Monday, October 11, 2010

Both sides of the camera

My bio says I'm an award winning television director, which is completely true. I've won awards from shows I've directed. However, just like any statement, it can be taken many different ways. The programs I directed primarily were newscasts, though I did direct many interview type programs as well as several musical programs.
I was drawn to television production because I really had an interest in how things on TV worked. I took electronic classes in high school (and even won a statewide contest called "The Vocational Excellent Award" which awarded me a scholarship). I worked at Orem High School's radio station my junior and senior years. (Fun side note: it was called KOHS, which I pronounced "chaos" simply because all of us were so new we were trying to figure out what to do--and it reflected on the air)
My career eventually took me to a TV station in Connecticut where I was the operations manager as well as a director. The most significant event during my time there was 9/11. Heck, I could (and may) write a book on that experience. I was so involved in covering the event that I didn't really deal with my feelings on the tragedy for quite some time. I recall when I finally had a chance to mow my lawn after the event, I heard a plane fly over head. What did I do? I turned off the lawn mower and ran to my basement. Pretty manly, eh?
Eventually, being all call 24/7 (as well as a few other reasons) for seven years got old and I felt like I was missing out on watching my kids grow up. So I decided to make a big change.
My little brother is a bank manager and lives in North Carolina. After several talks with him, I applied for a job with the bank and was hired as a bank manager and we moved to NC. They hired me for my managerial experience, and taught me all about banking. While banking has its own set of challenges, you know that you can keep commitments to your family. No more "Breaking news! Everyone has to stay until it's over!"
And then came the robbery. It could have been a lot worse--no one was hurt. But as the police came and the media surrounded the building with a chopper overhead. With police "crime scene" tape everywhere, it wasn't lost on me that I was on the other side of the camera now. Instead of reporting the news, I was part of the news.
Frankly, it wasn't fun. My emotions have been all over the map since the robbery. As the manager, I feel very protective of my work family. How dare this robber come into my "house" and take from "family"! I'm proud that everyone handled it perfectly. Still, to see my bank on the news (I'm even in a shot or two) was fairly surreal.
Thankfully the bank was very supportive of its employees during times like these. Everyone reacts a differently way. In a couple of days we'll be back to "normal" (if there is such a thing), but until then, it's given me quite a lot to think about. I've come to two basic conclusions:
#1 Mr. bank robber: shame on you! Your selfish act impacted many people in ways you can't begin to understand.
#2 To the media: You can report the news, and still be respectful about it. To all those "consultants" who preach "to get people to watch, you need to grab them and don't let go"--you can be compelling without being sensational.


  1. Oh no, Jason... *hugs* Did they catch him? You need to give us readers closure! That's a very scary thing to experience. I'm glad that you came out of it safe as well as your work family.

    Btw, this will help give you realistic perception for your books to come.

  2. Alas, at this moment he is still "at large". He's robbed about 8 banks over a several week period.

  3. Lloyd,

    Wo! You've had too much fun lately. I'm glad you are ok! I'll call you tonight.


  4. Update on this. The robber was caught. Seems like a family member turned him in. Lesson here? If you are going to rob a bank and have your face all over the news, maybe, just maybe, remember that there are people who know you and will turn you in for a reward.