Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Play's the Thing

Am I busy? Naw. How could I be busy when I have time to sleep.

Pretty wiped after the long week of covering the news and being a part of the Smile & Breathe event at the Falcon Club. I would have crawled under the covers and hibernated all weekend if not for the fact that a friend of mine was selected to have his work included in the NAACP Festival of 10 Minute Plays which itself was a part of the NAACP Theater Festival.

That's my friend, Kevin Stith in the photo above to the right. He wrote and produced. The man on the left is his director, Lee Pugsley.

The festival was being held this past weekend at the Los Angeles Theater Center on Spring Street in downtown.

It was an all day event, but I couldn't stay all day. I was already feeling loopy, but it also wasn't possible for me to just sit at home and maybe miss something.

What to do?

I'm glad I made it out. The 10 minute plays I caught were pretty freaking cool.

I was also thinking how it's been several weeks since I last set foot in a movie theater. The summer months have been leaving me pretty disappointed in Hollywood's ability to entertain me without pandering.

I hope someone from Hollywood was in the audience and I hope they were taking notes on who these people were (on stage as well as behind the scenes).

I enjoyed the writing. I enjoyed the performances. The stories were perfect in their simplicity and beautiful in their sincerity.

I applauded them and will continue to wish them all well. Not just for their sakes.

Seriously, I'm gonna vomit if I have to watch one more un-funny, un-original, Hollywood watered down, written and performed for the lowest common denominator, marketed to morons, piece of Hollywood summer en-ter-tain-ment.

Take some risks. Be creative.

Screw it, I'll wait for these guys and gals.
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Smile and Breathe or Sleep?

People have asked me recently how I manage to survive on so little sleep.  That's funny.  I think what I'm doing these days just barely meets the minimum requirements of "survival".

I've come to the conclusion that sleeping is often overrated and even more so when missing out on it is for a good cause.

Like Friday night.

Auxy Espinosa invited me to be a part of a gallery show for a charity fundraising event she, Julian Reyes and Rasha Goel put together with Eddie Paez of "e The Project".

The fund raising was being held to support a book project meant to inspire and give hope to cancer patients, their friends and their families.

Heavy stuff.  It was definitely an honor to be asked to share my work for such a worthy cause.

A friend and still photographer I work with pretty often, Su-e Tan, was also invited to be a part of the event.  Su-e works in the graphics department of our station (CBS2/KCAL9).  If you watch us at all, then you've seen his art in promotional work for us.

This was his first actual gallery show.  I've done a couple of gallery shows before, but this time Su-e and I would be sharing space with a couple of pretty established artists.

Nothing to be nervous about.

With room for only five pieces, I had a tough time deciding which photographs would be best to put on display.  After a fair bit of stress I settled on my five.  They turned out to be a mix of some past and some more recent shots that I thought showed a good representation of my work as a photographer.

Not everything I do, but a fair showing of it.

Heck, I'm not the nervous type anyway in these situations.  I've always gotten a sense that people enjoy my photos and I'll let you in on a little secret.  When you're not competing with anyone and your life isn't depending on how your work is received (but you set out to do your best) you really don't have much to worry about.

That's my philosophy anyway.  Plus I knew the room we'd be showing our work in was right next to the bar.  If I had any problems they wouldn't be so big that they couldn't be solved with a nice frosty cold beer (I know, that's my answer for everything).

I will admit that on the way to the event I heard an unexpected radio spot mentioning it and mentioning that CBS2/KCAL9 would be covering it.

Gee, that was new.  It gave me pause.  Wow, this event is going to be pretty big.

If things actually started going badly, I mean if it came down to it, I was perfectly willing to do something personally embarrassing to distract people.

Actually, with my lack of sleep (and again, after having had a couple of beers) I'd have been willing to do something like that even if things were going great.

As it was, the moment of pause was actually just a moment.  The event, along with our photography work, was well received.

Now, somebody say something nice about the easels I spent a good portion of my week building.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fatal Accident and Fires.

Santa Barbara to Lebec and then back to Lebec.  Busy, busy, busy week.  I'll try to catch up later.  Until then here's a beFrank's eye view of the stories I'm working.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Move It!

First half of the day was spent in Santa Barbara covering a horrific big rig accident.

I got pulled from there and sent to Lebec over in Kern County.

It's not horrific yet, but it really looks like it has potential.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watching Paint Dry

Seriously.  That's what I'm doing.  Next Friday evening, my fellow photographer, Su-e Tan and I are taking part in a cancer awareness fundraising project.  We'll be showing (and hopefully selling) editions of our photographic art.  This weekend I'm building the easels for our display.  I guess I could have bought easels, but where's the fun, you know?

I'm pretty flattered to have been asked to be a part of the event.  I encourage people to make the time and come out.

It's a worthwhile cause and should be a fun evening.

"Smile and Breathe" at Falcon on Sunset Boulevard on Friday night, August 27th.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Missing Girls

Two eleven year old Pacoima girls are missing and we're on that story.  My day is busier than I planned.  Because of the nature of the story, my day--  whoops, never mind.  They were just found.

On to lunch.

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Signs of the Apocalypse.

Nothing like doing an early morning shift to let you know that you're alive.

