Amy Bowers TV Talk

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 within.

Brian, 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 the truck."

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 it.

"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.

Amy Bowers
Contributing Writer

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