Dallas Crew heading to Houston, TX for the Today Show

 

As of lately I’ve worked all over Texas and have loved every minute of it.  This time I made the trip down to Houston for NBC’s Today Show.  I was shooting a story on a family that’s had multiple generations affected by breast cancer.  Armed with a Panasonic HDX – 900 I headed down to Houston, TX.

Breast cancer survivor, Toni Smith, cheers on her nephew.

My day started with an early morning drive.  I met my producer at a local middle school football field.  It was there that we met Toni Smith and her family.  They were there to watch some football.  But there was more to this story then just a typical Texas family watching some football on a Saturday morning.  Toni Smith is a breast cancer survivor.  Not only that, but she’s seen her mother and other family members deal with the disease.  It was for this reason that the Today Show was doing a profile on Toni and her family.  The name of the story slug was appropriately called Breast Cancer Family Tree.

I first shot some footage of Toni’s nephews practicing for the big game.  Afterwards, Toni and her family arrived and I put a lav on her to get some cool audio of her during the game.  I was a one man band this time around so I was juggling the audio and camera department.  I ran her lav wirelessly to my camera and monitored the audio as I shot various b-roll of her finding a seat and cheering for her nephews once the game began.  I also shot some b-roll of the game.

Both football teams wore pink socks in honor of Toni and her family’s struggle to beat breast cancer.

After the game was over we took a break and got some lunch.  I then headed over to Toni’s house to set up for some interviews.  I moved as fast as I could to set up.  Since it was just me it probably took a little longer to light the first interview but the result was worth the wait.  Soon enough we had Toni in the hot seat and my producer started the interview.  Afterwards we interviewed some of Toni’s relatives.  I quickly changed the background and got them mic’d up.  I was really happy with how the interviews turned out given my limited time to light them.

Toni Smith’s yellow dress really pops off the screen doesn’t it?

Next on the agenda was filming all of the family members for twenty seconds.  The idea was that the editors were going to put together some massive family tree montage.  I chose a brown wall, used two Keno-Flo Divas to light the subject, and had them look into the camera for about twenty seconds.  The results were beautiful.  I felt like I was shooting portraits.

To end the shoot, I filmed the family eating dinner together.  The producer even got her Z1u out and shot some footage.  The two of us really rocked it in Houston.  After we wrapped I packed up and made sure the producer had all the tapes.  I can’t wait to see how this story comes together.

Before I knew it I was on the road heading to Austin, TX.  I had an early morning call time to cover the Livestrong Event for NBC’s Rock Center.  That may sound crazy to you but I love it!  This job is just one big never ending adventure.

Just one of twenty “Family Tree Portraits” I did for the shoot. I can’t wait to see how the editors use this footage to tell the Smith’s story.

 

 

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Staff Director of Photography, Roger Woodruff is based in Waco, TX.

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