The Cutting Room Floor.
Most of of us hear the term cutting room floor and assume that something that should have been included was well…left out. Yeah that’s what that phrase means. It got me to thinking, what else do we leave on the cutting room floor? My last post was about opportunities. How many opportunities were left on the cutting room floor? In a life time, that is going to be a lot. Tonight, I shot a fire…no I mean I really shot the fool out of this fire. In tv news photography, when we are sent to a fire, we assume that by the time we get there, it’s going to be out, the fire that is. Most of the time we miss the flames, and fire fighters suiting up, spraying their hoses, and being well fire fighter(ish). Tonight was not one of those nights. My reporter (Kim Passoth) and I were making the trek along I-40 (OKC) when we looked up and I said, “that’s a lot of smoke.” Imagine my surprise when we pulled up on scene and still had flames shooting out the top of the roof! Imagine your surprise seeing this 280 lbs photographer running towards the flames. No really I was running. I charged towards the flames, smoke, and toxins floating into the air – real smart right? Well needless to say I think I captured some amazing images, firefighters hovering on ladders over the flames, pillars of fire shooting through the roof. I could have been on the set of the movie Backdraft with these images. Then, the story was handed off to another crew.
Now, those who know me know I will use just about everything I shoot. In my profession, every shot counts, it matters…If I shoot 65 clips, by God I am going to use 67 clips! Yes I see the obvious number difference…get over it. Imagine my surprise when I saw this picturesque story air, to not see some of the best video included in the story. I was frustrated because I shot it…It should be there…why wasn’t it there? I am sure there is an obvious answer…right? I got home poured me a nice tall glass of water, and thought about something. If you don’t shoot it, it can’t be left on the floor. So…if I don’t attempt it…I might never succeed (or fail.) We all know this, at least we should know this. Tomorrow will bring you the chance to leave a part of Monday on the cutting room floor. The question is are you going to attempt to success or failure. No one wants to fail, but if we don’t try, then we fail automatically. So maybe tomorrow you make that extra phone call, you go to the gym, you choose tea over soda, or you simply decide to follow through with something that has been gnawing at you for sometime. By doing so, you pick that discarded material, the video that never aired, that section of your life that needs to be dealt with, and you make it part of the movie that is your life. Good Luck with it, it’s tough. Know this though, whether you succeed or fail, you can say you left nothing behind, and as a grown up you cleaned up your own mess. Your mother would be proud.