More About The Daily Show Shoot

The Daily Show segment that I worked on finally aired this week, so I can post a few more details about it. Here’s the completed bit:

Like most shoots, this one was hard work, but a lot of fun. Al Madrigal was the correspondent, producer was Ian Berger, DP was Jim Wells, and B camera was Brett Johnson. Unusually we had two location sound people for this shoot, myself and Steve LaPard of Nashville. A soundperson for each camera is nice to have, as opposed to the usual situation of me having to feed two cameras simultaneously. There were some times where this was overkill, but it gives the producer the flexibility to split up the crew when necessary.

Shooting at Sugar's Barbecue in Chattanooga

Shooting at Sugar’s Barbecue in Chattanooga

The subject of the story was the Tennessee-Georgia “water war.” According to the state of Georgia, a surveying error took place nearly two hundred years ago which resulted in the border being shifted to the south. It was no big deal until someone in Atlanta figured out that if the border went north, then  Georgia could tap the Tennessee river to supply water for Atlanta, where water is scarce. (but according to some, water use in Atlanta is double that of Tennessee per capita.) I can’t say for sure, but it sounds like Atlanta didn’t plan well for all the growth it’s enjoyed in recent years… that’s why diving around that place is such a nightmare. Georgia has offered to accept a few square miles leading to the river, or else they’re going to the Supreme Court to settle the case. If Tennessee looses and the border gets redrawn, it could loose hundreds of square miles. It may not technically be blackmail, but that’s what we called it back in the hood.

We shot for three days… two in Chattanooga, and one day in Nashville with State Representative Jason Powell, who was a very good sport for agreeing to do the interview. Al is very funny, and an interview like this would be tough to do without saying something that could come back to bite you later… and Rep. Powell did a fine job.

Al Madrigal interviews State Rep Jason Powell for The Daily Show.

Al Madrigal interviews State Rep Jason Powell for The Daily Show.

In fact, the hardest thing about the whole shoot was keeping quiet while the camera was rolling. For example:

  • AL-So when did the rockets start landing here?
  • SUBJECT- Um, no rockets have ever landed here.
  • AL- Really? ‘Cause this place looks like shit. You sure somebody didn’t set off a meth bomb or something?

Cue the snorts and guffaws from the crew. We were somewhat typecast as hicks, but that was pretty much expected. Sometimes that characterization is well deserved, just watch an episode of Smalltown Security and you’ll see what I mean.

It was a great shoot overall, and I hope to see them again someday.

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