Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Cattle Show

Yesterday I spent an interesting afternoon at the taping of a television segment for RFD-TV. No, I am not in the segment, but a friend and fellow blogger, Neal Odom, was one of the guests on the show. The segment will air on The Cattle Show on August 7, 2007.

If you are interested in what I do for a living, that is what Neal will be talking about. His company provides part of the technology that we utilize in the services that we sell to our customers.

The segment was filmed inside of a garage located at a small feedlot in the Texas Panhandle. It was interesting to me how they controlled camera angles and positioning of the participants in order to limit what was seen in the background. It was humorous to me that there were sacks of feed lying on the floor in direct line with the camera that were from a competing brand to one of the sponsors. Those sacks will not be seen in the final edited version.

I also found the tele-prompters to be interesting. The producer's 9-year old daughter sat on a bucket and ran the tele-prompter from a laptop which she held in her lap. The tele-prompter itself was a flat-panel LCD display mounted horizontally on the camera tri-pod. The image was reflected on a one-way mirror mounted at a 45 degree angle to the display so that it could be seen by the participants in the show. The camera shot through the one-way mirror that displayed the prompts. The effect was that the subjects looked directly into the camera and their eyes did not move as they read the prompts.

I was disappointed that they didn't have what I call the "clacker" that you see in old movies that marked the beginning and end of a scene being shot. You know, the thing that went "clack" when the director said to roll the film for a shot. The technician told me that it was used to synchronize the old sound-tracks with the video. Originally the sound was recorded separately from the video and the editors used the "clacker" as a point-of-reference to synchronize the sound track and the video. (Yeah, I know it's called a Clapper Board, but "clacker" seems to fit.)

It was fun and educational. I suspect that we will be doing some promo videos in the future with the company that did the filming -- Hot Shots Video Productions. Who knows, some of my poetry might even end up on one of their segments.


WomanHonorThyself said...

kewl!..the clacker yes! interestin for u!

Pat Jenkins said...

this must have been fun being in "pictures", good for you!!

Incognito said...

A 9 year old running the TelePrompTer! Wow, that's impressive. They're not easy to run. I've worked a lot with them and even adults have trouble. There is a fine balance between running too fast or too slow and both can cause problems. What a hoot.
Welcome to my world. :-) Lot's of standing around, right? I don't do much on-camera work, but it is a tad boring. Though TelePrompts are great.. no memorizing.

Panhandle Poet said...

Incognito: That young lady did a great job. My role was that of content advisor. Yes, there was a lot of standing around but I enjoyed it. I'm sure it would get old if one did it often.