Be A Man
"I can hear
myself," said the sportswriter.
"Okay, ask them for mix-minus," I told him. I was outside
The Pit, a stadium as nondescript from the parking lot as it is thrilling
in the satellite truck, was already asking the control room at KNXV
to filter out the return echo. He checked the shot framed by Mike for
the "Look Live" pre-tape to Phoenix. The guest was lit with
gold "magic light" of the lowering sun. The background, a
mountain named Sandia, Spanish for watermelon, was red.
"Hold the mic lower," I told the newspaper man, who had it
positioned to block his face.
"Like this," I instructed. I took his arm and lowered his
death grip several inches, "Right here."
"Have you ever done one of these?" I asked. "You should
talk in your normal tone," I said. "I'm going to watch from
THOOOMP. Brian and Phil, the sports anchor from Phoenix, were used to
my entrances. I've never been able to saunter into a Sat truck. I usually
yank the heavy door at the top of the metal steps and allow my momentum
to draft me in. Then, failing to properly grip the handle, I nudge it
not-shut-enough or give it a graceless slam.
Phil had fed his pack and was on the phone with his show producer in
Tucson, where he would go live in about twenty minutes. He had his intro
and knew his outcue. He and Mike had a formula for cutting their video
that looked to me like a perfect partnership. Phil recorded his narration
and cut the A-Roll (video with synchronized sound, like locker-room
interviews) and Mike shot and edited the B-roll (practice and game footage,
and a shot of some fans). They shared the work and took care of each
other. Phil watched the game n the arena while Mike recorded and logged
the feed. They joked a lot and worked hard at creating short movies.
"You're hot," cued Brian, and the nearly-Live Guest was on.
He put the microphone in front of his nose and mouth, and shouted into
"Scribe," someone muttered.
"They sent a boy to do a man's job," said another.
"That's right," said I, watching Phil put on his make-up.
"A Real Man knows how to powder his face." You betcha. You
can light a Real Men with a reflector, he will barely squint. A Real
Man knows how to dress for television, and has his own earpiece."
The look-live shot was done. Someone checked tape.
"Thanks very much, you're clear," Brian told the sportswriter,
who went back to his workstation.
Phil went live at 20 minutes past the hour. His shot was flawless. "It
looks like another great match-up tonight at The Pit," he wrapped
up. He had one more feed and Live Shot to go.
I picked up barbecue for the troops, and we talked Man Talk. "These
handi-wipes are a must for my kids," said Phil.
Then everyone talked about their children. I liked these guys, they
were real men.