Make do with what you have and hang in there!

I just put my November 2011 TV Demo up, which includes two stories I did this week.  Both are Military Matters stories (we have franchised labels for certain story categories so our viewers identify the label with KSWT).  The one I did yesterday concerns the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Act.  The woman I interviewed (Rosario Zavala) protests outside of the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office every Thursday after work to bring awareness to a so-called loophole in the SGLI law, which states that a designated beneficiary must be made and delivered prior to the death of the service member.  You can read the web version of the story here.  This is a breaking news story that I intend to follow because it involves politics (Congress).

The other is a military homecoming story on Marine Attack Squadron 214.  We got the call at our station that VMA-214 was arriving in “six minutes,” a half-hour before our media check-in time.  I couldn’t find a tripod (all were checked out) and no vehicles were available.  Sometimes, you have to think quickly and go with your gut feelings.  I grabbed my gear (sans tripod), headed for my car (which happens to have a military sticker) and drove off.  Doing so saved me an incredible amount of time going through security.  One of the PAO’s escorted me to the VMA-214 hangar bay and I got the story.

One-man banding is tough work!  But as crazy as this may sound, I’m grateful for the experience of doing mostly everything myself.  Don’t let equipment limitations deter you from telling a great story.  One day, I had to use my Flip camcorder to do a package simply because we had a shortage of camcorders at my station (more reporters, less resources).  Nobody could tell I used a Flip when it aired.

I’m just dreaming of the day where I’ll get to shoot with professional-level camcorders.  Someday. 😉

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