Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reporting Madness!

I feel defeated; it's been a rough day. Today's shift became complicated again. My report was originally about the Mercier Bridge construction. It wasn't starting off so well.  There was a press conference being held at 12:30pm in Kahnawake, the scheduled time is already quite late for a day reporter. We get there only to find out their press conference time was changed to 1pm, then 1:30pm and finally, 2pm! The organiser apologised saying their team is not good at organising (really, you think so?). There was no telling whether the conference would even start at 2pm sharp, and considering we'd need extra time to do interviews with officials after the conference, the timing wasn't feasible.

The assignment editor sent us out on another assignment instead - a murder case that took place in Anjou. We rushed to the location only to find out it was no longer a murder case, but a suicide, so police were keeping mum about it. One of my colleagues is convinced that it'll be switched back to a murder case later.

I went back to the station to write my construction script with the little information I actually did gather. It somehow worked out.

On a side note, I learned that the 16-year old victim from the car-surfing story I covered last Saturday has died. My colleague had done a follow-up last week about his friends and school background; he seemed like a fun-loving young man. It's a really unfortunate way to go. Drivers aren't realising that no matter how slow you drive, the surfer's (person standing on top of the moving vehicle) slightest fall can become fatal.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Extra Early Reporting

My past few reports haven't been going so well. Last Friday's story was about a Colombian woman fighting deportation. I couldn't conclude my report until learing the judge's final decision on the case - that information was only released at 5pm. The story was airing at 6pm. It gave me very little time to finish up my script and voice my story quickly enough to get the video editing done too. From the stress of it all my voice kept cracking during the voice-overs; and there was no time for re-takes!

Today's story was based around a back-to-school theme. My shift started at 6:30am. The day was simple enough and quite fun to work on. Most children loved the camera. We could only use the footage of those kids whose parents were there to allow permission.  In the end, my focus didn't quite coincide with what the director had in mind though. So more improvement required.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't Like Pressers

It's been a long day. I had a difficult time getting my head around my assigned topic. The hardest stories for me are when I'm sent to a press conference; the media kit's filled with a lot of excess, irrelevant fluff.  Relying on the speakers' address doesn't always help much, most of the time the party's just using the media to get their personal message across. To figure out what the real story is underneath all that information isn't always easy.

It's important not to get too absorbed in all the information that's thrown your way. I need to get better at seeing the bigger, more simpler picture. In the end, the producer needed to tweak most of my script, which really doesn't look good.  I'm remaining optimistic that tomorrow will go better though.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reports Went Well!

Working with a newer cameraman wasn't so easy. He forgot to do things at the start of his shift, such as preparing his video kit, that effected how our day unfolded. My first interview of the morning was delayed by 40 minutes because the camera wasn't set up properly.  I had to ask the busy interviewee to come back once we were ready, which was a bit embarrassing. And the delay had a rippling effect on the rest of our appointments.

There were several other glitches through the week-end but I think we both learned from those mistakes.  I covered a story about car-surfing and a South Shore robbery.  Overall, I'm happy with how the reports turned out.

I have a couple more reports scheduled for the end of this week, and possibly the following two as well. Some days I need to pinch myself to realise I'm really doing what I've been wanting to do all along

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wild Goose Chase

I reported on basement flooding problems in some Laval homes today. The videojournalist and I were sent out on what our director likes to refer to as a wild goose chase

I didn't have the addresses of any of the residents I'd need to talk to but did have the name of one woman, from which I was able to find her telephone number. I called her. She refused to do an interview and was upset that I had found her number. I pushed a conversation with her although she kept attempting to hang up on me.  A few minutes later, she at least gave me some street names I could navigate. That helped! We drove through the areas she suggested, I knocked on some random doors and yes, found some angry residents who readily welcomed us into their homes, just waiting to have their voices heard. Cooperation - what a wonderful thing. My story worked out in the end.

I'm working with a newer cameraman tomorrow. He's asked me to try to get my script ready as early as possible so he'll have sufficient time for editing. I told him I'd try. Let's see what tomorrow brings.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back in the Groove!

I had an amazing yoga session yesterday - finally! I completed all 26 postures without giving up in between or feeling faint nor dizzy. I feel like I'm back into my regular fitness routine again; was even inspired to do some jogging this week.

So I'm working at the news station tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. I might even be scheduled for the following two week-ends, should find out soon.  That's all for now, ciao!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Le Passe Compose & Pride Parade

Some days I have so much to write about and don't know where to start so I simply do just that - don't.

