Dallas Crew Makes Cold TV for The Weather Channel

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When The Weather Channel calls, I immediately start packing my rain and snow gear. What exactly is snow gear you ask? That’s simple… put on as many layers as you can while still being able to operate your camera.

Shooting live shots with The Weather Channel, physically puts you in the elements with the talent. The day I spent in Amarillo, TX was no exception.

As I packed my Suburban to head to Amarillo, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt in sunny 78 degree weather. The next morning, I awoke to 16 degree temperatures and gusting winds up to 60 mph with a zero degree wind chill.

p.s. I adapted our hashtag #MakeCoolTV to a more suitable #MakeColdTV just for this shoot.

The crew was slated to do the morning live shots for The Weather Channel, which meant we needed to be ready to go live at 4 a.m. To put that into perspective, it was a 2 a.m. wake up call.

Upon arriving to our live location, we realized a section of I-40 was closed because of the weather, but there was a Hilton hotel just off the service road. I met with our live truck operator to discuss placement camera and truck placement.

We decided to use the front of the hotel to brace the camera and lights from the wind. This proved to be slightly warmer than being in the direct blizzard elements like the talent.

However, it caused the talent to be further away from the camera than I would have liked. Don’t worry though, I broke out my HMIs to light the scene.

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With the wind gusting up to 60 mph, I didn’t want to use any more lights than I needed to, and with the wet snow falling, I needed something that would take the winter punishment.

I’m fortunate to have in my kit a series of three Bron Kobold all weather HMIs, a 200, 400 and an 800. These proved to be necessary for this shoot.

For our parking lot setup, I utilized my 800w HMI to “light the world” as I like to say. I pretty much sprayed light on the entire area that the talent might walk on with enough light for my Panasonic HDX900.

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I complemented this with my 200w HMI with a frosted filter to light my talent directly. This minimal setup proved to be the exact combination of durability and least amount of lights I needed to use in the elements. It took every sandbag I had in my truck to keep the lights from budging.

For our second setup location, we had natural daylight while standing on the service road, which was closed to traffic. It gave us a great view of a closed section of I-40, an Amarillo city limits sign and the occasional passing snow plow, which the network producers loved.

After my time was up, I passed the reigns onto the afternoon live crew, packed up my gear, and hit the road. This shoot was definitely a learning experience and I’m glad to have a heavy 4×4 Suburban. Getting out of town proved to be a bit tricky, but I made it out and I’m onto the next shoot.