Monday, February 28, 2011

Cutting Charlie

It's a kind of wonky night.  I staked out the CNN building until Charlie Sheen came out and made a dash for his car.

Now I'm hanging in a news van because I had to drop off some of the today Charlie video to the crew putting together the package.

That's Tim Kimball in the back of the news van cutting the package.

Go Tim, go.

They're on at the top of the 10pm show.

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Not my night, Charlie?

Maybe it's not the best quote, but that's all I got.

I was hanging outside of the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard, waiting for the troubled (?) Mr. Sheen was doing another stop on his media tour.

Some days my job is an adventure.

Some days it's not.

(sigh)                                                                                                                                                

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Day: Welcome to the Truck Farm

I could go through the trouble of making my way through security, but that seems like more trouble than I'm interested in putting myself through this morning.

It was enough of a pain in the behind just to find a relatively close drop off point this morning.

It's not the bar at the Roosevelt (so close), but "Big Blue" is comfortable enough.  I'll be camping out in the truck farm for the day.

You enjoy the show.

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Whoa!

The big day is coming up fast.  It's nothing I haven't done before, but I can't remember the last time I went into Academy Awards coverage after so many hours on the clock.  Getting sleep is one thing, but actually getting some down time or some rest is something else.



Friday night I was up after midnight parking "Big Blue" in the truck farm behind the El Capitan Theatre.  I'd been asleep most of the evening after having worked a full shift dayside and after having worked a double shift the day before that.

No wonder I came home and zonked out for a few hours.



Did I miss anything?

I only ask because while you were sleeping at nearly 3:00am, I was wandering around the nearly empty Hollywood Boulevard and the area staged up for this year's Academy Award red carpet.



Quiet and amazing (to me).  I wish there was someone standing next to me so I could punch that person in the arm and say, whoa, dude, check it out.


As it was, all I could do was snap a few pictures and hope someone appreciates the effort.


There was a lot of time for quiet reflection.  Mostly I wondered what the chances of zombies or vampires coming out of the shadows and chasing me down, then killing me and dragging my body back into the shadows where I'd never be heard from and the mystery of what happened to me would never be solved.

Okay.  Maybe too much quiet reflection time.


It's going to be a long day.  I'll be happy to share a few photos if I have the chance to snap a picture or two, but I'll be working the truck pretty much straight through the day.

All I'm really looking forward to is getting through the day and putting this awards season to bed.

Followed soon after by me.

Enjoy the Oscars.  Don't let the zombies and vampires get you.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Saturday

The shots are actually from Friday.  I'm relaxing in the SAT truck before the start of my shift.

Somebody do the "don't rain" dance so it stays dry today.  Yesterday wasn't too bad, but a nice dollop of SoCal sunshine couldn't hurt.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Early Oscar Work

It's an even worse load-in than the one we did for the Grammy Awards.  Nothing against the Academy Awards folks.  They've been very cool.  It's just been long days recently and there's miles to go before I sleep.

For my sake, try and have a normal weekend.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RIP: Dwayne McDuffie

He wasn't someone I knew, but I thought his work was very cool. Dwayne McDuffie passed away today at the age of 49.



He was a writer and producer for comic books and Hollywood. He might be best known to the general public for his work on the Saturday morning cartoon, "Static Shock".



I enjoyed his writing and I admit that I cheered for him and his partners when they set out to create their own comic book universe with Milestone Media.



Even though the mega-bucks money they can generate has put comic book heroes on the map, I'll always have a greater appreciation for what comics can do for a person's imagination and sense of right and wrong.



It's just sad that someone who made a pretty nice contribution to the world is no longer with us, but I hope his work continues to inspire others.

Even though it might be kind of goofy, wherever he is, I also hope he's flying, shooting plasma beams from his eyes and bench pressing tall buildings.

Well, Hello, Carol Channing!

So cool.

There were a number of older members of Broadway royalty at the Pantages Theater last night. I was there to cover the 90th Birthday and fundraising event being held to honor Carol Channing.



It's a shame, but I know there are probably a lot of younger readers of my blog that have no idea who Carol Channing is, just as I couldn't name many of the actors and actresses that attended and participated in the event.



