The Reporter and the Blustery Day
On Wednesday I was sent to cover the tax day tea party at Dockweiler State Beach and learned the beauty of being prepared for the unexpected in the world of television news.
It seemed a little windy at 'SC, but the conditions at Dockweiler were obviously much worse. When I opened my car door to a mouthful of sand, I knew it was going to be a long day. After trying to keep my scarf from flying in the camera and my dress from flying up during my first interview, I had to come up with a quick solution. Luckily, I had a pair of sweatpants and flip flops in my car. In no way was this anything other than a fluke; my car is usually spotless. While a dress over sweatpants and flip flops isn't the most professional look, it kept me from exposing myself to the entire protest, and I decided it was a fair trade-off.
The winds picked up as the day progressed and continued to blow not only sand but water over me and the crowd gathered on the beach. This made interviewing much harder than usual. I had to block the microphone from the wind, hold the camera so it didn't blow over and try to have a normal conversation with my interviewees. Oh yeah...in addition, Dockweiler is just blocks from LAX, so I had to dodge the sound of planes taking off overhead periodically. Obviously, these were great interview conditions. And as if I didn't have to deal with enough already, I later lost a contact. Being able to see out of one eye only made things worse.
In the end, I was pretty disappointed. I thought this was a great story and had a lot of great sound that was over-powered by the wind. I also had a lot of shaky and obstructed b-roll as a result. On the other hand, I think reporting on Wednesday (Winds-Day) was a great learning experience. Every one in Southern California takes the weather for granted. If it's not 75 and sunny, we don't know what to do. It would have been really easy to give up, but I rolled with the punches and tried to come up with some unique solutions in the field. It's a good thing I'm not reporting in my home state of Michigan. Now I can handle a little wind, but could you imagine reporting in the SNOW?!?!?