makes it easier for me to get things done.

Before I forget, one more thing about the TSA situation. Somebody asked the question, why aren't they being charged in federal court? Federal employees breaking the law while on the federal time clock should be charged in federal court. I'm no legal expert, but it kind of makes sense. I was busy with the training, so I'm not sure the answer was made clear during the press conference.

If I hear anything about that, I'll keep you posted.

BTW - At dinner on Friday I had a bowl of tortilla soup and their BBQ chicken salad. Dellis had the chicken tequila fettuccine. With the (chicken) lettuce wrap appetizer, Dellis had a mango mojito and I had a bottle of Corona in a chilled glass.

I'm missing the field, but life is still pretty good. Happy Monday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Light at the End of the Tunnel?

All metaphors aside, I'm talking about our move. It's coming and son of a gun, we might actually survive. We're getting out trainees up to speed on the new edit system and I sat down with Marvin on Wednesday to start writing up tip sheets on the Aurora edit trucks.

I have to tell you, the small taste of what (I think) it must feel like to write for a living was pretty seductive. I might have done a bit more reflecting on that whole notion, but during the course of that day I was also told when I'll be back in the field.

It's coming sooner than I thought. I couldn't be happier.

In the meantime, I'll just keep trying to get a taste of news while handling training duties.

Like today.

We were in Willmington today for a press conference with Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Los Angeles Police Captain Joan McNamara. They announced an offer of a $75,000 reward for information about a shooting that took place nearby at a small mom & pop style market.

It's difficult not to believe in capital punishment when something like this happens. Someone just opened fire into the market. The gunfire injured one person and killed Kendall Chun.

I saw the surveillance video footage after the press conference. I'm not sure if anyone aired it completely, but I could see Kendall Chun as he's hit by a bullet. He staggers for a moment and seems confused, then falls to the ground.

I'm not sure if his parents saw the video, but I really hope they were spared the sight of their child's death.

Later we went over to the market and it was a creepy, but familiar feeling to walk around and just be in the same location as the video where we had just seen someone murdered for no reason. Other people were at the market going about their normal day to day lives. I went inside, bought three plums and a bottle of water. It's hard to tell if anyone else was feeling it, but the whole time I was at the location I was very aware of the fact that, hey, the killer hadn't been caught yet.

You never know when you might be a target.

We're often at crime scenes and I can't say that I miss that part of the job, but I'm still eager to get back to it.

Uh, that's not a train coming is it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't call me Rocket Man

Most of my shift on Monday was spent inside the edit bays over at our new station. Training? Nope. I was ingesting material shot during the training sessions from about a month ago.

Don't laugh.

Seriously, that's what I was doing. I was going to call this post, "Oh, how the mighty have fallen," but it seems like I remember using that title already.

As you might guess, that's not what I consider to be a really interesting day. Between my back pain and boredom, I'm blocking out whole parts of Sunday, and a good chunk of Monday.

Maybe I should put up a sign that just says, "Back on Thursday."

The one interesting thing I think worth mentioning happened at home late on Monday night.

Lots of people have seen my earring. I've worn it for maybe ten or fifteen years now and I even posted about once before. I was sitting at my computer playing with the Adobe Lightroom software trial version (yeah, I should have been posting). Dellis was nearby watching TV and I heard her laughing.

Something was really funny.

I turn around and see a promo for an Elton John special airing on BBC America.

Now, we've had this problem from time to time and it's been mentioned recently. Honest, I'm not trying to be trendy or stylish. Gee, I'm sure neither of us was the first person to wear a crucifix earring. It's a small symbol of my personal beliefs. I don't think about it, because I never take it off.

Nothing against him, but I'm not trying to be like Elton John. I'm always pretty happy just to be me. Dellis knows that, but it's always kind of a funny coincidence when once in a blue moon something I'm wearing actually resembles a fashion statement or coincides with popular culture.

It's already Wednesday. The forecast is cloudy with little or no chance of news for me. I wish something would happen.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day off

I had the weekend laid out with the intention to work on my yard. That's not working out too well. I pulled a muscle in my back this week. Being a guy, I cowboy'd up and ignored the pain. Woke up this morning in massive pain. Medicated myself and tried to go about my day.

I didn't get far.

Now I'm sitting down with a heating pad and I expect to spend the better part of Sunday right here.

Well, just so I'm not wasting the time, maybe I'll look back for some pictures to post.

