After months of discussion and planning, I was invited to film a segment for a KJZZ tv pilot for a show about Highway 89. I do know a thing or two on the topic, and the invitation came from a good friend, Monte Bona with the Utah Heritage Highway 89, so I agreed to do it. I have been taught that unless I have a good reason to say no to an opportunity, I must say yes. KJZZ had seen an interview I’d done for Monte months and months ago and decided it was adequate, so I couldn’t beg off on lack of experience or ability. Thus on Friday I found myself in Mt. Pleasant, with full make-up on, ready to start filming.
That’s my ride the film crew is using to take a white balance reading before filming commenced. I don’t know video, I don’t understand video production, but it seems to take a lot of time for a few minutes on screen. The other (obvious) thing that’s different from shooting still photography is motion. Motion is desirable. As in walk and talk at the same time please. Don’t just stand there, do something visual. Between trying to remember not to say “um”, express a coherent thought and not trip on the sidewalk, my brain was completely overloaded. I did actually manage to make a photograph on command, which surprised me that I could “see” while the video was going and not feel like I was faking it.
Then, as invariably happens while I’m out on the road, I met some really interesting people who had traveled to Mt. Pleasant to show their friend the plaque in the ground marking the absolute center of Utah. (They said that’s why Mt. Pleasant is called the “Hub City.”) The husband and wife had been married for 58 years and had 2 great-great-grandchildren. They couldn’t remember how many grands and great-grands. Then he started to tell me about his business in motor freight after WWII on Highway 89. I had no idea if the videographers were picking up my unscripted conversation/interview on my lavalier microphone until after it was over. Nor whether it was in any way useful. Maybe I created my own reality tv segment, who knows. It was a true representation of my life on the road.
My piece was sort of a side bar in the show. The main theme involves a classic car and a host driving to various interesting locations. The ride in question, however, had some cooling issues that day and the crew had to push it out of the road. I helped. I took pictures.
Another thing that’s different about tv is the fluidity of schedule (I now fully appreciate the luxury of freelancing my own shoots and deciding my own timeline). I have no idea how or when they decide if the pilot leads to a full production schedule. So I’m in the wait and see mode, round 43, which is as boring as following the road striper down a two lane highway. I did pitch a segment I’d like to do for each episode. I guess that means I’m willing to do it again. And I am if it means I get to drive more of my highway and meet more people like me who love being on the road.