Sunday, August 12, 2007

Reuters TV

(Reuters TV located along the River Spree)

(Reuters newsroom)


Daily at Reuters TV in Berlin each employee competes in a triathlon. The race is to get the story and footage in time for the 12:30p and or 4:45p German and World feeds.

I have participated in a relay, passing off the baton of footage - interview with a boxing promoter who is taking Castro’s top boxers; interview with a representative in charge of the repair for the cracked 2 year old Holocaust memorial; interview with the designer of the Trabant’s 50th Birthday Celebration exhibit - so that others can write the script, edit, and track.

But now, after an intense Avid editing class, this is my week to finish the swim, bike, and run on my own two feet.

My day starts at 830am where I get in the zone with a 4mile warm up bike ride to Reuters. Our home court lies right along the River Spree, is a sprint away from the Brandenburg Gate, and sits two stories above CNN’s Berlin bureau.

At 9am we gather around for a pep talk, where our coach motivates us for the days primary events, assigns our race order, and with a “Jetz gehts los” sends us off sprinting.

We immediately dive into the stories vast waters and attempt to cut a straight course. My route has been a little zig-zaggy as my German grammar errors throw a curve ball to my potential interviewees. But with a little help from others and a whole lot of excuse me's, interviews are lined up.

We then transition to the bike. With a quick change, we dress ourselves with cameras, tripods, and a Reuters mic, before we saddle up on the interview ride. I have cruised to Hamburg, Potsdam, and throughout Berlin to grab interviews, MOS, and beauty shots.

With a glance at the clock, we realize it is time to pick it up a notch and spin back to the bureau. Once back, that same producer - who made the calls & conducted the interview - gets back and starts writing the script and warms up for the last editing leg.

After a caffeine boost, we jump into our running shoes and start striding through the footage. I am in awe of my multi-talented teammates. It is a seamless editing transition.

Pending on the story, the feed may just be vosots and b-roll or if it is for the internet, it will be a tracked package. Either way, it is one person that does it all from start to finish. With microphones connected to each computer, that producer and editor, don's the reporter’s jersey and lays down the track with a confident sign off – reporting for Reuters.

The final sprint is to add the Reuters slate and story number. With a punch of the submit button, we rip through the finishing tape.

I can't wait to break through.