Sunday, May 31, 2015

A week in the life of an MC

Victory in Europe day event.  Photo by Marvin Lynchard.

Okay ladies and gentlemen, here's a quick picture-filled post about what I did in the last week or so.  I've had many requests to show what a typical day looks like.  Well I can tell you this:

There is no typical day as a Navy MC.

Cover not required when shooting.  Photo by Marvin Lynchard.
This day I was standing on a media camera line, thankfully not fighting for a spot.  Here I'm getting ready to shoot World War II fighter planes land and take off for a Media Day leading up to the actual event. (See my last post.)

Yes I'm the only chump in a the hot sun.  But before you call me a chump:

Being in uniform opens doors.

Preparing for the interview.  Tiffany is writing questions while I check my microphone. Photo by Marvin Lynchard.

At DoD News we shoot in teams.  Tiffany is a DoD social media specialist. Her and I, along with Marv the expert photographer, were called over to an area that had a super badass admiral.  There was no other media there so we had the perfect interview opportunity.

This happened because I was in uniform.

Photo by [you guessed it] Marvin Lynchard.

This is the admiral.  My humble apologies to my readers and him, but I don't remember his name.  He served on seven Navy warships during World War II.  This is the Sailor to look up to.  He's over 90 years old and still going very strong.

I'm not up for adoption either. Photo by MC1 James Stilipec.

Another day I volunteered at the Maryland SPCA.  It's a shelter for dogs and cats that saves lives every day.  About once every two months we show up to help clean cages.  It's a dirty job but very important to keep the animals healthy while they wait for adoption.

Photo by me.

 Sometimes a Sailor is there shooting a story for All Hands Magazine!

Carrying Sergeant Hossack's tripod for him. Photo by I don't remember.

Then I was given a last minute job that sent me to the Pentagon to assist a young Marine shooter.  His job was to cover an event there that showcased the latest advances in combat and medical technology.

So yes, I was the caddy.  I was the assistant cameraman.

I took a selfie after the event.  I wasn't brave enough to get a shot on the media riser.
The most stressful job that week was for Armed Forces Day.  The top enlisted leaders from every branch were at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay a ceremonial wreath.

If you've ever been there you know that silence is the rule.  Keep that in mind for this next part.

I show up 30 minutes before the event starts and there's already hundreds of civilians in the crowd, waiting for it to start.  There's also many many active duty military and many many veterans.

I had to push my way through this silent crowd while carrying heavy camera gear, then climb a tall media riser (think scaffolding) to get to my shooting spot.

Can you imagine how stressful it would be to climb a tower in front of a massive crowd in one of the most sacred places in the United States?

Can you imagine how awful it would be to fall off that tower while attempting to climb with three bags in your dress white uniform?

For the record, I didn't fall off.  I got the shots I needed.  You can breathe again.



1. Show up to shoots at least an hour early!  You never know what obstacles will be thrown at you.
2. Know your gear!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Your efficiency in setting up a tripod, camera and microphones can be the difference between a successful shoot and...not.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Victory in Europe Day

I'm at the World War 2 Memorial. Today is V-E Day and I'm here to cover the ceremony and flyover of WWII planes. When there's this much civilian press you have to arrive early for a good spot. 

My day started at 0400 and ends at who knows.

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shooting a Martian

Sliders are really easy to use and give the video that pro look.

 Photos by Lois Slaughter (my mama)

COLONIZING MARS:  I recently traveled to Suffolk, Va. to do a video story on Lieutenant Commander Oscar Mathews.  He's one of the remaining 100 candidates for the Mars One project and is one of only two servicemembers still in the running.  Mars One wants to start a human colony on the Red Planet...and it's a one-way trip for the astronauts/colonists.  HARD CORE.

Check out the Mars 100 video!

Mathews is getting really close to becoming an official Mars One astronaut.  This is a years-long process and it began with over 200,000 interested applicants.

Mathews was getting his Deep Sea Fisher ready to travel from Suffolk to his new duty station in Maryland.  In a confined shooting space my GoPro is perfect.

I use a carbon fiber pole and powered stabilizer to turn the GoPro into my main camera.  With this setup it no longer needs to be attached to mounts but can be carried around for super smooth shots.

During your time as an MC you'll probably be faced with a decision many camera operators face.  Should you get involved in a scene or continue to stay separated and shoot?

"Should I help this boat not crash into the dock
 or should I capture it on video?"

This was the second time I've visited Mathews and his girlfriend Mina.  I showed them the rough outline of what I have so far to keep them involved in the process.  I don't always do this but I knew after the first shoot that they were excited about the video.

For interviews and any shots needing the best sound I use the Nikon D800 with the Sony wireless microphone.

Lois Slaughter

My assistant was allowed to touch the Nikon briefly.