Posts Tagged ‘illinois state fair’

More animals? Why not?

September 20, 2009

I promise, I really do have other things going on. Real projects from real clients. But while those large edits and bigger deals take up most of my time, I keep running into these quirky things that I can’t help filming. These are actually a bit older, but I just finished clearing photos and video off my phone and thought I’d share.

Remember the woodpecker I was griping about? The one that landed on my window and I didn’t film him on time? Here’s the photo I got.

Stupid bird

Stupid bird

The relevance the bird has to this post is my phone’s role. I was so upset that I missed the chance to use my phone to film something that you don’t see every day. These two clips were shot on my phone when I saw something funny.

This one, like the owl video, is from the Illinois State Fair. Alida and I were wandering around the pig building and saw this little guy sleeping. You know how a dog will run and move its mouth while it sleeps? I never knew pigs did that when they slept.

As far as I know opossums are nocturnal. Still, this little lady was standing out in the middle of the street in broad daylight. I stopped my car in front of it, and it moped its way onto the nearest lawn. As it did, I saw a baby clinging to her belly. I pulled my car into the oncoming lane and grabbed my phone. If you look closely at the back leg, you can see the baby’s tail wrapped around it.

Soon I’ll have wedding videos, conference videos, music, and all sorts of new work up. For now, just believe me that I don’t just spend all of my time playing with spiders and butterflies. Although that doesn’t sound too bad…

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Media Creds

August 18, 2009

One of the perks of working for a newspaper is the access you get to certain events. Courtside, ringside, on the field, on the stage, I can pretty much get anywhere I need, as long as I have that little card. For many people in the news and media industry, they are a collector’s item. It’s a little piece of memorabilia to say, “see, I was there”. I just covered the Illinois State Fair last week, and had to stop by the media checkpoint to get my ID. The fair is really cool because they don’t just give you a pre-printed media cred and then write your name on it. They actually sit you down in front of a camera and print you out a card. I’ve collected three ID’s so far, and each time I try to get a different face. Here are some of the credentials I’ve picked up in my few years working for the paper.

Illinois State Fair (2009, 2007,2006)

Illinois State Fair (2009, 2007,2006)

Decatur Celebration and Scream Haunted House ('06, '07, and '08)

Decatur Celebration and Scream Haunted House ('06, '07, and '08)

2007 Farm Progress Show

Farm Progress Show ('07)

Camp Lincoln Illinois National Guard State Headquarters

Camp Lincoln Illinois National Guard State Headquarters

Obama candidacy announcements

Obama candidacy announcements

I have a lot more, but these are the ones I consider visually appealing, or at least unique. Each one reminds me of the different events I’ve covered, the experiences I had, and how awesome it is to be able to walk past a huge line of people and get right in.

More animals!

August 15, 2009

I really can’t help myself when it comes to filming animals. If the opportunity is there, I take it.

At the Illinois State Fair, they have “Decatur Day” where the community can show off what it has to offer. Among the different groups and businesses that show up is the Scovill Zoo. Every time I cover Decatur Day, I shoot some footage of the animals. Usually it’s the little gator that draws a pretty nice crowd. Here is the story that the video goes with, along with a photo of the gator I am talking about.

Yesterday, I was introduced to a member of Scovill Zoo that I’ve never seen before: Hickory the Screech Owl.

Hickory the Screech Owl

Hickory the Screech Owl

This little guy was awesome. He was about the size of a Furby, and looked almost fake enough to be one. His huge eyes, blinking one after the other at me, looked big and plastic. But he was real, and he got kind of nervous as I brought the camera closer to get a shot of him. As a result, his neck feathers started to ruffle, and his beak opened up for me to see his tongue wiggling around. It was pretty hilarious, but I didn’t want to give him a little heart attack, so I backed off after I got my shot. After he calmed back down I went back and seized the chance to pet him.

After filming Hickory, I went over to shoot some more displays. Before I could start recording, Ken Lowe, the reporter for this story, nearly karate chopped me in the back to get my attention. Frantically pointing back at the zoo display he says, “Snake! Shedding! Go!” So I dart over to the zoo area and sure enough there is a snake slipping out of his skin. A large group of children had already gathered around the cage, so I couldn’t get the camera in for an overhead view. Instead I filmed past their heads and through the glass and got what I needed.

Snake! Shedding! Go!

Snake! Shedding! Go!

As usual, I can’t post the video here because it belongs on the Herald & Review site. And, since the video was about Decatur Day, and not just the zoo, I didn’t get to use as much of the animal footage as I would have liked. However, if you want to see the snake slipping into something more comfortable, and an owl’s tongue wagging, all set to some cool drum-line music, check it out here!