I’ve made a few errors in my day, and when you’re working with a live feed, you can be in for a world of hurt, embarrassment or both.
Back in the day, I used to work at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. I did myriad of jobs including camera for the Giants, Jets, horse racing, special events and more. Over time, I took a regular position inside from the cold an managed the live simulcast of the horse racing from the Meadowlands. Not super glamorous mind you, but it was evening work, and it left my days free to pursue freelance and other such things.
As you may know, the Canon lenses on the Ikegami’s used there are incredible in their focal adjustments. From New Jersey, you could zoom in real tight to the Empire State building and as a man, whatever pretty young woman that might happen within view was ultimately a target (boy are men pigs or what?). With all men on camera and in the control room, except for one brave woman, the imagery and the communication over the headsets can get rather…interesting.
There were also a few folks in the control room that used our vast array of television technology for evil. Using still store to save imagery of beautiful woman is something I’m sure most of you have never thought of, let alone done…
One Tuesday evening, the control room was empty except for me typing away on the Chyron, the list of the evening’s horses and jockeys. Our intrepid and ultra cool Camera gal out in the tower called in to say; “Scott I have a beautiful woman you have to see! Save the image for the guys”. Turns out, the image wasn’t of a beautiful bathing suit clad woman I had immediately set my mind upon, instead, it looked more like a a close up of the moon. The moon in tight spandex, weighing almost that of the real Earth-orbiting moon, and seemingly pocked with craters as well. A site perhaps for star gazers, not necessarily young men in a control room.
I got up, walked over to the still store and clicked the button dedicated on our switcher to the still store. As you may be aware, clicking said still store button usually means the image on screen freezes immediately. Despite a furor of clicking, the image refused to become still? “What gives?” I thought and exclaimed to Kathy on the other end of the communication system. I don’t get it, I’m doing this button pressing thing correctly…
Seconds later, my boss comes running into the control room screaming every profanity I knew, and some I didn’t. I was able to discern my last name in between a few choice expletives which usually means I screwed up big.
What was the commotion about? Apparently my boss and the technician re-wired our switcher that morning and instead of saving the full moon too still store, I had inadvertently sent this woman’s ass to the jumbotron, and every monitor in house, including the 6′ monitor in the sports bar watching the World Series. Oh, and over the the summer, we had installed monitors on EVERY table on the third floor. One minute my boss was watching baseball, the next minute…well the Meadowlands logo managed to sneak out from behind the woman’s posterior just enough to be read.
That evening a line was drawn. A line was drawn down the control room floor and it was the Scott Gentry line. One that I was not supposed to cross from now on.
Got a story of your own?