KCRA Interviews with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Tuesday, December 13, 2016—Darrell Steinberg is inaugurated as Sacramento’s new mayor.
I’ve been covering Darrell Steinberg (D) for 20 years, when he was first elected to the Sacramento City Council, then when he became a member of the California State Legislature, then the California State Senate, where he became the President of the Senate–the second most powerful elected man in the California state government.
Throughout all this Darrell Steinberg has always been one of the most decent, honest, honorable people and politicians that I have ever known.
He was President of the Senate when superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governor of California. Schwarzenegger was a Republican who had a Democratic-majority legislature.
Schwarzenegger and Steinberg struck up a unique partnership and, working together, were amazingly effective at getting things done in California.
We have term limits in California so, unfortunately, Darrell Steinberg was termed out of office at the height of his political effectiveness. But just over a year ago, he decided to run for mayor.
Whenever I would be sent out to cover a Steinberg event I would always greet him as, “Mr. Mayor,” to which he always responded, “I’m not mayor yet.” And I would reply, “Who else could possibly be mayor of Sacramento?”
The city of Sacramento is going through tremendous growth and revitalization. In part a result of Golden Once Center, the new downtown arena, which I previewed for KCRA and on this site last year.
So this is a time of a great deal of work, responsibility, vision, which will benefit from leadership with extensive knowledge of how the state of California runs—making Darrell Sternberg’s inauguration as mayor a particularly significant event.
In the lead-up to this, KCRA executive producer Aram Sarkissian (@KCRAAramSarkissian)came up with the idea of a series of special interviews with the in-coming mayor about the city on issues that the city is facing and how he plans to approach them.
KCRA anchor Edie Lambert (@KCRAEdieLambert) conducted the interviews and we uniquely decided to shoot them with two cameras in the field rather than a sit-down public affairs-style studio interview.
I’ve done this a few times before with Edie, once time with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Working with fellow KCRA news photographer Sam Gonzalez, we put a wireless mic’s onto Edie and mayor-elect Steinberg. I kept my camera trained on Edie, always handheld, and Sam focused on Steinberg, sometimes on a tripod, other times handheld.
What I like so much about this type of interview technique is that we focus entirely on two people talking. It becomes more like a recorded/videotaped conversation, then a traditional interview.
What I also like is that there is virtually no file footage or alternative added video—just the Q&A.
Since we were shooting this towards the end of the day, it required using LED lights on our cameras, which punched up the dynamism when we were filming outside against the city growing darker behind us.
No fast-cutting, fast-moving, fast-fast-fast TV news pace. Just two people talking and giving us the time to hear in-depth answers and a point of view. Sort of retro, which I found to be highly refreshing.
I greatly look forward to what Sacramento’s new mayor Darrell Steinberg—“Mr. Mayor”—will be bringing to and doing for our city.