So this little Road Trip has come to a close and man this crew has had a blast.
We are not only colleagues, managers, and just plain Road Trip GRUNTS; but we act like siblings, crotchety old poops, and dedicated football fans after a huge win. We are THE Road Trip Support Staff…musical accompaniment is playing (I am thinking something like the Superman theme song???) So here is your chance to get to know a few of us…enjoy!
Now everyone knows the WCNC-TV Road Trip Show Hosts. You have Chris, Sonya, Terri, Chuck, and Mike. Chris and Sonya would trade off every now and then…that’s what we call, “Big Time”! But they have been with us all the way through, starting back at Halloween in Baxter…they made us laugh, cry, and even made the support staff scream. But we know it’s not their fault, they just claim they have to keep us on our toes! A little, aside…we just make fun of them when they walk out the door to head home, WHILE WE CLEAN UP! Anchors…it’s a tough life! Well, it’s time to meet the staff that makes the Road Trip happen, the GRUNTS! We earn our half dollar.
Well, the “Visionary”…her name is Allison Andrews and her “official” title is Special Projects Manager. I guess they had to give her a big title for being a creative genius! Oh, by the way…she has to approve this before it hits the web, so I am trying to take care of a little brown-nosing business! Anyways, she is the visionary of each and every stop. She writes, plans, and creates her little playhouse show each day from scratch. She is also the one who thinks up the impossible and hopes that it can be technically achieved! And when it does, you see this smile on her face that makes you think she just got served her favorite ice-cream!
The “Implementer”…that is Steve Kiser and his official title is Engineering Supervisor. This guy is the gadget man who can’t stop moving even though the work has been complete. It is his job to implement and achieve the Allison Andrews un-achievable! From wireless cameras to mobile, digital transmission…he finds a way to provide the exact technical support necessary to make the show seamless! His only downfall, he loves him some UNC! Oh, by the way…he thinks he is a Photojournalist????
“Whose your daddy” Jim Alvarez is the one that makes this ship run…he should know how since he is News Operations Manager. He is the budge tman, drill sergeant who believes in the big picture…the Big T Truth – WCNC-TV’s rise to prominence! His leadership keeps us moving forward and provides the appropriate perspective whether the set has proper lighting or the RV is stocked with Oatmeal Crème Pies! In his former life, he was a News Photojournalist in the major metropolis of Miami – for close to 25 years! He knows the drill and keeps the drill running…plus, he feeds us really good, “Whose your daddy???”
“Oh Voice of Reason” Mariano Archdeacon is the man with the plan…our trusty Director…he is actually the Production Manager, but Director by trade. Yep, he is the one tells us which camera is going to show what and who. There is actually more to the “Oh Voice of Reason” name for Mariano, he implements the visual imagery of Allison by making sure each camera shoots every shot according to the plan. We have an afternoon meeting with the crew before the show (around 3pm everyday). This is where he directs all the Photojournalists and Talent how they will visually appear. And then during the show, he talks to the Photojournalists over headsets during each segment while implementing the plan. His voice is always clam, concise, and precise ensuring the vision is television magic…hence, “Oh Voice of Reason”!
“Ms. All-Purpose Player” Jodi Winterton, you think is our Audio Technician extraordinaire; yeah, she fooled us all on this Road Trip! She is like a package deal…and if they had a draft for television personnel, she would be the one that would probably fall in middle of the second round with her un-assuming skills. But once you signed her, you would realize you better pony up some cash at the end of her contract. She can step in as a director and switch the show, tackle any engineering challenge, and pick up a camera and make movie magic! Yep, she out performed all of us this month, turning managers’ heads forcing them to give a “Come to Jesus” talk to the rest of the crew! You over-achiever Jodi! Go Ahead, Girl…hold out for negotiations!
Alright “Slick” Rick Grinstead…your praise is a comin! This guy just made my life easy during the month of November! As most of you know, Allison has this hang-up for trying to see how many places I can get to in less than a minute, with a twenty-five pound camera on my shoulder! Well, Rick made that easy! He is a Maintenance Engineer by profession but he sure knows how to problem solve and jump in as a team player. He was always there pulling the cable that connected me to the truck as I was running from one place to the next. He was always fixing cable connections on my camera with only thirty seconds to air-time! And when I was on the other side of the earth, he would grab my Digital SLR (Canon D20) and help me take pictures of the crew for my Blogs! And even though he is a Gamecock…I think I will shake his hand at the end of the day! Thanks Rick for making this month FUN!!!
Mr. Bob “The Oak” VanTieghem is the MAN. Why do I call him “The Oak”; well, it’s because he is the most dependable…and can always hold a shot off the shoulder that is solid as an oak! I mean, he can shoot a mile down the road and not even give the appearance that he is off of his tripod! And outside of holding a steady shot…he is the so dependable! You know that if by chance you walked out the door and left some weird gizmo that is…ohhh so important…you just wait ‘til Bob can find his bag of tricks! He has the “hook-up”!!! And if you need to find your way somewhere in the Tarheel State, “The Oak” has got you covered, because one of his duties is driving our satellite truck, and he has taken it through every nook and cranny in this state! As we call him…BVT, thanks for making sure…well, we were always covered!
And for you “Mr. Ironman” Steve Reynolds, I have lost ten pounds this Road Trip! Yep, he has kept me on task with my new diet! He is an Emmy Award Winning Photojournalist and a creative genius…but he is also the silent voice that has reinforced my conscience when it comes to getting back in shape! Even though I am a long…LONG WAYS from where I need to be, he has helped me with my final objective: REMOVE THE LARD! And for you Oklahoma fans…he loves him some Sooners! Yep, he has challenged (and opened up a CAN) on me when it comes to a match-up between Clemson and Oklahoma on his PlayStation! What he doesn’t remember is that Clemson beat Barry Switzer and his Oklahoma crew in the 1989 Citrus Bowl – Switzer’s last game! I am ready for a re-match Mr. Ironman!
How shall I introduce ole Dan, to me he is “Dan the Man”! Yep, Dan Crawford is not a fulltime employee of WCNC-TV but was hired for the month of November to help us where ever we saw fit! Poor Dan wasn’t sure where he was going to fit into a crew that already had developed a persona…but after a week, he was sure making our lives easier! This man can light a set with the best of them! What you don’t realize is that during the month of November, the light changes dramatically, calling for many different lighting techniques! From the use of “white 56K” light to “tungsten yellow” he knew exactly what it would take to get the job done! And he was always one step ahead, lighting and re-lighting…and I would fine myself saying, “Dan…You’re the MAN!” Well, Dan…hats off to ya, thanks for all your help!
So this is the time that I put a little plug in for those who would come out to either help when they had time or when we needed extra help! I give you the “12th Man Award”…here’s to you Jen Schnabel, Ken Carty, Bob Kachmarick, and Christopher Hayes! Yep, they added that little extra pizzazz that only these kindred soles possess!
Well, this will be the last Road Trip Blog for 2005. Bobby “Bloggy” Rettew has attempted to bring a different perspective to this month long trip. We have taken this show on the three times over the last two years and have met a lot of nice people. It is my hope that you the viewer have enjoyed our little tour of the area.
From Bloggy Rettew….thanks for everything!