Posts Tagged ‘herald & review’

D-Day anecdotes

June 6, 2011

Quick, what comes to mind when you think of D-Day? I immediately think of the terrifying opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan,” and the violence on Omaha Beach. The last thing I imagine is a funny story coming from that day. That’s when my interesting job comes in.

Last week I had the honor of filming an interview with WWII veteran William McGaughey.

Huey Freeman interviewing while I film

90 year old William McGaughey sure didn’t have any trouble recalling the details of his time spent overseas during World War 2. He told several stories, recalling his time as skipper of LCT 621 during the invasion of Normandy. I was amazed at how he regarded air raids as nothing to get worked up over, since there was nothing you could do but sit around and hope they didn’t hit you. I was even more surprised when he started laughing while he told a story from his landing at Utah beach.

He didn’t downplay the seriousness of war, and told other stories that weren’t as light-hearted. But I would bet enjoying the little things made it easier to deal with what was going on around you at a time like that.

Listening to Mr. McGaughey talk really made me wonder what stories my grandfather would have told if he was still around. My aunt said he didn’t talk about it much, but I wish I had been old enough to pick his brain before he died. It makes me even more grateful to be able to hear someone else’s story, and preserve it for future generations.

For the complete story in the Herald & Review, written by Huey Freeman, along with 4 more videos, follow this link: “Years don’t dim memory of D-Day for William McGaughey”


Bubba ate a stick…

November 24, 2010

Last week I covered two stories that involved volunteerism, and it really made me think about what efforts I make, and could be making, to give back.

Sure I’ll donate money here or there, but it’s been a long time since I actually took the effort to go out and do something like I did in high school. Sure going to a Catholic school meant the service was mandatory, but it was fun and rewarding. We would rack up hours working at soup kitchens, roaming downtown Chicago collecting money for Misericordia, working the Special Olympics, or serving Thanksgiving dinner to a group in need. I really can’t remember where we worked on Thanksgiving, but I do remember that I needed to offer tea and coffee in Chinese.

De La Salle men... collecting money and handing out candy

I'm on the right, before donning a "Casper the Friendly Ghost" costume

The first volunteer story I shot last week was with Habitat for Humanity. You can watch the finished video here. While a group was working on the porch I caught a well-timed error that made me laugh. It was harmless, so I don’t think they’ll hold it against me for sharing it.

The other story was about AmTrykes, which you can read here.  After filming an interview with Silas Martin, a 12 year old with neurofibromatosis, he went next door to see the neighbor’s dog, Bubba. He came running back over and said Bubba had eaten a stick because he thought it was a treat. On my way out, he requested that I take a picture of Bubba, and “put under it, ‘Bubba ate a stick.'” I’m not one to make idle promises, so here’s the photo that the Annie will be delivering to him.

Bubba looks like he could also eat my tibia.

Box City chowder

November 15, 2010

Last week I covered a pretty neat event at my alma mater, Millikin University.

Can you tell I wasn't expecting to have my photo taken? Thanks Chris!

At “box city,” students simulated a night of homelessness, building shelter out of cardboard boxes and huddling around burn barrels for warmth.

I know a few people who would hit me for holding an iPhone over a fire

The reporter writing the story for the Herald & Review was Allison Petty, and while she was soaking in the atmosphere, she also stood in line to eat the “chowder”, a mixture of canned-goods. As you can see here, she really appreciated me documenting the tasting of the chowder.

My small summary of the event really doesn’t do it justice, so I recommend reading Allison’s full story here, and watching the following video.

Fire Safety

October 14, 2010

Today I went to one of the Fire Department stations to film a program being put on for local kids.

We went out to a mobile unit used to run live fire escape drills with the kids. Using a fog machine they fill the rooms of the trailer with non-toxic smoke and teach the proper procedure to exit the house.

While we were there, they showed us how they use thermal imaging cameras to locate victims. One firefighter stayed behind in a room completely filled with smoke, and reporter Huey Freeman went in to locate him. You may remember Huey from his adventures paintballing with the Decatur Police Department.

I was very surprised at how low the visibility was, even though it was just smoke from a fog machine similar to the one I use on photo shoots. The smoke was non-toxic, but I still think I inhaled more than you’re supposed to.