Just don't feel sorry for me. I sort of brought it on myself.
Sent from my BlackBerry


Son of a gun. I think I see what I was doing wrong.
Sent from my BlackBerry

Yet another test

Testing the email to post settings. 


Friday, March 16, 2007

Thoughts on a quiet Friday night.

Seeing the Mayor twice in one week? I don't remember if that's considered a lucky thing or maybe one of the signs of the apocalypse. Know what? I don't care. It's Friday night and I'm in a good mood about work right now.

You can't blame me for being enthusiastic about the move to our new station. Other folks might be looking forward to it just for the sake of having a shiny new cafeteria. For me, it's going to mark the end (maybe) of my days out of the field and that thought is insanely uplifting right now.

As much as I've whined and complained (yeah, bitch, bitch, bitch), being in a position to fill a role that's seems to be pretty darn critical to our migration to a new shooting format and our move to a new facility, it's actually just. . .hmm, how can put this?


At least it's gotten me out of the office. The Mayor and a bunch of his friends. . .well, staff, held a press conference on the road into Griffith Park from Los Feliz. I had a trainee with me and we were shadowing one of our DVCPro crews.

Most of the training right now for us photographers and editors is focused on mastering the basics of the Grass Valley Aurora editing system (you may have heard me mention this). We're specifically working out of Unit #19. My van. It's one of only two trucks that have been converted to the new XDCam system.

All through every day that I've been working on training, I've maintained that I'm no expert on this stuff. Heck, when it comes down to editing in general, I'm just a nuts and bolts kind of guy. I don't miss slot, all the tracks get covered, and I haven't seen a flash frame in many many months.

This week I'm training news photographers who are considered to be some of the best and the brightest. I'm training guys who were winning awards many years ago while I was still trying to get my foot in the door in Bakersfield. Yeah, Bakersfield.

That might make some people get a little cocky.

I don't know what you've heard, but just between you and me, I find it to be a humbling experience. Guys who are good now and were good when I was still the green new guy on staff are sitting in my truck and seem to be listening to what I have to say.

Heck, the man who was Chief Photographer and hired me, he was my first trainee this week. Watch this. . ."POP!" That's my mind blowing. "POP!" See, there it goes again.

There hasn't been a day this week where someone hasn't remarked about how patient I am and how much they learn because of the way I handle training. That's good, I like that. I want people to know how much I care about all of us learning the new system and being very good at our job.

The only thing that would give me more satisfaction? If everyone knew just one thing about who I am. I'm a quiet person and I don't easily talk to other people about some things that do mean a lot to me. Our training and the whole idea of making sure every photographer on staff is good equipment serves a higher purpose. When we move, we have an opportunity to start fresh and do the things that we may have lost sight of over the years. It doesn't have to be said anywhere else, but I hope it's in the back of everyone's mind.

On the day we officially launch at the new station all I want is a simple thing.

I want to own every story and be first with all the news of the day. I want us to completely annihilate our competition.

Near as I can figure, the best way to do that is make sure we're all as well trained as possible. Right now, I'm smiling and I have a wicked gleam in my eye. I think I'm pretty good at what I'm doing right now. We're going to be pretty sharp out of the gate and I'm helping with that.

Heh-heh. Tell everyone, it's on.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

You too can be a news editor. . .

. . .and I can show you how.

Two days out in the field. Two glorious days back doing (or at least watching other people do) what I consider to be the bestest job in the world.

Then yesterday, filling in for one of the other "Super Users" (hello, Marvin!), I was back inside the new station working with the actual in-house editing staff during rehearsals.

I actually had a blast. The new building and new system is cool. Not million record pop-star cool, but pretty damn geeky cool. By the way, I'd show you more pictures of the new facility, but I can't.

It's still under wraps until the station gets the opportunity to show off and toot its' own horn. I'm being very very careful about what I blog. The last thing I want to do is feel like I'm leaking info to the world. Especially anything that my company would rather keep under wraps for now.

Better safe and all that.

I can barely keep my eyes open. It's been a recurring theme, but I need to get some sleep. No major thinking needed on this post. I'm still alive and looking forward to things going back to the regular routine.

I know it's not going to happen anytime soon, but I gotta have hope.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Interesting Zoo Wildlife

Thank you FlutePrayer. Now, on to our regularly scheduled post. . .

L.A. Zoo, Zoo, Zoo.

Wow, I don't even remember how long ago it was, but that was the commercial slogan used to advertise the Los Angeles Zoo ages ago. It just popped into my head.

