Saturday, May 15, 2015
Normally I work the morning-afternoon shift on Saturdays at KCRA, working 7 AM-4 PM. But this particular Saturday I traded with one of the nightside shooters so he could attend the retirement party of a fellow photographer at one of the other stations across town.
(NOTE #1: I don’t regard the crews from other stations on the street as “competition” but as brothers and sisters in the field. It works better when we can all work together and, should someone have a technical problem, try to help them out.)
(NOTE #2: Retirement. I can’t even imagine what that will be like.)
I wasn’t slated to be into work until 3 PM. Enjoying a nice afternoon writing on my laptop when the phone rang around 1:30. It was the assignment desk calling desperately to see if I could come in early.
The story: Dr.Oz
, who KCRA carries on weekday afternoons, was in town for a health fair
that KCRA was sponsoring. But we also learned that he was going to be doing the surprise visit to Mercy General Hospital
. Dr. Richard Kaplon, with Mercy General, had worked with Dr. Oz. twenty years ago in New York and had invited us to join him as he would be giving Dr. Oz a tour of the facility at 2:30.I dropped everything, threw on some clothes and dashed to the station, grabbed my gear and a live truck and headed for Mercy General.It’s a funny thing when a celebrity pulls up in a car. You instantly feel a sense of familiarity association with him/her because of their on-air persona. I’m pleased to report say that Dr. Oz is genuinely just the same in-person as he comes across on his program — charming, friendly, engaged, interested. A real Mensch.And everybody
had to get their picture taken with him. Including me!
A couple of times I noticed that when someone would hold up their phone to take a selfie with him, that Dr. Oz would take their cell phone, hold it up and take the selfie himself. It was very impressive. But then he does this — all the time!
At the end of the tour I grabbed a quick interview with Dr. Oz and last question I asked him about was about how he had mastered the art of “The Dr. Oz Selfie”. And to this he just went off on exactly how to get the perfect selfie — camera angle, height (to avoid showing a double-chin), using the lighting available to best effect, etc . I have included a separate clip with Dr. Oz’s prescription on how to take the perfect selfie.
So he not only gives very good medical advice — he offers very wise photographic advice as well!
I would like to have been able to put the story together myself, but it was just too hectic of a day to get the time to devote to it. Instead I handed the story over to KCRA weekend anchor Kathy Park
, who put together a terrific script, utilizing several of the bullet points of things I’d seen and shot that I thought stood out.
Camped out at a crime scene in Rancho Cordova for the 5 & 6 o’clock KCRA-3 Reports.
The rest of the day was just as frantic as the way it had begun.
–As soon as I handed the materials over to Kathy, I was sent out to shoot a prom being held for students with special needs.
–But before I could get there was diverted to cover a homicide, which became live shots for the five and 6 o’clock news.
–After that I went back to cover the prom.
–Finally got back to the station around 7:30. And was sent right back out again to grab a quick interview with a political consultant about events at the Democratic convention down in Southern California.
–Finally got back to the station shortly before nine. Kathy park had finished her script and just finished recording her audio track.
–I had thrown together a quick salad before I left the house and now as I munching on forkfuls of romaine as I was rapidly editing the Dr. Oz story for the 10. I cut most stories in 30- to 45-minutes, but I wanted to really focus on this one to convey as many exciting edits and display the excitement of the people at Mercy General Hospital to Dr. Oz’s visit as possible.
And Dr. Oz was so telegenic – of course, he’s a television star!
Photo by Dr. Mehmet Oz.
I edited the story in just under an hour and uploaded it to the newscast.
After all this I went to the assignment desk and said, “Okay, what can I do for you now?”
Nick Dobis, the nightside assignment desk editor replied, “It’s 10 o’clock. You’ve been going all day without a break. Go home.”
“Are you sure? I’m glad to stick around.”
“No, man, it’s okay. You’ve done enough for us for one day.”
“Hey, man, this is news. This is what we do at KCRA. This is what we do.”
And that’s what I like about this job. You never know where you’re going to be or what you’re going to do. It’s like jazz. It’s an all day long improvisation where you’re running on instincts and by the seat of your pants. It keeps you on your toes and keeps your heartbeat going.
Just another day at KCRA. “Where the News comes First.”
Dr. Oz didn’t only snap one quick picture — he kept shooting until he got it right. The sign of a good photographer!!!