Posts Tagged ‘Broadcast Television’

Competitiveness is not something I would consider to be one of my traits. In fact, I’ve never considered myself competitive. Sports certainly aren’t my thing. I didn’t even participate in them as a child. I do play games, but only stuff like word puzzles and Sudoko…against myself. No, I really have never considered myself the competitive type. Apparently,  I’m wrong.

Recently I was having a catch-up with my college buddy, Andrew. I was explaining to him that He-Who tells everyone I am having an affair with my Fitbit because I am always on line looking at my reports, trying to figure out how to increase my numbers. He said, “You are so competitive, I’ll just get one and we can be “friends”. Then you will constantly be trying to compete with me.”  My expression must have been one of shock or disbelief because he went on to qualify his statement, “Come on, you were so competitive with me in college.”  I was really surprised he felt that way. In my eyes, there was no competition. He was considerably younger than me (still is), extremely gifted in our field and really smart. He was a natural. I worked my old butt off trying to keep up while he never broke a sweat. I learned a lot from him but never considered myself a contender where he was concerned. He is right, though. Trying to keep up with him did make me better at Broadcasting. The more he knew, the harder I would try. Others misinterpreted our relationship to be that of rivals, and, I confess, Andrew and I both hammed it up to perpetuate the myth. Our classmates and professors couldn’t have been more surprised when they walked into a reunion gathering to find us sitting side-by-side, laughing.

Michelle & Andrew together again. Pictures had to be taken for fear everyone thought it was an illusion of alcohol consumption

Michelle & Andrew together again. Pictures had to be taken for fear everyone thought it was an illusion of alcohol consumption.

Of course, we had to sit and listen to them recount all our “sparring” matches to back up their reaction. To me, it was really funny listening to how it was interpreted. In my eyes, I was so much older than my classmates, I had just been through a bout with cancer and was focused on trying to start my life over again.

When He-Who got me my Fitbit for my birthday I started walking again. I’m not a natural walker. I always say He-Who glides and I lumber. It’s hard and I struggle with it, but I got myself up to walking five miles every day. Andrew runs.

Andrew in his running finery.

Andrew in his running finery.

It would kill me to try and keep up with him. So I’ve settled on calling my Fitbit “Andrew”. That’s right. My Fitbit has a first name. It’s A-N-D-R-E-W.


Andrew and some of his TV colleagues making the magic that is television.

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I love this photo!

I found it on Pinterest.  My version was uploaded by someone known as SinSombra. I was led on a merry chase trying to find the original owner/creator – this image is all over the internet. In fact, one site even claimed that Prince Harry used it as his Facebook photo at one time (I did not find this). Whether it came from NeonBubble’s Posterous, Words Over Pixels, Josh Fleming’s Happy Place or any of the other places you will find it, my point is, that it is not my photo.

However, it is a photo that could have been mine. She could have been my Aunt, my Sister, several of my cousins, a few of my nephews and even me.  We all know what it is like to get sunburned without really trying. In fact, our best tans are really just when our freckles all join as one to give us colour. I don’t quite understand the stigma behind being a ginger… a red head … a carrot top. OK, maybe that last one thanks to this guy.  Some of the most beautiful women in the world were/are gingers. Some of the most brilliant people in the world are redheads. Some of the most influential people in my life have been carrot tops. Of course all my family members are included on this list, but most of the rest you will recognize and admire yourself.  Maureen O’Hara, Nicole Kidman, Robert Redford, Bernadette Peters,  Prince Harry,  Reba McIntyre, Winston Churchill, Debra Messing, Julianne Moore, Carol Burnette, Ron Howard, Conan O’Brien and the list goes on, and on, and on. All of these copper tops did OK for themselves, wouldn’t you say?

Currently the ginger I admire the most is  Erika Napoletano.  You can find her everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and of course on her blog Redhead Writing Ranting. Erika is smart, sassy, strong, feisty and funny. She says what she thinks whether you like it or not, and often shares her vulnerabilities with us as well. I have learned more from her over the past couple of years than I have from anyone else. Erika is a published author and her latest book The Power of UnPopular is a must read.

Probably the most influential redhead in my life has to be Lucille Ball.  No, I never met her.  But we all know how funny and talented she was. This woman was brilliant and the contributions she made to the television industry are beyond measure. In fact, I did my thesis on her.

