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Roger Woodruff Go To Team

Day in the Life of a DP – Shooting for ABC’s “20/20”

By: Roger Woodruff, Waco Director of Photography

Life moves pretty quick when you get a call from a client that needs a Director of Photography.  It moves especially fast when that call is the night before the shoot. I was actually on a different shoot in Dallas when I got booked by ABC to shoot some interviews and B-roll for a “20/20” special on the Turpin family.  Instead of heading home to Waco I drove to Rio Vista with my trusty Canon C300 Mark 2.


12:00 am- My apprentice and I got to the hotel in Rio Vista. We checked into the hotel and then unloaded our gear.

12:45 am- Bedtime.

4:45 am- Wake up call.

5:10 am- Loaded up the truck.

5:20 am- Hit the road.

5:45 am- We got to our first location.  The producers needed me to roll on some nighttime B-roll of the house that the Turpin family use to live in.

6:00 am- We rolled on pre-sunrise B-roll of the Turpin house.

6:45 am- I started my night to day timelapse on the former Turpin house.

7:29 am- Sunrise.

7:45 am- I shot some morning B-roll of the house.

8:30 am- Our field producer showed up and we had a quick meeting on what we had lined up for the day.

8:45 am- Our producer began to make contact with neighbors in the hopes of shooting some interviews.  No one wanted to talk so we made our way back into town and shot Rio Vista scenics.

9:30 am to 10:30 am- We shot B-roll of Rio Vista, Texas.

12:00 pm- We rolled on an interview with the county sheriff.

12:30 pm- We rolled on an interview with the current owner of the house that the Turpin family used to live in.

ABC 20/20

1:00 pm- We shot a walk-and-talk with the owner of the house and then he showed us pictures of the house when he bought it. They displayed how dirty and disgusting it was.

2:00 pm- We wrapped with the owner and headed into town to meet up with the SAT truck.

3:00 pm- We fed all of our footage to ABC in New York.

4:00 pm- Chow time. There was this really good BBQ joint next to the parking lot we were in. We ate and waited to hear from ABC if we were still needed.

5:30 pm- We got “good-nighted” – AKA wrapped from our producers in New York. My apprentice and I hit the road back home to Waco.

ABC 20/20

When I got home I was greeted by my wife and the dogs. It was good to be home after such a long couple days. I had some dinner and watched TV. The ABC “20/20” special on the Turpin’s aired that night. My wife and I watched the show and I got to point out all the stuff we had shot that day.  It’s really cool to see everything you shot air the same night.  

Want to watch it, too? Click here.