Saturday, January 3, 2015. The first weekend day of the new year.
It’s a Saturday so, of course, I’m working. And Saturdays are typically short-staffed, like every workplace, so I will typically be given a couple of short & simple assignments to run around town and pick up that will help to fill up the 5 & 6 o’clock newscasts.
This assignment was a pretty ordinary run-of-the-mill one: Go shoot a 5K run out at Folsom Lake.
Runs seem to take place every weekend in every major city. A 5K or a 10K or a Walk for (fill in the blank charity/awareness of a disease or syndrome). They happen every Saturday morning at some park in the area and I never gave them much thought.
This one, the The New Years Duathlon supporting Girls on the Run – Sacramento was held at Folsom Lake and had a capacity limit of 600 runners, which it filled up.
I got to Folsom Lake Recreational Area, a California State Park, and was driving through the park to where the race was being held. At one point I saw runners off to the side of the road, pulled over and shot some footage.
Then drove on to the main staging area, grabbed a quick interview with Bill Driskill, the event creator and organizer for the past five years, who filled me in on the race, what charity benefits from it, the number of people it attracts, etc., general background information
This is standard news operating procedure.
Many shooters will leave a simple VO-SOT assignment like this at the one interview, enough B-roll for a minute of VO and split.
I like to shoot a couple extra sound bites/short interviews with participants to find out what regular people say, why they participate, what motivates them. I’m curious about what people do and why they do it.
Of the 600 people participating in the event, a great many are just doing it with no concern or interest in coming in first or one hundredth. They’re just doing it as, I suppose, a social event. But I came across a couple of people who were obviously very into the competition and I asked them about what they do and why–
—and their responses absolutely fascinated me!!!
I work with people who will join running teams and exercise together to train for a half-marathon or a marathon. But they will only run in the CIM–the California International Marathon– or something like that.
This group of people were using this first run of the year as their kick-off run for commencing their season–and they’re planing on running in ten or twelve or twenty runs throughout the year! A sort of personal fitness achievement!!!!
This bowled me over!!!!!!!
So I decided right there on the spot to turn this ordinary run-of-the-mill VO-SOT into a package to tell this side of the weekend running events that I never knew of before.
Now, perhaps this information is common to the people in the running world. But it was news to me. And I take the attitude that–if I don’t know about something, but find it new and interesting–that a lot of other ordinary viewers out there are going to be exactly like me and find this new and interesting.
Once I had enough interviews for the story–about four or five in all, averaging between one-and-a-half and three-minutes — easy, simple interviews, no 60 Minutes stuff — I packed up and headed to my next assignment. On the way I plugged in my iPhone and, using Notes, dictated a rough version of the script, which I stuck to fairly closely later when putting the piece together.
PUTTING THE STORY TOGETHER:
I then had to drive to Roseville to link up with KCRA reporter Sharokina Shams to shoot her story for the day. After which, I returned to the station and, while Sharokina was logging and writing her story, I logged and wrote my running piece. I was done about the same time that Sharokina had finished. I edited her story up for the KCRA-3 Reports at 5 O’Clock. Then I turned to editing and loading my own reporter-photographer piece into the station playback system for the special newscast that followed a Saturday Night football game.
My story was done by a little after 6:30.
It made for a little longer day. But it was something extra for the news. And it was something extra that I wanted to do to be in the news.
Like I keep telling you — I’m vain!! — I need to hear my name and my voice on the air to feed my ego!
And, I like and greatly appreciate the support, encouragement, and confidence of the producers and managers at KCRA who allow me to create these stories on my own and broadcast them over our airwaves to the audience. I never take for granted that it is a privilege to work in our business and there is a deep personal sense of responsibility to the viewers involved.
I hope the KCRA viewing public enjoys my stories as much as I truly enjoy the opportunity to tell them.