Talk to me

Your thoughts?

Your thoughts?

After a brief summer hiatus I find myself back on the street again. Soliciting comments from passersby on the sidewalk is the bread and butter of just about every television reporter. I have asked so many people so many questions (many exceedingly strange..the questions, that is, not the people) that it is second nature to me now.

Weather, though, is a critical component to success in this venture. You can’t really blame people who don’t want to stop in a monsoon and give you their thoughts on something like National Macaroni and Cheese Day. Doing ‘streeters’ in the rain..or the biting cold..can be misery. Sheer misery.

When the skies open up you seek an awning for shelter. This often brings you into close contact with a security professional. I’ve had security people come up to me and tell me and the cameraman that the business we are standing in front of owns the sidewalk clear out to the street. He would like us to move along. This, of course, is nonsense. The sidewalk is the sidewalk…unless you are in the type of neighbourhood that has specific bylaws and regulations governing filming. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is such a place. You need permits to get footage on Rodeo Drive and, if you get the proper paperwork, you’ll probably be accompanied by an advisor from the film commission every step of the way. This seems odd in an age when anyone with a smartphone can point it and make their own little movie.

At its best a ‘streeter’ will fly. It becomes a kind of random curb-side theatre with the potential for great little spontaneous moments and reactions. At its worst it is a grind. It’s an airliner coming in with no landing gear on an unfoamed runway. There is no real way of telling , in advance, whether you will get a high flyer or a mess.

You just fasten your seat belt..and assume the position!


8 Responses to “Talk to me”

  1. Lester LIghtstone Says:

    Yup!! That’s the way it works! 🙂 Heaven knows we’ve both been there together! My lecture to “newbie” reporters who feel they HAVE to get a response from EVERY person they stop ….. If they don’t cooperate … GO TO THE NEXT PERSON! There’s plenty of fish in the sea! … well maybe not off the coast of Japan ………

  2. I will try and keep this in mind if I ever get stopped by a street reporter. The thought of being on TV though is scary. Sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment that you wished you hadn’t. Go get ’em Dave!

  3. love the streeter! love the reporters who know how to make them happen! it is an art. mr gerry is such an artist. he may not admit it, but….you can only create a great streeter if you like folks. st jean, kink and ms steele also can do a mean streeter. so, go ahead…shoot your mouth off. remember that?

    • Shoot your mouth off? Oh boy, Chardon…I don’t remember that one. I do remember asking people on the sidewalk if they ever felt like screaming…and many of them did…and did! That tends to stop traffic.

  4. steve pasacreta Says:

    Dave ,Great to see you back on local tv i remember the couple of times you used me in your spots had a blast miss talking to you at your door,hope the family is doing well.Steve your old mailman

  5. Dave, I’m honestly thrilled to have you back and around. I hope to bump into you on the streets. I just noticed the ad on CTV. You used to really make my mornings with that great attitude and sense of humour. I’ll definitely be tuning in to see your segments. I’m sure you’ll be fantastic. –Shaun

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