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Saturday
Nov102012

When Barbara Met Mary

So the problem became this:  I take a lot of photos.  Like-- thousands. Since 2007, by my count I've accumulated over 44,000 images.  Now not all of these are pristine gems. Some are rather ordinary.  Some were experiments, some were shutter actuations while the camera was pointed at my shoes, or an impressionistic look at the Coke in my left hand.  But there are a lot of images of actual stuff.  Not all fall into the category of portrait (though some do) or art (hey, a guy can aspire, right?), and many don't belong as a part of my photo library or camera technique.

But they tell a story.

So I came to the conclusion that I need a place to put some additional images that are interesting in context, but not necessarily promoting business or shilling for THE MAN.  Whatever that means.  Which is why I'm writing here at this particular moment in time.  

Case in point-- this image:

Mary Hart and Barbara Walters are both broadcasting legends, but the circumstances surrounding the photo were rather extraordinary.

This image was taken inside Kensington Palace in London.  Yeah, I'm talking about the former home of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and the current residence for Prince William and Princess Katherine.  

We were in London for the Royal wedding in 2011.   That's Buckingham Palace above-- and I'll tell the story of this photo some other time.  

My role in the coverage started out as video support.  In fact, my first night in town I was charged with the task of obtaining footage of a police station for a story about security for the wedding.  I grabbed a video camera and set out for the nearest station and took some footage of the exterior-- until I was arrested detained by the authorities for doing so.  Luckily, they released me.   

But as the weeks wore on, my role shifted.  One afternoon I got a call asking if I could get to Kensington to be the third camera on an interview between Mary and Barbara.  No problem, I grab the 40 pound camera bag and head out.  

Finding Kensington isn't all that easy-- It's nestled in Hyde Park, and it's not clearly marked.  Yeah, I got a little lost looking for a palace.  Who knew?

Kensington is like a maze.  It's room after stunning room-- each with artwork worthy of a museum.  They do tours here, though like the White House, there's a private residence that's off-limits.

So I get to this room and Barbara is finishing up her live shot for GMA-- and my producer Carolyn (left) and news director Whitney (middle) are there, but no cameramen.  This is a problem.  It's difficult to be the third camera if there's only one present!  

I'm deathly afraid Ms. Walters is going to see us a pack of goobers.  Mary is used to having the set 'perfect' whe she does an interview.  No lighting and one camera will not be kind to either lady.

Whitney quickly cuts a deal with ABC to borrow their cameras and lighting, but there's no director.  Well I guess that would be me.  So I block the interview and get everyone settled.  There's a little coldness in the room between Barbara and Mary, but with everyone lit and mic'd up, we're ready to roll.

I wind up directing while shooting a two shot on the handicam I'd lugged.  Sometimes you just have to take on whatever role is necessary.  The difficulty of communicating with Mary and the cameramen while holding a stable, handheld two shot of the interview cannot be understated.  Besides-- the camera I was holding was heavy.  

The interview was a success, and aired that day on Entertainment Tonight.  

To be in these surroundings-- sometimes you can't appreciate it at the moment.  I mean-- it IS a palace, you know.  Later I did find out what was going on between Barbara and Mary.  Barbara being upset that Mary wore red.  She felt it upstaged her.   You be the judge.  

 

References (2)

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  • Response
    Response: www.meotin.com
    Interesting blog, not like the others!
  • Response
    Response: OmxdTEiu
    A Vast Wasteland - War Stories - When Barbara Met Mary

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