Hmm. Unfortunately, now it's lodged there firmly with a good chance it's going to drive me insane before I can finish writing this post.

L.A. Zoo, Zoo, Zoo.

I'm jazzed to be posting tonight. It's a lot more fun when I've seen or done something interesting worth writing about. Not that I didn't have some difficulties in getting this written up. I posted the pictures, but was delayed while Blogger worked out a temporary network hiccup. Yeah, Blogger experiencing difficulties.

Go figure. That rarely happens.

My life in news took a slight turn for the better this week. I'm still on the team working with our fellow photogs to make sure everyone is up to speed on the new equipment.

Guess what I got to do. Come on, guess.

I got to go out into the field. We're past the classroom portion of the training and now we're out in the real world putting the people and the equipment though the paces of actually covering the news.

The big story of the day (for me at least) was the announcement of Ruby the Elephant's retirement from the zoo to an elephant habitat near Sacramento.

That's Ruby.

I understand the arguments made by animal rights activists and I understand the zoo supporters who believe large animals can be held in captivity. It's an interesting conflict, but I have to confess that even though I'm more inclined to see wild animals be left in the wild, it hasn't been a pressing concern.

It was just good to be out in the field again. I liked being there and getting a sense of things for myself. I don't know if viewers watching the news can ever get the same feeling as I do when I'm actually there for a story.

I suppose that's part of what we're supposed to do.

Maybe I should have been more concerned. I'm feeling out of practice for the real job I signed on to do. I know my focus wasn't where it should have been, but I'm not beating myself up. It was a smaller story. There wasn't really anything to miss, but it'll help me keep in mind how important it is to stay focused when I'm doing my job.

All in all? Good practice. I'll try not to forget the lesson I learned.

. . .okay, and one more time. L.A. Zoo, Zoo, Zoo.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Vegetarian Warning: This post contains meat.

I'll get to that, just let me vent first.

The bad? I've got an electrical problem in my house that keeps tripping a breaker. I replaced the breaker last weekend, but that didn't fix the problem. I started replacing the outlets and wall switches and I thought I had been lucky enough to find the bad one. The power stayed on for about five hours before the breaker tripped again. You may have heard me cussing.

The circuit controls the lights and outlets in our bedroom. I'm all for living a romantic life filled with candlelight, but I'm working dayside shifts and I need the alarm clock.

The good?

Joe Ruiz had some folks over for barbecue.

If I'm lucky, he might bring some leftovers into the station tomorrow. As I type, I'm using the power of my mind to send Joe a telepathic message.

"Joe, hook up Bryan with some leftovers"

Yeah, I know I'm kidding myself, but I'm going to have to face throwing some money at my electrical problem. Thinking about the food is helping to keep my mind off things.

This week I'll be out in the field. We're cranking up the training by putting the trainees out in Unit #19 to cover actual news. Another crew will be shadowing us with a set of the DVCPro gear. I'm hoping to yank off the training wheels, ditch the shadow crew and work a story without the safety net.

If the barbecue is long gone, maybe I can at least get another cookie.

Happy Monday. All things considered, I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I've shot Nazis.

With my camera, but still.

It's Friday and I am so happy to be sitting in front of my computer at home right, it's not even funny. Wow, I just completed a two hour care-free surf of the internet. I could have started in on my long list of weekend chores, but I needed a quiet bit of mindless unproductive web surfing. It helps to untangle the jumbled mess in my head caused by another week of shark wrestling.

Wait, I mean XDCam/GVG Aurora/Complete TV station moving work. Sorry about the mix up. I was daydreaming about shark wrestling. See, I used to lead a happy-go-lucky life of adventure. The part I'm playing in the current day to day operation of our station is. . .


. . .a lot less interesting.

I'm so desperate to get back out to the field that I snuck out once this week to help a crew working out at LAX.

Here's a mildly interesting tidbit. We used to park anywhere we wanted to park out at the airport. You remember the recording that used to play out by the curbside in front of the terminal?

"The white zone is for the immediate loading and unloading. . ."

You remember that? We used to ignore the heck out that message. We could park in front of the terminal for hours and leave the van unattended.

That all changed after 9/11. Now we have to keep one person at the van at all times and only park the vehicles in certain areas (can't tell you where, it's a matter of. . .uh, national security).

It still felt great to be out there doing liveshots on the story involving the two woman poisoned in Russia. It started out as a simple liveshot, but we complicated it by running cable from the upper level roadway down to the lower level, across a few pedestrian walkways, around some plants. . .

