KCRA Nello Olivo Vineyard Harvest
Several weeks ago I wrote a post about a wild day that started with me leaving the house at 6 AM to drive up to Cameron Park (some thirty miles or so outside of Sacramento on Highway 50 heading towards Lake Tahoe) to cover a grape harvest in the Nello Olivo Vineyards. That story ran in the KCRA 6 o’clock news, along with another story about Stolen Moments, a locally-produced independent film that opened the Sacramento Film & Music Festival, where I was presented with their Film Service Award. Yes, quite a long, busy, exciting day.
(As I’ve written several times over the past on this site, I’ve known Nello Olivo and his wife Danica for over a dozen years. They are a family that we got to know as acquaintances through other friends, and who have grown to be good friends over the years. This friendship has permitted me a greater insight into the winemaking world, which they have been very open in sharing with me as a reporter in doing news stories. This also allows for much greater openness when they tell their stories to me when I have a camera on my shoulder.)
Even though I got to the harvest by 6:45 and the grape picking crew finished by 7:30, I got so much exciting footage. After the crew had left I did additional filming and interviewing with Nello and his son Ivan and the vineyard manager Lance Johnson. I had much more harvesting footage, interesting interview sound and information than I could possibly squeeze into a 1:30 (one-minute and thirty-second) news story.
As I was writing and editing the story for the evening news I was also making notes of the other good bits of interview sound that I liked. Also, as I always do when writing, I wrote more reporter track than I could use in the daily news story.
I never just delete the material that I can’t compress into the daily news story. At KCRA we have the advantage of airing a once-a-month magazine program called Common Ground, where we have no time limits and can run stories that run two or three or four or five minute stories.
The next day when I returned to work I re-opened the Adobe Premiere file with the Nello Olivo vineyard harvest and began expanding out the sequences that I’d had to edit to time for the daily news story, and also began inserting the other interview bites that I couldn’t fit into the daily story.
The result is a story that’s exactly twice as long and also ten times more interesting.
This is the original news story that aired and is half as long:
Something extra that I did when shooting this story was that in addition to shooting it with my KCRA-issued Sony HD XDCAM, I brought along my Canon 7D with the Tokina 11-16mm ultra wide-angle lens.
Now that we are shooting daily news stories in High Definition, the HD footage from the Canon 7D integrates seamlessly into the Adobe Premiere timeline. Every now and then I will bring along the 7D just to jazz things up and make the video of a story more interesting — and to also make the shooting of the story a bit less ordinary and a little more fun.
Here is a photo of me filming a story with the Canon 7D and Tokina 11-16mm. This is a behind-the-scenes photo that wife Bonnie snapped of me shooting a story about Land Part gardener Daisy Mah, which will be aired on KCRA in the coming weeks and which will be featured on this site at that time.
I shall be writing more about my experience shooting TV news with a DSLR in a post that will accompany the Daisy Mah story.
I’ve filmed lots of harvest stories, but the grape pickers at Nello Olivo’s vineyard that morning were working exceptionally fast. I set my news camera down for a few minutes to run around and grab footage with the 7D. I had the LCD4Video monitor with me, but the battery died as soon as I started shooting, so all of the footage with the 7D was shot blind — just holding the camera in close and zone focusing, approximating the focus based on the distance markers on the Tokina lens, and running around with the workers. I think it helped to add a more dynamic perspective to a story that had visually been done many times before.
Here are a few frame grabs from shots made with the 7D & Tokina lens set at 11mm.
For wine enthusiasts, these were white grapes, which process faster than red grapes once they are pressed and go into the barrels. The grapes seen in this story could be available in bottles in just over a year from now in 2015.