Monday, September 20, 2010

Sometimes you just get lucky.

The other day in broadcast journalism class we were assigned the task of shooting video and writing a voice over for a thirty second clip (of a news item) of our choice.

With both our partners and our job positions assigned to us by our instructors, Steve Vogelsang and Forde Oliver, we were sent out into Winnipeg to capture a story.

I was partnered with Sean Angus and was assigned the role of shooter/editor, while Angus was assigned the job of reporter.

Since Angus was the reporter, the story idea was up to him. When I asked him what story he wanted to do, he suggested that we cover the Bodies Exhibit, which was slated the open (to a mixed reaction of controversy and excitement) the following day.

"Ok," I said, secretly doubting his idea. -- Though the story seemed like a good one, I was skeptical that I could deliver on good video, since we didn't have access into the actual building.

When our time to shoot rolled around, Angus and I signed out a camera and a tripod and made our way to Portage Avenue and Donald Street, the site of the exhibit. Lugging the heavy equipment and still doubting my partner's story choice, I drilled Angus on the details of his story while trying to come up with shot ideas in my head.

"Ok, we can get a ground shot of people walking, and a couple shots of the building..." I thought. "We can get a shot, or two, of the Donald Street sign too."

To me, the story didn't look hopeful, since we didn't have access to film the actual bodies in the exhibit. I was frustrated with the idea of filling thirty seconds of video (which is a lot more than you'd ever think) with a bunch of mediocre shots that had nothing to do with the actual story or exhibit.

But, this was his story, and I didn't want to complain, or bully him out of it.

We began filming outside the MTS Exhibition Centre; shots of the building, shots of the street sign, more shots of the building...We joked about pretending the be the real media, and asking for a tour, when we noticed a group of people outside the door to the MTS Exhibition Centre, waving us over.

When we made our way to the door, the people told us that they would call the media coordinator for us. We were stunned. (Did they think we were real media? Had God somehow answered our prayers?! Was this a practical joke?!)

When the media coordinator came out (A woman named Christina I think...I can't remember her last name though!) she asked who were we with. Instantly, Angus and I both confessed that we were "only students" in the CreComm program.

Waiting to be expelled from what we now realized was the media showing of the exhibit, Christina offered us press kits and told us that she too had recently graduated from CreComm. (Score!)

Within minutes, thanks in part to a stroke of luck and the CreComm mafia, Angus and I were up in the exhibit with the rest of the Winnipeg media, getting some neat shots of the actual bodies in the exhibit.

We haven't yet been graded on our assignment, but I am very pleased with the shots that we got. (Especially since I am not very good with the ENG cameras.)

Now, there's no real moral to this story...Perhaps, if any, I guess it would be: It's good not to bully your partner? Or, sometimes you just get lucky. Or maybe the moral would be: Sometimes, as a journalist/reporter, you just need to put yourself out there (for the story you want) and see how far your willingness (and luck) will take you before you decide you can't do it.

Who knows...


  1. I say you just gotta put yourself out there. PS I'm so jealous.

  2. this is sweet! i'm going to echo what Yvonne said:

    They are here and they are watching...

    The mafia is all around us, watching our every move. All you need is an ounce of passion and they'll take care of the rest :)

  3. That's awesome. I wish we had the chance to see that footage in class. That would have been quite the story!

  4. I would like to go to that exhibit with some beef jerky in hand, and eat the jerky next to one of the bodies. I wonder how the people running the exhibit would react to that?