Our first story of the morning today found Lisa Daniels freezing in negative-ten-degree weather in Burlington, Vermont. She brought us info about the freezing weather from the midwest to the northeast that is so unseasonable for March, and hopefully will be breaking this weekend. Lisa was in Vermont for another piece yesterday, so another producer and I were helping her with this story from the New York end. One of the elements we wanted were comments from ordinary people telling us what they think about the cold. Here, we call those "Man on the Street" interviews, or MOS for short.
I went with a camera crew over to Fifth Avenue yesterday afternoon to get some interviews and see what people had to say. Sometimes, MOS interviews can be pretty difficult, especially if we are asking people to admit to something really personal or taboo to us (fetishes, anyone?). Fortunately for me, asking people to complain about the cold is a pretty easy prompt for conversation. Combine that with people's undying desire to be on television, and the interviews practically wrote themselves. As my crew was setting up their equipment, I already had a line of six people wanting to talk to me. We stayed outside for about an hour, getting some generic shots of people walking in the cold all bundled up, and stopping people here and there to get their comments. We definitely got enough footage, and my apologies to the people who were so excited to talk to me and ended up getting cut from the piece. We were tight for time!
Putting a piece together for the next day, as much-more-eloquently described in Nick Palladino's blog from the other day, can be a last-minute, stressful experience. A story like this one, which is just about weather, does not lend itself to a lot of different videos that can be used. That's why interviews with ordinary people sprinkled throughout really add something, making it more relatable to the audience. The last soundbite in the interview was of a little kid telling us very enthusiastically that he's ready for the warm weather. I really liked his energy and was psyched he wanted to talk to me, but he was wearing a Yankees hat. As a rabid Red Sox fan, I almost told him to go away, but hey, as a journalist, sometimes you gotta take one for the team.