Video Shoot

June 14th, 2013

Pool Bucket 1

My full-time job, which is much too full-time for my taste, is at a small-town newspaper. The town’s population is around 7,800 and we also cover around 12 other small towns in the surrounding area. Last I checked we were the smallest daily newspaper in Nebraska. Working at a small-town newspaper is what you would call an interesting job, especially in this neck of the woods. Our area seems to specialize in crazy. After all, we broke the story of the Waco Bank Robber. The Waco Bank Robber was a teenage girl who decided one afternoon to steal a car, rob her local bank, go home and videotape herself bragging about it AND THEN POST IT TO YOUTUBE!!! We hit national news with that one. It’s a bit surreal to suddenly have an email in your inbox from CNN asking permission to run our small-time video.

I should actually rephrase that, it wasn’t a small-time video. We actually have one of the best webites in the state and regularly feature videos starring our very own News Editor Melanie Wilkinson. Mel continues to amaze me. When she feels the need to film a video she jumps in front of the camera with no script and just starts talking. This method of news reporting does make for some hilarious blooper reels every year at Christmas. Blooper reels put together by our uber-talented Digital Director Eric Eckert. One of Eckert’s favorite things to do is embarrass Mel. A prime opportunity rolls around every summer when it’s time to film our annual “The city pool’s being prepped for opening day” video. The first year they were actually in the process of filling the pool so Mel was filmed standing in the 5 foot and then proceeded to slide down the side into the bottom of the 10 foot. Last year she jumped in the pool fully clothed. This year Eckert’s big plan was to have her sitting on a lounge chair doing her thing and then throw a bucket of water on her. And because Mel’s Mel, she was up for it.

I’m actually the Copy Editor and Lead Paginator at the paper. That means I take all of the photos, stories and ads and piece them all together onto a page every day. This means that unlike the reporters and advertising sales reps, I’m basically chained to my desk all day long. I must have been looking especially miserable the day of the pool shoot because Mel and Eckert took pity on me and invited me along for the ride. I jumped at the chance to go outside in the warm, soon-to-be-summer air.

Pool Bucket 2

We were promoting the addition of the new Sail Shades at the pool so Mel settled herself on a lounge chair underneath said shade. I was given the job of actually throwing the bucket of water on her. Mel had grabbed a five gallon bucket for this task and after I dunked it into the pool and filled it up I realized, “Crap! This thing’s heavy!” Since we only had one shot at getting this thing I became a bit nervous about throwing it at the right angle. Not surprisingly, Eckert jumped at the chance to drench Mel with a five gallon bucket of water. He set the camera up on the tripod and handed me the 35 mm to take still shots. And then it was ACTION!! Mel did her thing and then this happened…

Pool Bucket 3

Pool Bucket 4

Pool Bucket 5

Pool Bucket 6

Pool Bucket 7

Pool Bucket 8

I was supremely impressed that Mel didn’t start shouting obscenities immediately after getting doused. Such a pro, she knew the camera was still rolling and it would ruin the shot. Instead, she waited a full two minutes and walked off camera and then started “swearing like a sailor” (as my mother would say, which is funny because my Dad was a sailor, Coast Guard, and my mom swears way more than he does). But before she could start swearing she had to actually catch her breath since the water was so cold and Eckert threw it so hard and at such an angle that it went up her nose and completely took her breath away. As she stood there swearing and wringing out her clothes Eckert just started packing up the equipment like nothing had happened. My fist video shoot was a spectacular success. Just another day at the YNT.

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