Best Seat in the House
Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.
April 10, 2008 11:25 AM
Posted by Rod Mar
Here's what happens when you go to a brainstorming meeting and let your brainstorms verbalize themselves:
Setting: Conference table in the sports department, surrounded by a dozen or so editors, reporters, designers and photographers from all parts of the newsroom.
Subject: The end of the Sonics basketball season and their seemingly impending move to Oklahoma City. Could this be their final season in Seattle, and how should we present that?
Cut to meeting in progress:
Sports editor: So, any more ideas?
Stupid Sports Photographer (played by me): I think that while fans are mad at Clay Bennett, most of them are still raging at Howard Schultz. That guy talked about the team being a "sacred trust" and then sold them to a bunch of guys who are going to move them out-of-town. At the press conference, Schultz said that he was "confident" that the new ownership would keep the team in Seattle. So, either A) Schultz was lied to, or B) he lied to the fans. If he was lied to, you'd think he'd come out and say that rather than walk around the city as the pariah who sold the team away after 40 years. If he wasn't lied to, he'd likely just slink around and not address it all. And which is he doing now?
Sports editor (as usual, somewhat exasperated by me): What's your point?
Me: Well, if I was a fan, I'd want at least some answer from Schultz as to what happened. I know people who won't go to Starbucks anymore because of this. He needs to be held somewhat accountable.
(At this point, one of our columnists mentions that Schultz and his P.R. bulldog won't return his calls about the subject).
Me (and this is where I got myself in trouble): Someone should take a video camera around and do a Michael Moore type thing and go look for Howard Schultz. Bring along "Big Lo" , the Superfan and go looking for some answers.
(Big laughs all around meeting table, and the subject is dropped)
(Cut to two hours later)
Me (checking email from a sports editor) : "Rod -- great idea about the video -- let me know when you're shooting it."
(Cut to another hour later)
Me (checking email from photo editor) : "Rod -- love the Big Lo idea. Let me know when you're doing it."
Let me say right off that I've NEVER shot or produced a video for our website. In fact, I just bought a video camera, and just acquired a shotgun mike (before then, my familiarity with the word "shotgun" had to do with spot news events and charity golf tournaments).
And I had NO idea how to use a video editing program.
So I was the perfect candidate to cast, plan, shoot and produce a video about a Seattle sports fan doing an homage to Michael Moore.
That's what I get for opening my big mouth.
The finished product is pretty rough, and there's a ton of things I'd liked to have done better. But that's the same as any other still photo project I've done, too.
Be gentle with your comments, but I look forward to your constructive criticism and am excited to work more in multimedia, hopefully in a more journalistic vein than this one.
Let me know what you think.
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Halftime of My Career: Leaving the Seattle Times
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Atlanta Photojournalism Workshop: Bill Eppridge.
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