Media Circus

Early this morning, Katie, a producer at CNN called me.  I had uploaded a video to their website and she was interested in learning about the piece and if I would be willing to allow CNN to air it.  Of course I said yes!

My video went from ten views to over 50,000 in one day.  There was also quite a number of comments – at last count about 150.  While this video certainly isn’t my best work, it seems that it struck a chord with viewers.  People liked it, didn’t like it and even supermodel Joanna Krupa tweeted about it.

In Tampa, the Ringling Bros. circus had it’s opening day.  I learned through a random e-mail there was going to be a protest outside the circus entrance.  Since it sounded intriguing, I decided to go and bring my camera.

Here is the video.

It was cold and windy, but the sun was shining and lots of people were around.  I filmed a very polite and peaceful protest and started to get a little worried.  Where was the story?  What will I have to report?  The protestors were very calm, holding signs and handing out brochures, while the circus goers largely ignored them. Police were on hand to keep traffic moving and that was about it.

Just when I thought all was lost, I decided to change location.  I crossed the street and went up a ramp to the farthest corner of the pavilion.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw it: a beautiful elephant being walked across the street.  I turned my camera on and began filming.  It was over and done with in less than thirty seconds.

That’s when I realized that if I was going to make the story work, I was going to need more footage — these animals are what everyone is talking about.  Not knowing what else to do, I waited.

The wind continued to blow and the sun hid behind the clouds.  Thirty minutes went by and there was no sign of elephants.  My fingers had gone numb and my nose and ears burned pink.  I looked at the time and willed myself to wait five more minutes.

Then, the tents opened and out came the elephants.  There was a mad dash to the corner where I was standing, and I was in the perfect spot.  Everyone oooh’d and ahh’d as the elephants walked by and I captured every second of it.  I let each elephant walk in and out of frame.  Once the footage was captured, I knew that regardless of my story line, people want to see elephants. . . and that was exactly what I was going to give them.

While I’m still quite a novice in the world of videography, I guess I’ve learned a very important lesson: wait for your shot – it will come.

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