My Weekend of Firsts

I lean back in my chair and blink back tears as I watch the footage from Rebel Salute 2011. The shots are extremely clear and so steady and… its just really good. I honestly haven’t been this proud of myself for a long time and although my shoulder still hurts and some muscles which I don’t even know their names are still sore, I now feel like it was well worth it.

My very first attendance to a stage show involved me capturing the action on camera. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well it was just as exhausting as it was exciting! We arrived at the show about 11 pm. Tony Rebel had already performed and Queen Ifrika was on the stage. The crowd was in a frenzy and Tickoya and I made our way to the gate that led to the press village. I had a gut feeling that we would not be let in and when we got to the gate and as it turned out my git was right. We were wearing complimentary bands which doesn’t allow us access to the press area or to back stage. We called the guy from Weastern Bureau that we were told to contact if we needed help but there was nothing her could do either for us then. His band only admits him to the press area so we couldn’t exactly piggy back on his pass. He tried to get us in but the security officers were adamant. They were not letting us through the gate.

As luck would have it though, Tony Rebel’s daughter was passing by and saw us. We called out to her and she instructed the security guards to let us in. If that had not happened we would not have had to stand in the general admission area because our Gleaner ID’s that say “intern and armbands that say “complimentary” only qualified to be in that area. Once we got through though we went right before the stage. Unfortunately by then Queen Ifrica had finished performing so we weren’t able to capture any footage of her.

We learnt very early in the night that filming a stage show would prove to be much harder than anything else we had ever had to do with a camera thus far. We are not very tall and we are directly in front of the stage and we have to hold this camera on our shoulders (often on our heads ) to get the best possible shots of each performer. The first few shots were the hardest but its a learning process so it got better as it went along. We took turns with the camera so whenever my hand got tired Tickoya was there to relieve me and I did the same for her. It was a wonderful (and painful) experience but it is definitely something I would like to do again.

I found it interesting just how amazed many people were to see two women with a camera. One woman even went as far as to say that Gleaner is wicked to have sent us there to cover the event. It’s just a pity she doesn’t know though that I would much prefer to be there with the camera than in front of it or sitting around a desk 5-6 days per week.

I intend to send my coworker from western Bureau a thank you email along with a link to the videos we are now working on as soon as they are done. He was very kind to us and he gave us all the help he could have and then some. He encouraged us throughout the night and told us that we were doing very well. It was just very good to have someone there to say thumbs up when the shoulder started to hurt . It served, for me at least, as a source of motivation to go on despite the difficulty.

There is a guy whose name I don’t remember (that is bad) who was also very nice to us. He takes pictures for a magazine and we ran into him in the press area. It was around the time that Toots was over staying his time on the stage and was all the way back on the stage like right in front the bands. Neither Tickoya nor I could get good footage of him because we are kinda short. Out of the blue comes this man telling us that we need a little help. He then takes the camera and holds it above his head so we actually have great footage of toots now. When he walked away to go and get pictures for himself a rasta man beside us joked that we had gotten ourselves a very tall tripod.

Throughout the night he came back to check on us and at one point he even brought me on the stage so I could get a better view of the crowd and a closer shot of Beres. Loved it!!!! There is something he said to me though that I will always remember throughout my career. He said “you are press, you need to move with confidence. You are here to cover the event and you can go anywhere including the stage. When you move like you know what you doing people will take you seriously.” So thank you kind sir, hopefully we’ll meet again and then I’ll get to know your name.

We worked ’til morning and even managed to catch a shot of the sunrise. We got a vox pop form patrons and learned that I-Octane, Movado and Beres were seen as the top performers of the night. Personally Beres was my favourite and Octane would come in second.

We couldn’t leave immediately after the show was over because it would have been a waste of time and gas to join the line in the very tight and barely crawling traffic. We stayed in the parking lot for close to an hour then started the journey back. By the time I got home it was after 12 and I was asleep before one.

Now I have the task of creating a highlights video from the show as well as to work with Tickoya to do individual artist videos. I’m looking forward to it as I reminisce about my weekend with a smile. It was my first time ever going to a stage show, my first time ever working with a video camera on my shoulder for so long, my first time ever seeing Beres Hammond in real life, same goes for I-Octane a a few others, and if I’m not mistaken it was my first time going to St Elizabeth.

My weekend of firsts will forever be in my memory. And even if i should one day get Alzheimer and forget I can always come back to wordpress and read about it 🙂

Sherjei.

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