KCRA – $6 Bag O’ Books!

Published On January 12, 2013 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, One-Man Newsman, Shooting News, TV News Vault

Heading out of KCRA this morning with morning anchor Mae Fesai to shoot a story at Raley’s about their football deli food for 49ers fans for the game today.

“Then we have to go shoot a VO on the book sale.”

“You want me to drop you back at the station first?”

“No! You shoot and I’ll shop!”

I had no idea that Mae was such a book hound.

The event is the annual Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Warehouse Sale. All the proceeds raised throughout the year are donated to the  Sacramento Public Library. The Friends have a used book store in an industrial warehouse at 8250 Belvedere Ave. and have various sales and events throughout the year. But this weekend in January they have a special 3-day event where they open the doors to their warehouse and you bring a grocery bag — or bags — and fill the bag with books and you’re only charged $6 per bag.

The place was packed! It was terrific to see so many people out going through the shelves of used books or DVDs or VHS or CDs or vinyl records and if anything looked remotely interesting then into a bag it went.

The assignment had only been to shoot enough for a 30-second VO (Voice Over) for the anchor to read over. But it was such a visual event and everybody was so outgoing and ready to talk about the event and the treasures they were finding that I immediately saw this as a reporter package story.

I’ve been to lots of book sales like this and I love sorting through the stacks, but they’re usually just books on tables with no organization. Here, everything was arranged in sections, just like a regular library or book store. It was fantastic!

My $6 booty!

I naturally gravitated to the drama section and immediately found a few titles. Behind me Mae was grabbing up books on Jackie Kennedy Onassis and putting them into bags. I then started tossing my books into her bags. When we left we each paid for a bag.

On stories like this where there are lots of people I practice a Shoot & Move method. I just wander up to people and ask them what kind of books they’re looking for as a way of starting a conversation. Then I’d just ask a couple more simple things — “Have you ever been to one of these before?” “What made you want to come here?” “What treasures have you found?” Simple stuff. Try to keep it down to no more than two minutes with each person. And be ready to roll as any instant where I might get some sound — someone tossing a book in a bag, that sort of thing. When we left the book sale I barely had 20-minutes of footage. But in that 20-minutes were even or eight quick interviews and lots of active video where the camera is always moving or zooming (exactly the opposite of what the N.P.P.A. — National Press Photographers Association — taught me 29 years ago!) and reacting to people and sound.

When we got back to the station I saw that there was nothing on the assignment board for me to shoot for the rest of my shift, so I volunteered to do a package on this and the producers grabbed it. And since it’s a Saturday, I was even told that I could go long!

A great event that continues tomorrow on Sunday January 13 for anybody who reads this tonight or in the morning.


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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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