It was a simple shot—casual, yet dynamic. The reporter would speak his lines while strolling through Zuccotti Park. He would appear engaged, involved in the community, going with the flow of this strange new fad called Occupy Wall Street.
Despite his expensive suit, the viewer at home would believe he was just one of the gang—an occupier at heart. Despite his designer hair, his capped and polished teeth, his flawless spray-on tan, he was also the 99%.
Yes, an easy gig. He and the traveling cameraman would get this quick shot, an easy shot, the stroll through—done it a millions times, and leave Zuccotti for more relevant stories. That was clearly their plan.
But Zuccotti Park was not cooperating. Busy people darted in every direction, the cameraman was ready, the reporter started his stroll:
“The blah is blah blah blah at Zuccotti Park in Lower Man—“
“—‘scuse me! Sanitation! Comin’ through!” A wiry, unshaven man walked through the shot. He was carrying two very full, very “not for television” bags of garbage. The cameraman yelled, “cut!” The reporter laughed in that pompous ass reporter way of laughing.
“Ok, let’s try it again.” The reporter took a moment, composed himself, and then, as if he’d been switched on, began strolling and repeating:
“The blah blah blah blah at Zucotti P—”
“Food Services!! Watch Yourself!!” The reporter was forced to dodge as a line of workers marched quickly through the shot. They were carrying several boxes of Clementine oranges.
The cameraman yelled “CUT!!” and flashed a WTF shrug. The reporter huffed that smug guffaw, slightly more agitated, slightly more red in the forehead. He forced a casual shrug in response to the cameraman’s WTF and hollered: “Again!”
The reporter closed his eyes for a Zen moment, then launched, again, into his stroll, into his blah blah blah—then someone began screaming.
“Comfort!!” The wind had blown one of the tarps away. “Comfort!” a very loud female voice screamed, again, to get everyone’s attention. “We need someone from Comfort over here, please!” A mic check went out, and a swarm of Comfort workers flooded past the cameraman, past the reporter, and right through the middle of their shot. I honestly thought the two men were going to explode. They thrashed around in anger, stomped their feet like spoiled children.
I had seen enough. Someone from food services had just handed me an apple, a cookie, and a cup of orange juice. A soothing breeze of incense was drifting from the ongoing drum circle. I decided to leave these two dinosaurs, these two sore thumbs, flustered, annoyed, and ignored—despite their Mainstream Media stardom. I walked past them and strolled towards the drumming, towards the beating hearts of the occupation, towards the new media that the whole world was watching.