Enjoy this video, complete with Huey’s commentary, my coughing in the background, and a neat demonstration of technology:

Here’s the video of the presentation the Decatur Fire Department put on for the kids. I was jealous of the kids that got to go down the pole and practice hitting targets with the hose.

Creative license

September 28, 2010

Today I edited the latest segment of “At My Desk” at the Herald & Review. As I’ve pointed out before, these videos afford me many opportunities to think outside the box and do some fun things. Here are a couple of images pulled from this week’s episode:

Reality TV at its finest

Oscar bait

Confused? Impressed? Apathetic? Either way, watch the video to see how these images are incorporated!

Keeping busy with breaking news

September 8, 2010

Today was supposed to be full of meetings. While I still found time to make a couple of my appointments in the office, I was called away for some more exciting business.

First, as I pulled up to the office I saw a fire crew across the street at an old warehouse. Smoke was pouring out of the building so I went and filmed that.

As I was talking to somebody about the fire, we got news that a grain truck had plowed right through a bank on the west side of town and the cab was sitting in the lobby. I dashed out and got footage of that. Nobody was hurt and the employees seemed to be making light of the situation. I overheard somebody say, “I didn’t hear you repossessed a truck!”

After posting those videos and going ahead with the rest of my scheduled shoots and meetings I received a call that a car had struck a train on the west end of town and they were extricating the driver. I was too late to see the “jaws of life” in action, but did see them load the driver into the ambulance. I stuck around and filmed the scene and headed back in to get it on the website. No word yet on how the driver is doing, I’ll post an update here when I find out.

Those 3 breaking videos plus the one planned shoot today kept me pretty busy. Now I get to go home and edit wedding footage. Maybe after a nap.


August 20, 2010

I have a ton of half-written blogs that I’ve been meaning to finish and post, yet all are still waiting because there are more important things to share.

If you are unaware of the KFC Skinwich hoax, I’ll spare you the details and let you learn on your own. Feel free to google it if you are brave, but I would just watch the following video of Herald & Review reporter Jim Vorel making and eating this abomination.

Also, make sure to read his blog, which will give you more info on this, and many many more poor dining choices. You can find it here: DecaturAde

Helmet cam at the Decatur Celebration

August 9, 2010

Finally! This weekend I finally put my helmet camera on a paintball gun to get a first-person view down the barrel. The camera didn’t go back far enough to show the barrel, a la first-person-shooter, but you can see the discharge from the CO2.

We also used the helmet cam to let viewers go on carnival rides with my friend, H&R videographer Adam Casner. Here are the vids!

As you can see, Adam took a pretty good beating in there. Here is a picture he posted later on:

Painless? No, Paintless.

Now that you’ve had a laugh at Adam’s expense, check out some things that he’s been working on over at!

YouTube at work!

July 26, 2010

Exciting news for me should transfer pretty well to visitors to this blog: the Herald & Review now has a YouTube channel!

You may be asking yourself, “Why does this matter to me?”. Well, when I used to reference a video I did at work, I would have to provide a link that would take you away from this site. Now I can embed the YouTube video into this site, thus saving you time, and giving my videos more exposure.

Also, until now we’ve had no way to host HD footage, even though we have a pretty sweet HD camera. Now I can post the full-res versions on YouTube in all of their 1080 glory! Here is the first HD video I shot for the paper:

Another reason for the start of the YouTube channel was to showcase some of the more interesting, entertaining, and just plain cool videos we’ve been posting for the past 4 years. This defense class video is what really made me look back and say, “We need a YouTube page.”

So, please feel free to browse the collection we have, and subscribe, because I’ll be adding a lot more as time goes by.

On the job

June 17, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve been called out to a breaking news story, so it was exciting to have to rush out of one shoot to go film the scene of a car accident, or traffic collision if you keep up with “Hot Fuzz” standards.

Anyway, I grabbed this shot while I was editing. Reporter Huey Freeman is on the left, and I’m hiding behind the camera on the right. The face and sunglasses belong to Lt. Mark Allen of the Decatur Fire Department.

Hard at work.

HERE is a link to the story, and HERE is a link to the video I shot.

Now I’m on my way to film some female golfers at the Duramed FUTURES Tour.