In contrast it was pretty busy having home games during week 5. As usual I updated Deko graphics, game notes and so on for the scoreboard. I operated one of the field cameras during games and I started learning how to use another field camera also. I'm getting used to follow the ball and to get hero shots and some highlight shots for the ballpark screen. It is pretty exciting that more of my camera shots got taken for the screen by a director during the game.
Everything that happened in week 6 was unbelievable and amazing. I met a sports photojournalist who is taking photos for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and UFC, writes sports magazine articles and also writes travel guide books and some other magazine columns. Photojournalism is different from what I'm doing, but he invited me to go to Los Angeles with him because the Mariners were going to play against Los Angeles Dodgers. He said he could let me inside of the Dodger stadium to introduce me to people there, and I could get to see the control room, press box, and some stuff. Of course I said "Yes" for this great offer. It was too sudden and so random, and my boss and coworkers were surprised that I actually agreed to go down there with him because it was just a day before we were heading to LA. So, I reserved my plane tickets and decided to stay there for 5 nights.
For the first day in LA, the photojournalist took me to Dodger stadium. He got a media pass for me, and I took a look in the press box, and around the stadium. It was pretty interesting to compare their different camera locations and angles with Mariners ones. I also checked photojournalists working. After the game we had a memorial ceremony for Michael Jackson with great fireworks and music on the field.
On the next day we woke up early to meet up with a photo cameraman from Tokyo. Since the sports photojournalist can write articles and has many job offers from various genre, he got a phone call from Tokyo for Michael Jackson's newspaper article. So eventually I worked with them as an assistant and drove to possible places where we might hear the latest information about Michael, like Michael's home in Beverly Hills, the Grammy Museum in downtown and etc. I interviewed Michael's fans and security guys for possible info and gossip. At the same time I kept taking photos. I know it was really emotional moment seeing people crying, praying, and kneeling down, but I was feeling more like we got to report what is going on. I needed to talk to tons of people until I got heard unreleased information about Michael. I couldn't believe that the information we heard at the time was on the air in the next morning. After we were crazily moving around LA for the breaking news, me and the sports photojournalist headed to Dodger stadium for his photo work. He introduced me to a Dodger stadium video producer who is also working for Los Angeles Lakers. The producer suggested me to follow him working on cameras at the game. I even learned the different camera use for inning breaks. The producer also talked how he got his job, what he believes for his job, what kind of attitude/ passion is needed for his job and so on. The sports photojournalist also introduced me to a producer/ director at Los Angeles bureau of one of the top Japanese TV stations.
On the third day in LA we went to Dodger stadium for a day game. After our work at the ballpark, we drove to see the photo camera guy who was waiting for some news in front of Michael's house all day long. There were still other media people but we started thinking that nothing will happen at the time, and it would be better to go to BET Award where Michael's dad, Joe was attending and to wait for Joe's possible comment. We dropped the cameraman off at the Shrine Auditorium, then met with a Clippers scout man for a magazine interview.
On the fourth day, we attended Clippers press conference about their new player, Blake Griffin. I got a media pass and met the scout man again. I kept taking photos and videos listening interviews at the press conference. Later I saw online news about the press conference with a photo which just looks like mine. At the press conference I helped a CNN reporter shooting video. It was funny that he has the same name as mine (I mean, the pronunciation is the same). After the press conference we drove down to San Diego, and the photojournalist got a media pass for me again to get in to Petco Park. I was thinking to go to San Diego by myself, but he actually arranged his work so that he could take me inside of Petco Park not as a fan but as a media and also I didn't have to spend money for the transportation to San Diego. I was taking a look around the stadium to see the camera setting, and also went inside of media deck where photo people working.
For day 5, I went to the control room to ask if I could get to see inside. They were willing to show me around even it was right before the game starts. Also I went to see the press box and suite level.
It was a really really long week and I barely slept, but it was an amazing experience. I'm glad that I got this great chance to get involved in MLB and NBA media, and breaking news. Also I really appreciate that the sports photojournalist took care of me really nicely all the time even for the expenses there. I cannot write or describe all here, but besides camera, I've also learned so much stuff personally and mentally.