I don't care. At least I knew who Carol Channing was and it was just hands down a great experience to witness.



Bruce Vilance was the host of the evening. Unconventional is probably the best way to describe him. For those who don't know, he's a comedy writer and if you laughed at anything while watching an awards show, variety show, stage show or musical performance in the last fifteen or twenty years, Bruce probably wrote the joke.



Carole Cook is a friend and contemporary of Carol Channing. It was interesting to get the history lesson of their friendship spiced up with a few funny anecdotes.



It was another pleasant surprise of the evening that the media was given such great access before and even during the event.

Held in the lobby area of the Pantages, we were led to prime spots behind the center concession counter and later, for Carol Channing's entrance, we were positioned to one side of the stage.



The message between the lines that I took away from the evening was all about living life to the fullest and using your imagination to follow your dreams.



Sure, that might sound a bit corny, but these people have led some pretty amazing lives. Maybe some were born rich or well connected. The stories they told were mostly about hardship and hard work.

We could all tell each other to just be born with rich parents, but I'm okay with the hard work route.



It makes for a much better musical show stopping finish before the final curtain comes down.

You can't see it, but I'm tipping my hat and taking a bow. This is the part where you applaud.



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Felony Traffic Stop

I'm not working today and just minding my own business, but no way was I not grabbing a shot of this as I drove past.

I called the station, but they hadn't heard about it yet.

I'll update later if I find out what it was.

UPDATE: Well, I found out this was all for nothing. Cops believed it was a stolen vehicle.

Stolen? Yeah, not exactly.

It was actually being repo'd. I figure the guy laying out on the freeway is the repo-man.

Good thing he didn't make any funny moves that could have gotten him shot and/or killed. Occupational hazard I guess.

Nothing to see here. Move along.



See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ratted Out

Even though it's not usually on my radar, I have to admit that I've always thought it was pretty cool (in a totally dysfunctional messed up kind of way) that you just know some people are watching "America's Most Wanted" in the hopes of dropping a dime on someone they know.



I went b&w because all the recent shots are cell phone photography and well, heck, I just felt like it. Life has been unusually challenging for me lately and I just wanted to get something up for the weekend.

It was either this or a couple of shots from my assignment at the Grammy Awards that might be interesting, but I'd rather wait to post until I have more time to gather my thoughts.

(How's that for a tease?)



Okay, back to the John Walsh interview. He wouldn't have any reason to remember me, but I interviewed him in Salt Lake City several years ago when Elizabeth Smart was found.



That was back in my pre-blogging days and I hadn't even been that into taking stills. I have to admit though, it was kind of cool to be able to look back into the BeFrank Archives and actually find a few shots from that particular trip.



I didn't find any shots of John Walsh, but I did have this shot of me, likely taken by fellow photographer Ron Wenning who was also on that out of town adventure.

Yes, that's an SUV and back in those days it wasn't even questioned when we rented vehicles which provided enough room for our gear and enough space to live out of if we were stuck in the field doing our thing.

Yeah, woo-hoo!



Back to the nearly here and now (this shoot was the week before last, maybe about February 8th 'ish).

The America's Most Wanted crew was shooting a few elements for an upcoming show at one of LAPD's training facilities.



It was pretty cool to see other folks doing their job and it gave me a nice little view of the green grass on the other side.



Not often, but I sometimes wonder if the choices I made to pursue a news career path was the best decision.

Things have changed (and continue to change) since I cut my first 1:30 package and threw up my first microwave shot. At the end of the day, I still think I have a pretty high level of job satisfaction. I get to see and do things that interest me. Even though the random nature of what I do makes life more challenging than a normal 9-5, more often I'm seeing a cooler side of life.


Photo by Suzie Suh

It was cool to see John Walsh shooting his intros and teases. It was even cooler to see him bean bagging a practice dummy with a less than lethal shotgun.

The coolest thing was probably hitting up their craft services table for a donut and a cup of coffee.

Mmmmm.

My thanks to Mr. Walsh and their crew for everything they've accomplished with their show (also the donut was a very nice bonus).



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