Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Working Alone: Kevin Sites

In a previous post , I wrote about Kevin Sites and his talented reporting in three mediums as a one a person team for his content " channel" at Yahoo, called " Hot Zone." Halfway into the year of reporting the world's war zones as a one person team, Hot Zone at Yahoo, Kevin Sites reflects on working alone:

Working alone: tough, but worth it
I work by myself for a couple reasons. Number one, you have more mobility. Normally when you go into a place and you have a crew and you have a boom mic and a big camera, people tend to change. They're not as comfortable on camera.

So, I like to mitigate that situation with just having me and the person there. And, I hold my camera just about chest level. I talk to them. I maintain eye contact. That's very important while I'm doing these interviews because I want them to feel comfortable. I don't want the dynamics of the interview to change.

When I was out in the field I was reporting from 8 in the morning to 7 or 8 at night. By the time you get back, you are very tired from just reporting. And then you have to write your story. You're doing about a 1,000 word-dispatch every night. You've got to input your pictures into the computer and the video. I would actually do a rough cut of the video I had.

So I'm working in three different mediums. And I have to transmit this all through the satellite modem. So, the first month that I was in Africa I thought, "This is crazy."

We started to develop a rhythm. We started to see that maybe, let's focus on the print story first. Let's make sure that we have the notes, and that that story is well told. Then we'll add the photographs and then we're going to add the video. Once we figured out that rhythm, I think things became a bit smoother.

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