Friday, November 6, 2009

REPORTER BLOG: Happy Halloween!

By Craig Reck

Halloween in Athens
For those of you who don't know, Halloween in Athens is a major event. The Saturday night block party attracts costumed crazies from all around the country, and has done so for the past several decades. I've never been a big fan of the holiday, but my time in Athens has brought out the child in me.

Costume Creativity
If I'm going to dress up for Halloween, then I'm going to do it right. Years past, I have rocked the Napoleon Dynamite wig and glasses and the sorority girl bag and boots. This year, it was time to include the roommates. All seven of us made our own Sesame Street costumes, but the "Street Team" would have to wait because I had work to do.

Thursday Newsroom
The Thursday before Halloween I volunteered to cover the festivites and report a feature package. Nobody understood why I would give up a night of mischief to lug a camera and tripod around Court Street. Allow me to explain.

Reporting in Costume
I enjoy acting, but my reporting responsibilities limit my availability. Halloween is the one night when all closeted actors parade around town acting like someone else. If I'm able to look like Bert from Sesame Street while interviewing people for the news, I'm going to accept that offer.

The job did not even take that long. A few hours walking around Court Street provided ample audio and video to use in a story. As strange as it might sound, those hours reporting were the highlight of my Halloween. It was like being on a safari and trying to capture that one great photo of a lion and her cubs.

Even after my colleague Max Resnik and I stopped reporting for the night, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Everywhere I walked I saw wacky costumes begging to be on camera. As my roommates and I took our turn strutting up and down Court Street, I still thought about different angles and shooting locations.

Halloween Sights and Sounds

Holiday Calling
Engulfed in Athens' biggest celebration of the year, and all I could think about was reporting. That has to mean something. If I'm worried about audio levels and video framing on a holiday, then I must be passionate about journalism. Now if I could do this for a living, I would be happy, even if it means taking off the foam nose.

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