Where did you edit your story yesterday?
I won’t bore you with the details of how I came to be squatting under a bridge with my best Troll impersonation. (Dead bodies in the median of a heavily-travelled interstate will to that to a photog.) What I will tell you is that you have not lived until you try to edit under a an overpass, in rush hour traffic, in the rain.
I can think of more exotic places to work. Like the time I had a reporter track his audio between two dumpsters stuffed to the gills with rotting fish. (I told him it was to keep the wind off the mic. I actually just wanted to see if he’d do it.) Or the time I edited nearly naked in a bucking satellite truck in the eyewall of a hurricane. (You really don’t want to know.) Or there was that time I spread out on the hood of the car in sub-freezing temps to send high school football highlights to the sports goob.
So, yeah, under a bridge in the cool breeze and exhaust fumes might not be such a bad place to spend an afternoon slicing and dicing crime tape. Sure, I could have hopped into my news steed. Trouble is, I hit the median so early, it got roped inside the yellow ribbon. Good thing I grabbed my laptop before I jumped out. (The web guys are finicky about getting video first on breaking news.
So, when the producer dialed me up for 90 seconds of video for the early show, I did what any overworked photog might. I dropped everything and went to work. Okay, I bitched first, then I went to work.
With a pile of dirt under one corner, and a wifi hotspot under the other, to level the laptop, I pecked and prodded my antique computer until it spit out something that resembled moving pictures of a crime scene. Then did it all over again for the evening news.
That’s when my buddy from the competition, who had been complaining about the smell for more than an hour, chimed in. I told him he just needed a bath.
He pointed overhead.
Who knew bats lived under interstate bridges? Overhead, peeps and bleats rang out as the night flyers began to rouse for their evening’s work. Also overhead, spread far and wide across each bridge support, was a thick, viscous, brown-green trail of guano.
I had been editing in dried batshit!
Turdpolishing in a pile of turds, if you will.
With another newscast to feed, there’s nothing for an overworked photog to do, but improvise. Hope the hobo who squatted here last night doesn’t mind me stealing his mattress.