. . .and into the arrival area inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal. It was probably a hundred yards of cable.

I ran camera. A 3 or 4 year old cute little Vietnamese kid kept sticking his tongue out at me. I knew he was Vietnamese because his father told me. The kid and his father were waiting to pick up someone and the father kept wandering off.

An airport cop was about to make a fuss about the kid being all alone. I was surprised to look around and not see the dad anywhere. For a minute I was trying to explain that the dad was around somewhere.

The dad runs up and the cop gave him a stern warning. I rolled my eyes. We did our liveshot, wrapped up a lot of cable and I went straight home from the airport.

A while back, I might not have written about this. It was just a routine day. Kind of sad that it's now the high point of my week.

As I explained to a friend earlier today, you remember in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Indiana Jones was teaching his class and he had the tie on and glasses and looked like a geek? That's me right now. Adventure used to have a name and it used to "beFrank"

(sigh) I miss my fedora and my whip.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Don't wait until you get me home.

The cool? We have a million dollars worth of new cameras. The not so cool? Most of them are sitting in a room waiting to be put into the field.

As far as the million dollar price, I'm pretty sure it tops out over a million, but let's just round it off to a cool million for the 20+ cameras. If you're wondering, the Chief Photographer/Operations Manager in the shot isn't included in the sticker price.

If it were up to me I'd start passing them out to the photographers and tell them all to go out and shoot up the town. Just go. That's my attitude with new gear.

Probably a good thing I don't make those kinds of decisions.

Anyway, the new XDCams are disk based instead of tape based like our current DVCPro cameras. Not easy to work with the disks when the current facility is geared towards tape.

We're going to have to wait until we're moved over to the new station.

Yup, we're not ready just yet to make the switch over to the new system, but soon my precious.

Um, sorry. I've been re-watching "Lord of the Rings" recently and I can't get the Gollum voice out of my head.

So, let's just say, soon. We'll be shooting with the new cameras We'll make the full conversion to high-def. I'll be back in the field living a life of action and adventure.

Until then, let's see, on Thursday I'm working on ingesting to our video server the material shot during the past several weeks of training. Zzzzzzz. On Friday I think I'm helping to field test the second microwave truck that's undergone the GVG Aurora edit system conversion. Zzzzzz. Next week, I'm in the field for hands on work with trainees for the next step in the GVG Aurora training.

Shoot me now.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I like putting the news on TV.

Slow news days for me. Not much has been happening that that really feels like something to post about. In these days before our move to a new facility, I've been working with a handful of my fellow photographers in working out conversion to High Def (HD).

Really quickly that gets complicated and doing the translation of the technobabble puts me to sleep faster than a City Council Meeting.

It's also a pretty tricky thing to navigate the minefield of what I should and shouldn't write about concerning the inner workings of my station. So, most of what I've been doing for the past three months have fallen into that shadowy area of "this could be sensitive information that I shouldn't blab about".

I probably walk a more cautious road than I need to, but I like having built up a fair amount of trust.

I managed to latch onto one story last week that I haven't posted about. It was a killer week already with the Academy Awards, but then I got offered a late breaking SNG assignment to Palm Springs for a tornado that had torn the roof off of a house.

With respect to the events that happened in other parts of the country later in the week, that's the kind of thing we don't expect here in our coverage area.

After working a dayside shift and already starting the mental cheerleading I do to face afternoon rush hour traffic, there was only one thing to say when I was asked if I could work a double shift to run an SNG truck in Palm Springs.

Let me stop for a minute though. You know what's funny to me? The question was asked something like this.

"Bryan, do you want to run a SAT truck out to Palm Springs for the late newscasts tonight?"

I'm not sure if people understand me. It's not much about working overtime. Okay, yes I like being paid the extra money when I work past my regular hours, but I like being at home too. There are other photogs who need the overtime. I'm always thankful for being offered and I'm "willing" to take the assignment, but most of the time I'd rather be at home writing (or making an attempt to get any one of a dozen home projects finished). That's what I "want" and the only thing I want more is to make sure I've done my part to cover the news.

When I'm needed, what I want isn't really an issue.

I'm a news photographer and for me that runs pretty deep. With all the hours this year that I've put into projects related to our move, when offered a chance to get out into the field and help cover a breaking story, there's really not a lot I need to say.


I don't need to think about it. It's no choice at all.