Dead wouldn't feel as sleep deprived I bet.

Good morning, all.

Hey, weekend.  You're looking good.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

24LA: Part Two

(. . .continued from 24LA: Part One)

Having had a few weeks to recover, I still have a pretty strong memory of how tired I was on the Saturday morning of my 24 hour photo project.

"Very" tired probably doesn't really sum up how crappy I felt.

As I said in the previous post, my original intent to rest up before heading out into the night didn't work out. I visited the D.M. Gremlin Studio Open House after work instead of taking a nap.

The result of that (we'll call it questionable judgment) meant I was already up for 18 hours before I had even gotten started.

Adding to my questionable choices, I was also actually trying to do this without getting coffee'd up.

That didn't last. No, sir. not at all.

It was a much better day after I had some java running through my system. My body still suffered a bunch of "old man" aches and pains, but my surly attitude was much improved.

It wasn't likely that I'd actually hit every major landmark and point of interest (POI) that might interest my fanatically faithful blog readers.

I decided to just drive.

I drove around and constantly evaluated which touristy POI would interest someone who's never seen Los Angeles in person.

It also factored in whether or not I found something of interest. That's why I have shots of the "Trashy Lingerie" store on Fairfax, but nothing from "The Grove" entertainment/shopping center.

That shot of the Century Plaza Hotel was important to me. I'd tried to grab a shot of it during the early AM, but it just didn't look all that impressive as I drove past. There weren't enough lights on and I figured correctly that it would be more recognizable from the daylight shot.

Other locations like the sign over the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier and the marquee to the Santa Monica Laemmle Theater were easy to capture.

My only concern was that I'd run out of time before hitting many of the place that I liked. I kept going and never slowed down long enough to feel overwhelmed by the number of places I was looking to cover.

I think if you're really determined, to be thorough, you'd never really finish documenting the places that are meaningful in the City of Los Angeles.

The places that I couldn't see from behind the wheel of my car made me have to find a place to park and I managed to walk around a bit at many (if not most) of the locations.

There's no money to be made on it, but still, I believe the consensus is that it was a good idea. Someday I'll pat myself on the back for having it. At this point I still have too much on my plate to even begin writing up my deepest thoughts on the experience.

Like, why was Pink's not open for business at 7:00am. The next time I do this, I'm going to continue the theme and only take picutures of places that are always open 24 hours.

Next time, I'll also get some sleep before I head out.

I may not be smart, but that doesn't mean I can't learn.

(24LA: Part Three coming up. . .)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tragedy Off-Road

I'd have a tough time coming up with a more remote location that I've ever visited for a story.  Eight people lost their lives ii here.  Hard for me to say just how many more were injured.

In looking at video recorded at the scene as the crash happened, you can see how dangerous it was for the people watching the race at the very edge of the raceway.

More than one person we talked to commented on how dangerous it was for the spectators to be that close to the race.

"It was only a matter of time."

I'm so sorry that turned out to be true.

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unexpected, but i'll take it

Bad scene in Apple Valley.  SNG assignment and details to follow.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Still Keybored.

It's Friday, but next week will likely be more of the same.

I may have to dip into the archives for something to post about.

Hello, weekend.

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It's not a complaint, but even though I'm enjoying the challenge and responsibility of the edit system project, I could still use a day out in the field.

I want some news to cover or at least a chance to take a pretty photo.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still in Saigon. STILL!

A memorable line from Apocalypse Now.  I'm deep underground working with my station's ENG maintenance staff to hammer out our migration to our new edit system.

This is less fun than what I usually do, but now that I've been made aware of the fact that I haven't posted in over a week, I plan to step it up.

I'm determined to not be one of "those" bloggers.

At least not anymore.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Always Considered, Never Lightly.

Last week it was fires.  This week it's mostly helping the ENG maintenance guys by being the guinea pig on the new edit system install.

I still kind of miss last week when I was running a satellite truck up in Tehachapi for the big fire up there that destroyed quite a few homes.

I haven't said it in a while, but I think it bears repeating, that I don't ever hope for anything bad to happen.  There's plenty enough bad going on in the world without me or anyone working in news wanting for things to cover.

There's always just going to be a competitive eagerness to be there to do the job.  Nobody wants to sit around and I'd rather cover a large story that serves the public's interest if the option is mine to choose.

By the same token, I know I could find another way to make a living if in some freaky Schrödinger's cat paradox, bad things would stop happening to people if I stop putting it on TV.

Somehow, I don't think that's how things work, so I think I'm going to continue covering the news.

Sometimes that's going to be more difficult than others, but I guarantee you, just to see the pain and suffering of people won't ever be the point of what I do.

Working hard to bring home an accurate account of the events that happen in the world is way more to the point of my job.  Somewhere in the course of any assignment, I hope there's always room for compassion without risking the public's trust in that I'm not censoring what's important.

I wish i could ramble some more, but it's 5:30am.  Time for me to go to work.

If I seem eager, that's just because I'm lucky that my job is interesting to me.

You might not believe I'm being sincere, but I'll still say a little prayer in the hope that nothing bad happens to anyone.  I'm not being a hypocrite, I think that's just me being human.
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