Saturday, July 30, 2011

Big Action!


Driving out of my neighborhood we hit a patch of unexpected traffic near the Crenshaw Metro Rail Station.

Lots of flashing lights. Thought it might be an accident, but then we saw folks hooked up by the local police.

Don't know for sure what it was, but I didn't waste any time before tipping off my assignment desk.

Now, on to a nice mindless summer movie. Pass the popcorn.

Posted via email from beFrank's posterous

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sidewalk Meeting

What's Up With Instagram?

Okay, so here's the thing, I like my iPhone Instagram app. I like the lomo filter.

Of course I know I'm overdoing it with the shots that provide no context.

For that I can blame the Instagram app developers.

The app allows a title to be added to photographs, but I don't see where I can add text to the body of a post being sent to a blog.

Could it be me? Could that feature be there and I somehow have just missed it?

Sure. Maybe. I just thought you should know where I was coming from with this kind of funky look to the camera phone shots.

Until something better comes along, I'll stick with Instagram (which incidentally took Hipstamatic's spot on the phone).

Okay, I'll see about easing up on the lomo filter. It's only a matter of time before I get bored with it.

Shakespeare by the Sea

If all you ever do is seek out entertainment that doesn't challenge you, then you might miss out on something. That's the way I look at it.

That wasn't always the case. I can remember sleeping through a couple of plays back in college before they started to sink in.

These were plays I had to see as an assignment. One of them, I recall the first act, intermission and then being nudged by people as they were leaving.

Don't worry, the important thing was I still got the class credit.

So, after gaining a greater appreciation (I guess through osmosis) for "The Bard", over the years I've tried to expand my cultural horizon when I can.

That's a big part of why I catch a performance staged by the Shakespeare by the Sea organization every summer.

I'll admit to a certain amount of curiosity as to what Michael Bay or James Cameron might inflict upon a Shakespeare adaptation for the big screen.

"To be (BABOOOOOM!) or not to be. . ."

You traditionalists can say what you want, that would be awesome.

In the meantime, I'll continue to pack up my blanket, my beverages of choice, snacks, pillow and (very likely) my camera.

Under the stars, my wife and I will be entertained by the performance of course, but we'll also be enjoying the depth of character, the plotting and most certainly the words.

I think the actor playing Don John did a pretty good turn as the villain of the story. I'm a little particular because that character has one of my favorite Shakespeare lines.

I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with
a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and
seek not to alter me.

Bravo. Very cool (and this is one of his comedies).

No doubt, Shakespeare is way badass.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Larry King Murder

JLOP -vs- Anime Expo 2011

We go out looking for interesting things to shoot. We also look for strange and unusual. Yeah, well, as you can see, sometimes we don't have to look very hard.

I watched a pretty good amount of Japanese animation growing up. I could sing the theme songs for shows like "Gigantor", "The Amazing Three", "Kimba" and of course, "Speed Racer".

If you were hardcore back in those days, you even watched the subtitled "Brave Raideen" and maybe picked up a word or two of Japanese.

It never really crossed my mind to make myself a costume based on the characters from those shows.

If it did (and I swear it never did), I couldn't see myself suiting up and going hang out in public.

I'm pretty sure it was frowned upon back in those days.

Lucky for us the world is a little more understanding. It doesn't mean that dressing up as an anime character isn't still looked at as maybe a bit eccentric. At least these days if you decide to indulge, there are whole conventions where you can hang out with other folks who are into the same thing.

Just make sure you know the dates of the Anime Expo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Missing the Royals

I'm pretty sure you heard about the visit from England's rock star royal couple. Prince William and Princess Katherine, the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge were in town.

I was lucky enough to be at a couple of the events they attended while here.

Well, maybe "lucky" isn't quite the word for it.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciated the visit and I understand the need for high security when it comes to the royal couple.

That doesn't exactly mean I enjoy security sweeps that bite into my set up time when I have deadlines flying at me.

I just accept all the hurdles and hoops we jump through as a part of the job.

It makes me wonder though, if not being able to find the key to the airfield gate was supposed to increase my level of confidence.

Any (or all) of the frustrations from those days only get examined in hindsight. When I'm in the moment, I don't have a lot of time to reflect on how things should have happened.

We have only one chance to get it right.

It's not like we can ask them to circle the plane around and give us another crack at it.

Well, I guess we could ask. I just don't think we'd get a very pleasant response.

The big moment came pretty quickly after the plane touched down.

We had a photographer with a handheld camera out on the runway. A second live camera was on the media riser locked down on a wide shot.

Our reporter and a third photographer were also on the media riser. I'm counting myself as a photographer, but my job for the day was operating the sat truck.

Of course, I enjoy my SNG duties when on big stories. With a bit of luck and a dash of daring, I can usually find a legitimate reason to pop out of the truck and snap a few quick still shots.

It was a rare opportunity, but there won't be anything rare about the shots I managed to grab.

There's hundreds and maybe thousands of these shots from professional still photographers floating around. Dozens were there. Other than slightly different angles, everyone got nearly identical photos.

Not a big deal for me. I'm simply happy to have been there and to have had the opportunity to see the royal couple for myself.

For all the fuss and stress that went into it, the day was over pretty quickly. The royals and their entourage got in their vehicles and drove off.

They still had a pretty full weekend ahead, so I don't blame them for not sticking around and chatting up the media.

You can probably guess there's more that happened behind the scenes. Dealing with the bureaucracy of such high level dignitaries wasn't much fun.

It's all part of the job.

Years from now, I guess I'll just look back at the pictures and remember that I was there. A lot of people would probably have been happy to swap places with me.

I guess I'm lucky that for all the fans of William and Katherine, not very many of them know how to run a SAT truck.