Sunday, August 12, 2007

Murphy's Law

Everything that can go wrong will go wrong...and boy did it ever today, when I shot my first video for this newspaper.

I had an unholy trifecta of things go wrong: something with my tripod, something with my mic and something with my camera. And, besides my headphones, those are the three main pieces of equipment I use.

So the tripod broke. I mean, it just snapped at the top, between the legs and the platform. I don't feel it's my fault because the thing is pretty light and it looked like the plastic just snapped (I mean, it IS plastic.) But it put me in a bind because without a tripod I would have camera shake, especially since I had to be very zoomed in to see the action. Luckily, the photog working on the story had her photo tripod and le t me use it. Problem solved.

So the mic had static. We had this mic before during our training session and it had the same problem. Supposedly it had been fixed, and when I was going over the equipment last night it had no problem, but of course it did when I used it today. It basically sounds like a loose connection-type of static, not a distance type. I just made do and tried not to use the wireless lav mic, but it was a bummer. The shotgun mic worked pretty well. Problem solved.

So the camera wouldn't tape. This seemed like the biggest problem because, well, if it won't record, I have literally nothing. This, I discovered, was my fault. Apparently you can only use one type/brand of tape in a camera because each tape uses a different lubricant and that can mess up the recording head and make it "dirty." I had tried to ingest (record onto my computer) some old stuff I had taped on a different brand, and that screwed it up. Luckily, I figured out that either if I got it to record, don't stop it, just move and set up my next shot OR if I stopped recording, turn off the entire camera and it should record when I turn it back on. Problem solved.

The only problem not solved was the fact we were really far from the action. See it's a video about a cricket match and we had to be outside the circle and it was hard to zoom in to see the pitch. Hopefully I got enough useable b-roll, I think I have a good voiceover and I can make this video into a "what is cricket" kind of thing.
Stayed tune Wednesday to see it.!

Also, today is the first part of my three stories on the South Asian/desi/Indian and Pakistani community in New Jersey: South Asians Gaining Clout. I was incredibly nervous about this article because I felt there would be more scrutiny on me writing it since I am of Indian/South Asian heritage myself. I hope you like it!

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