KCRA Stockton Police Department’s Christmas Morning
Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 2016
This is the second of my holiday reporter-photographer stories.
On this morning my shift started at 5:30 AM. Normally I’d be going out with a reporter and doing live shots in the early shows. But with the morning being Christmas we didn’t have a morning reporter, so I was sent to Stockton on my own to tagalong with the Stockton Police Department, which for seventeen years now has conducted an annual special Santa delivery for families in need on Christmas morning.
TV stations across the country do these types of stories every year, but I always strive each time to cover these stories the best that I can because the people with the police department who are out doing this community effort on their own time & dime, as well as the people in the community who are the recipients, deserve this. I also approached this story as an opportunity to produce a report where I was also the reporter.
The Stockton P.D. Santa Squad made a lot of stops and I was trying to get sound—both natural sound and interviews—in each of the locations. As a result, I wound up with more footage that I am used to gathering—nearly an hour of raw footage.
Writing & Editing & Condensing Christmas from 59-minutes to 2-minutes
Once I got back to Sacramento to the station, it took time to review and log and then to work the many disparate elements into a script. Surprisingly, the editing-on-paper from transcript into news script moved fairly quickly.
Just as you hear about in filmmaking and adapting a screenplay into a film in the final edit, the greatest effort came in deciding where I could abbreviate and what could be trimmed.
My scheduled work shift for the day was 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. However, since I was taking on the extra work of doing a package as a reporter-photographer, this took a bit longer and I did not get out of the station till nearly 4:15 in the afternoon. Yet, since I took on this task on my own I could not justify putting in for overtime. (If you’ll recall from an earlier blog: I’m vain. I love hearing my name read out on-air.)
Also, I take great pride in trying to do the best work that I can with these stories. Since I am on a hiatus from making films, my new stories have become my filmmaking outlet, so I don’t mind investing a bit of my own extra time in order to make a story work as well as I can possibly make it.
Added Social Responsibility
Further, on coming to the close of such a hot-button and controversial year involving police and minorities across the country, I felt that it was my duty to put in the extra effort to convey this special outreach by the Stockton Police Department and it’s positive interaction with its more needy, and mostly minority, citizens on this Christmas morning community.