Every piece of equipment or technique used in television production today had to be developed at some point because of a stumbling block. The “I Love Lucy” show was created so early in television history that it was responsible for solving some of the mysteries encountered by television production.

You may find this hard to believe but “I Love Lucy” originally only aired from Oct. of 1951 to May of 1957, however it has remained wildly popular for over five decades. This is because both Lucy and her husband Desi Arnaz believed that although it may have cost a little more, they didn’t cut any corners and made something that would last. They were the first producers to put their shows on film. In those early days of television, shows were recorded on poor quality gadgets called kinescopes. The result was a poor quality recording that was virtually unwatchable. Film was more expensive on many levels, but had they not used it we would not be watching it today.  The use of film led them to develop the three camera film method, the method still used today. A special flat lighting was developed to make the lighting even from all points of view. To handle editing massive amounts of film being shot by three cameras for every scene, a special multi-headed moviola machine was developed. This enabled them too view the footage from all three cameras at the same time.

Dann Cahn and The Moviola Monster, for multi-cam editing

The original episode never actually aired. At the time it was called an “audition” piece and the series was developed after it was sold. Today, we sell the show then develop a series “Pilot” as the first episode.

One of Lucille Ball’s first battles was with CBS, which was refusing to let Desi Arnaz play her husband. They didn’t think anyone would believe a beautiful redheaded American girl would marry a Cuban, baba loo, conga drum-playing kind of guy. She quickly pointed out that she had, and stuck to her guns. Then her real life pregnancy became an issue because no one even said the word “pregnant” on TV in the 50s. Censorship laws were very strict. They had to refer to Lucy as “expecting” and a priest, a rabbi and a minister had to okay every script. Can you imagine?! It sounds like a setup for a joke.

Canned laughter, merchandising, the rerun and the teleprompter also came about as a direct result of the “I Love Lucy” Show and its team. So you see, I Love Lucy pioneered television filming and it made that very film process the industry standard.

Lucille Ball had overcome a lot of personal struggles and was already a successful movie star by the time she risked everything to take a chance on TV.

Personally, I’m glad she did.

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” Lucille Ball

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It’s that time of year again.

It’s the time of year when I hear “the call of the wild”. It’s coming from the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Convention in Las Vegas. And what could be wilder than Las Vegas? Thousands of Broadcast Professionals all converging in the same place at the same time ― that’s what.

I love Vegas.

Michelle & Paul NAB – Vegas 2008

I have been there during the months of November, December, March and April and as far as I am concerned, April is the most perfect month to be in Las Vegas. I have been attending NAB every year since 1998; sometimes on my own; and sometimes for whoever I worked for at the time. The weather is always perfect in April, and a funny thing happens every year. I watch my fellow Broadcast/Media professionals as they prepare for the trip. Everyone seems worn and tired. We file onto crowded planes and cram ourselves in too small seats. But as we approach Las Vegas, the energy level changes ever so slightly. There seems to be a little spark in everyone’s eye. The talk centers on what we are focusing on at the show. We step off the plane into the perfect weather and it can’t be helped … the sides of our mouths start to curve upward. By the time we hit the convention floor on Monday morning, you would barely recognize those weary travelers from the day before. The game is on. Let’s see what’s new, what’s improved and just how big the Sony booth is this year.

Lynn @ NAB – Very Much With Child

Mindy & Michelle NAB 2008

TED from RED allowing me to hold the “EPIC” – NAB 2010

The past couple of years have been trying times for Broadcast/Media folk. We have said good–bye to long standing co-workers and some of us said good–bye to places we worked at for a decade or more. Of course there were cutbacks: things not purchased; trips not taken. As they say on Twitter … “fail”. If there is anything that can raise morale in a company, it would be to send the brightest and best somewhere, anywhere that they can get refreshed, energized, and learn. NAB affords an opportunity to learn and grow. To network. To see new technology. To touch new technology. To talk to experts. To ask questions … Yes, I could go on and on. On the trip home, when the same bedraggled people get back on the same overcrowded plane and sit in the same too small seat, they don’t even notice. They are talking to anyone and everyone. Did you get to talk to “Ted from Red” ? Did you catch Steve Garfield hosting Telestream Live? Can you believe the size of that Sony booth? That all comes home with them and it’s contagious. They bring back a breath of fresh air for those who were left behind. But their enthusiasm spreads like wildfire. It was worth every cent.

CNN Party – NAB 2008

There it is again…can you hear the call?


Just for fun, more random shots of Vegas.

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