‘Cut and thrust of news media’
Where do I start! I’ve just sat down to write this next blog and realised how much we’ve been doing! So here’s the highlights from the last month…
First of all what have we got released, well Jay, Cpl Jamie Peters has had lots of his images used in various forms of print across the media. On the video front some highlights for me were remembrance and St Andrews day, these 2 jobs were both with the Scots Guards who are based out at FOB Ouellette. For these jobs I had to film edit and send the footage back to the media all in the same day, which is really what the CCT is made for and on both occasions STV (Scottish TV) ran with the stories. Which you can view here:
Link to Remembrance STV story: http://news.stv.tv/scotland/199912-first-minister-tribute-to-immense-sacrifice-on-remembrance-sunday/
Link St Andrews STV Story http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/magazine/203576-battalion-scots-guards-celebrate-st-andrews-day-in-helmand/
The main challenges with this sort of job are, time appreciation and technology. Both these events were planned in true military fashion down to the minute. The situation really did remind me of wedding photography, the couple have their big day planned to the minute and they’ve planned in some 5 minute slots for photographs. You then have to deliver a slice of reality to them and the time table is started again actually giving you a chance to cover the day successfully. If only the military was that easy but as some one of a more senior rank than me has planned the days activity’s I don’t have a cat in hells chance so the only thing that is getting changed is my plan of attack. Inevitably there will be some things I can’t film as I’m somewhere filming something else or we’ve got the next 5 mins sprung on us to do an interview with the commanding officer, which also means I’m going to miss another key part of the day. I’ve found that I have to keep a mental note of what I have filmed and what’s left to shoot, if I imagine the news story in my head using the footage I have I will either be happy or start panicking! in reality news stations don’t need clips of “everything” as they only have 20-30 seconds to fill with the story any way, I just need to make sure what I do film is strong and tells the story, No pressure! The Technology side of this is the BGAN satellite link we use to send the Rushes (video footage) back to the news and this dictates the other time issue, It will take me about an hour to take all the footage off the camera and cut it down to rushes, then we have to allow at least another hour to upload and if we’re aiming to get this on the evening news we really need to get it over to the news stations by 13.00 – 14.00 which is 17.30 Afghan time… So I need to stop shooting at around 15.00 and if they’ve got anything really interesting planned after that time I have to be really strict and not film it as we’d rather get what we have on the news than none at all because it went over to late. Both pieces were used by Scottish TV, which is great for us but more importantly it’s great for the guys we’ve filmed and their friends and family back home.
It was my birthday last month! Another year older!! But luckily it seems the might of the British Armed Forces came through an organised a CSE show for my birthday, although it seems they invited the rest of Camp Bastion as well! Combined Services Entertainment are part of the same organisation as BFBS and they travel the world as well as the UK and provide much needed entertainment to troops serving away from home. Normally in a period of 2 months they will visit Afghanistan twice hopefully giving a large portion of the troops out here a chance to relax for the evening and enjoy the show. You can see a video I put together of the night here:
We’ve also spent some time putting together a video message from Afghanistan to be played at the British Military Tournament this month, so that’s quite exciting as it’s a high profile event, so keep your eyes out for that!
Also a continuation from my last post, the bridge build by 21 Engineers the footage I shot got used on BFBS you can see the story here: http://bfbs.com/news/afghanistan/new-afghan-bridge-stand-test-time-61976.html
I’ll leave it at that I could keep going but fear you may fall asleep! One final thought, we’re in the desert and its Freezing!!!!