Greetings from 35,000 feet! (even though when I post this I will be back on the ground)
As I type, I am on my flight from Denver to Indianapolis, with an hour layover in Minneapolis. Even though I was only in Denver for around 24 hours, and it was hectic getting out there, I had an amazing time.
But lets recap the last 48 hours.
When I last left off, I had just gotten back to Indianapolis. After a quick stop to the office, and a Verizon store for a phone charger, David and I got back to the apartment around 4:05. Unfortunately, the miniUSB cord that I got from Verizon didn’t charge my phone, so it was still dead. After making some chicken, and doing some last minute packing, I was on my way to the airport.
Then things got interesting.
The way to the airport was uneventful, Until I realized all my travel stuff was on my phone, and I didn’t have a computer to check in with. But I figured “Hey, as long as I have my last name and ID, I should be fine right?”
When I got to the airport, an hour+ before my flight, I checked the departure board and didn’t see my flight on there. That is when the pit started to grow in my stomach. The lady for Delta helped me check in, and when I said I was going to Minneapolis, she told me how my flight was delayed two hours because of bad weather in the Northeast. She told me I wouldn’t make my connecting flight. She had me wait in line, and gave me a number to call in the meantime, which added insult to injury since, you know, I didn’t have a phone.
After waiting in line for 10 minutes, I got up to the travel desk. It wasn’t as painful as I thought. Within five minutes, I had another flight out of Indy at 6:50 am, which worked. I tried to be as nice as possible since you could tell that they had had a long day.
David got me from the airport, and we had a fun night. James, David and I went to Target and Chili’s for a charger, then some food. When we got back to the apartment, Brittni and Zongwei were there. It was the first night that all five of us got to hang out. After a lot of fun and laughs, I got to bed around 2 am, making it a very short nights sleep.
I had to was up at 4:45 to take a shower and get ready. Brittni took me to the airport, and I got on my without any trouble. I was a little worried going through security with a camera, two computers, and a lot of wires and cables. But nonetheless, everything went fine. After a couple hours of sleep on the plane, and I was finally in Denver.
Even though we arrived into Denver, we had to wait on the tarmac because our gate still had a plane there. After waiting 10 minutes, we finally got to our gate. ALl of my luggage made it to Denver (even though I was really only worried about the box with all the equipment). Mat got me from the airport, and showed me around Denver a little bit. We stopped for Chipotle for lunch. It was my first experience there, and it was really good! When we were done with lunch, the fun really started.
We got to Invesco Field around 1 pm. We were shown up to the ‘Thundervision’ room, where all of the games video production equipment was. The view was impeccable.
When we got there, I finished up a lot of the tap archiving that I had been putting off. Around 4 pm, the production guys started to trickle in, and before we knew it, it was time to set-up for the show. Mat walked to through what went on during a live broadcast, and how to set it up.
The stress-level ratcheted up around 5, when the Windows machine wasn’t working well enough for the primary broadcast. We were able to use my computer, using the software called Wirecast, to stream the show out. It worked fine on my machine, and the back-up worked well on Mat’s machine. Crisis #1 averted.
Things got even tenser around 6, when we weren’t getting audio from the field mics. The announcers mics were working fine, but not the ones picking up the corps. After running around for a half hour, we finally decided to use the shotgun mic on my camera as a band-aid, to pick up audio until the field micas worked. Eventually, the sound worked through the live broadcast. Crisis #2 averted.
A third of the way into the show, it started to sprinkle. A minute after it started to sprinkle, there was lightning. The Cascades, who were performing, were rushed off the field. As this point, I was on the field, so I quickly went under the stadium. It clicked to me to start getting B-roll of kids waiting under the stadium. When I went close to the tunnel outside, I heard people warming-up. After a minute of thiking, I went for it.
In the pouring rain, I was running around the lot outside Invesco Field to get footage of what corps were doing during the delay. Under a tent, the color guards from Blue Devils, Blue Knights, and the Cadets were having a dance party. Further away, the SCV and Phantom hornlines were warming up under the freeway, while the drumlines just stood around talking. I spent 10 to 15 minutes filming the happenings in the lot. I had footage for another piece for the Fan Network. Crisis #3 averted.
Eventually, the storm passed, and the show went on. The Cascades, whose show was interrupted, got to start over from the beginning. From then, The Academy, SCV, Phantom, the Cadets, Blue Devils, and the Blue Knights performed without any rain hampering their performance. I got a lot of good footage from the field, and experimented with different angles, framing, and trying to give the audience a unique perspective of being up-close to the performers while their are performing.
It didn’t take that long after the show to take-down everything. Mat and I were out of the stadium by 11:30. We stopped by the bar Brooklyn, which was right by the stadium. After a drink, we headed to the hotel. By the time I got into bed, I had been up for 22-straight hours, because of the time change. Needless to say, I passed right out.
This morning, I hit the snooze button a few too many times. I wanted to catch the 7:25 shuttle to the airport so I had plenty of time through the airport to catch my 9:20 flight. I, instead, had to wait for the 7:55 shuttle. I didn’t get to Delta’s check-in until 8:33. I made it within two minutes of the “45-minute minimum time” to get your bags on the flight. Running through the airport, I got to security by 8:40, and was done by 8:45. In my pocket of my shorts, I found my ‘good luck’ Ironman toy I got the night before my Comm Theory final in the fall. Then, I knew I was making my flight.
Quickly, I hoped on the tram and took it all the way to Terminal C. I got to the gate at around 8:50, and they were only boarding zones 1 and 2. I took a HUGE sigh of relief.
The captain just said we are landing in Minneapolis in 15 minutes. Then, it is a 55-minute layover, where I can hopefully grab some food since I hadn’t eaten anything more than 3 bags of airline peanuts and one bag os airplane pretzels. I should be arriving into Indy around 3:30 pm. I already planned what I am doing when I get back. I am going to take a shower, and sleep till tomorrow morning.
These last 72 hours have been insane. I have been to four different states, two different time zones, and travelled close to 2,000 miles. But would I do it all again? You know it. It has been amazingly fun, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.
This weeks schedule:
Minneapolis, MN: 7/14-7/17