KCRA Hollywood Park 4th of July Parade 2012
It’s said that everyone loves a parade. That certainly is the case in my neighborhood of Hollywood Park in Sacramento.
That I would wind up living in a place called Hollywood is both ironic and completely unintended. Although, we can claim to be the neighborhood where actor Sam Elliott (Big Liebowski) grew up.
I love covering neighborhood parades. They’re more grass roots and homegrown than the bigger, better-organized and funded city parades. And being that this is a parade in my own neighborhood with neighbors and people that I either know or recognize, all the better.
One of the great things about my job as a TV news photographer is that if there is a story that I am interested in or care about, I can pitch it and it stands a chance of getting on TV.
On July 4th 2012 I wasn’t scheduled to start work until 10 AM, although the parade started at 9:30. So I went into the station early to get my gear and returned home to shoot some interviews and the parade.
Since there were so many parades going on around the area the station was only interested in a VO-SOT, a Voice Over-Sound On Tape – meaning that the anchor would read for 20 or 30 seconds as video played of the parade, then a 10 second bite, or interview, would be played. Something we see on the news every day.
However, I always believe in shooting just a little bit more, a couple of short additional interviews and a little extra footage, so that the story could also be expanded into a full-length news story should one of the reporters’ stories not work out.
Also, if I have the time, I’d try and turn a story like this around myself.
Much of the thought behind doing a story like this and going the extra mile in news is detailed in my book Breaking Into TV News: How To Get A Job As A TV Reporter-Photographer.
As this particular 4 th of July turned out, as soon as I got back to the station I immediately was sent out the door on a story with KCRA reporter Tom DuHain, which then changed into another breaking story.
However, several hours later in the afternoon when we returned to the station I was walking into the editing area and hear the Hollywood Park footage and a reporter track. As it turned out, there very situation that I’d described was what happened – reporter Philippe Djegal needed a quick assignment to make a story out of and my interviews and footage were waiting on the shelf to be turned into something. The above story is what Philippe produced. All in all, a situation that worked out well for everybody – my neighborhood parade got covered on TV, a reporter was handed some already-shot footage to be made into a story, and the producers got one extra full-length story than they’d planned on.
The first Hollywood Park Independence Day parade was in 2009, which I also filmed and in which my wife Bonnie and our greyhounds Lola and Ava marched with a cadre of other greyhound rescues, among them Heydon and Harmony led by friend and fellow filmmaker Deanne Rotta.