As of late, Sundays have become my favourite day of the week. I jam in some 'me' time, quality family time, brunch time, and of course, some 'friends & fun' time all into one. Yep, my Sundays are splendid!  
I went to the Pride Parade with some friends this afternoon after enjoying an absolutely amazing brunch at Le Passe Compose. I highly reccomend this restaurant. My 'Provencal Poached Eggs' dish was delicious, so tasty that I forgot to use the hollandaise sauce that I had asked for on the side. I also liked the touch of cinammon that was added to my cappucino (and I normally don't like cinnamon). The service was great as well.

Back to the parade, some regulars told me it wasn't as great as years past. If this is true than it's quite unfortunate, because Montreal is well known for it's Pride Parade. After many attempts in the past, this was actually my first time attending. I liked the crazy atmosphere, funky music, colourful floats and flamboyant characters and costumes that sashayed along downtown's Rene-Levesque Boulevard.  I'll let you see for yourself, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Splash of Rajasthan

I'm pretty tired. Being short-staffed at the hotel is really hurting the entire team. We had some hiphop celebrities stay over the week-end. Some colleagues were psyched about getting to meet them, but wound up disappointed by their attitude.

My apartment search isn't going so great. The few places I do like are out of my budget. It's moments like these when I think I should've been saving instead of travelling like I did.

I skyped with a friend from Gujarat last week. I could hear dogs barking in the background, as well as the constant honking from the streets, and indoors, the catchy bollywood ringtones could be heard as peoples'  phones went off. Yup, it sounded like things were just the way I had left them. Except that it's monsoon season now, the daytime skies remain grey, and walking outside can get sticky. I'm really glad I missed this season altogether.

Some photos I took in Rajasthan, India: 

From Gujarat to Rajasthan, we drove through a mountain range where feisty monkeys hung out at the roadside, waiting for generous tourists to drop off some fruits. I'm so glad I didn't have my window rolled down! I don't know what I'd have done if this guy, who's clinging onto our car, jumped in!

The saris women wear in Rajasthan are the brightest of all of India.

Married women have to cover their faces in the state - a custom passed down from Muslim royalty once upon a time.

I took a camel ride with this kind guide and his camel named "Babloo." The nice guide later expected me to pay him a tip amount that equalled the cost of the ride itself! He wasn't so nice after that. But at the time, the moment I captured in this shot was one of serenity. All I felt was a light breeze cutting through the air; all I heard were the hooves of the camel pressing into the dry sand; and all I recall seeing were birds gliding through the air in slow motion.

Later, I got to watch the sunset whilst sitting on a sand dune.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Disappointed in Moi?

I am so glad it's Friday! I've been overly tired all week long; thinking about all the things I need to get done is bogging me down. I tried a yoga session last night after a full month of avoiding it. It was tough, and I skipped out on most of the poses, but I'm glad I finally went back.

I have a few more reporting shifts scheduled for this month and next. My last Sunday's pack went pretty well again. The morning was crazy though. The producer wanted to send my colleague and I off to Plattsburgh to cover a story about a missing Quebec woman. That made us nervous. We both would've had to pick up our passports from home (which would've wasted a precious 45 mins at least) and then we'd have been stuck in a long wait at the border (Construction Holiday was just ending so traffic would've been worse than usual). After much ado though, we learned that the missing woman was from Finland and not Quebec, so my story got scrapped.

We ran a story about a local priest owing money to his parishioners instead; he's being sued  for nearly $1 million. I was antsy on the drive to the community centre. The newsroom printer stopped working that morning, so I couldn't print any background information to read on the way. One of my wonderful friends came through for me though; she read out some info to me over the phone.

So I attended my first church gospel... was interesting. Some of those still supporting the controversial priest were claiming reporters were committing sin by exposing the reverand. They said he shouldn't be blamed as we are all guilty of something. One observed that I was Indian and said Gandhi would be very disappointed in me for disrupting the reverand's peace.

Anyway, I'm doing my second brunch interview tomorrow morning! I love brunch time, I'll make sure to eat before but I know I'll be hungry as soon as I get to the restaurant anyway!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Creative Blunder

I'm not sure of what to do with this piece. I thought it was complete a couple of weeks ago, but I'm not fully happy with it anymore. I had originally painted the letters in red, then blue, then pink and right now it's in purple.

It looks dark. That was my intention at the start but now I don't like looking at it.  I'm tempted to slab on some paint over entire sections altogether; so tempted...