This story was another learning experience for me. I received a call from a co-worker about the opportunity to drive down to Detroit before a playoff game to shoot some footage of the scene. Thinking it would be a good experience and something I could put on my reel, I was quick to say yes to the opportunity.
And then it turned into a full-blown story.
I got the nod from staff here at HOMTV and headed out with a camera. When I got to the city though, it seemed like a ghost town… Where were all the fans?? Did I mention we had to leave at 6:30 to get my co-worker back to her station on time? Well it was almost 4 o’clock and still nothing… I was anxious about not getting enough fans for my story.
Jump ahead an hour and a half and fans are swarming the streets. They didn’t just trickle in, I mean they just all came from every direction. I had to hustle.
This was the first time I’d really used a wireless microphone – and this fact will come into play later – but I was able to move around quickly and freely among a bustling crowd. I found a few characters and got some good interviews, and when I checked the time I saw I had 15 minutes until we had to leave. I saw a fan who entire face was painted like a Tiger, I asked him if he wanted to be on TV and he was ecstatic. I found my guy for my standup. I got my energy level up to reinforce the enthusiasm of the crowd at what would be the fourth game of the Tigers sweeping the Yankees and made my standup about the feeling of being so close to the World Series with this fan.
I packed up, and headed home.
When I started putting my footage together the next day I noticed half of my interviews didn’t have ANY volume coming from the wireless mic. I was devastated. I spent all afternoon waiting, then racing around to get some quality soundbites in just under and hour, and half of them were useless! Even my standup didn’t capture on the wireless mic, luckily both the fan I grabbed off the street and myself were loud enough to be captured by the mounted mic on the camera – it would have to do.
Change of plans.
One long interview, reaching close to 15 minutes in length, of an older man with a fire-red/orange dyed beard had crystal clear sound. This was it. This is what I had been working on – putting a face to my stories. So my story was about his beard. It ended up turning out very well as I got to use another working interview with two kids who, in my opinion were goofing around during the interview out of excitement for the game, but still gave me some good interjections to go along surprisingly well with my story of this red-bearded man.
From the point I recognized I had an alternative direction with story, I don’t remember much about my thought process, other than “get it done” because when I get into my work flow, I don’t really take time to analyze my thoughts. I simply just go.
Sometimes, it feels like it’s an entirely different mind that is in my head when I am putting stories together because while I understand why I made the aesthetic choices I did, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I was thinking at that specific moment. Maybe that’s not such a good thing, but the story turned out much better than I thought it would – given the feeling of crisis that swept across me after seeing the failure of audio.
Oh and I even used some fan interjections like nat-sound to keep the rhythm of the story.
For my next story – I need to learn how to use that wireless mic better.