Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rosemary's final thoughts about WEGS 10/30/10

Hello, I tried putting all my pictures below my final entry, but am getting very irritated with the process, so you will see some images before, and some after... I will be putting more pictures on the blog soon.

The Alltech Arena, where reigning and vaulting took place.
Brian was Tech Manager at this venue

Melissa driving the 13 passenger cart that I called the farm wagon
You had to remember to swing wide when you turned

Nathan driving a golf cart - one of the few that had "roofs"

Hello all! David, and others, have been pushing me to write a final entry.... I'd like to just put "Been there, done that and have the jacket and hat!" but I will add more. My last entry was October 5th. Most days in between then and the end are kind of a blur by now, which David was afraid off. I recall days starting at 6:30am... I do recall one day starting 7..that was a real treat! I did go to a few vaulting events which were interesting. I will say that during the last week, it didn't feel like I'd been there almost 3 weeks which was kind of odd. Also, although I worked long hours, some of those hours were spent sitting in the catering tent, waiting to hear what our next job was. Sometimes I was by myself, sometimes there were other runners I could chat with. One time, I waited for 1 1/2 hrs for someone to bring a van back for me to do some errand, only to find out the person with the van had been told I'd left awhile ago, so that's why he never sought me out! Oh well. I did have a lot of fun at times and met some wonderful people! I wanted to see some of the Driving Marathon in person but I needed to be working when it started. However, there was a tv in the Catering tent, so I got to watch some of it, along with other events on other days, on it. On Sunday, 10/10, the last day of the event, I went in to work at 6:15am. Did the usual shuttling, etc. Went to the finale of the vaulting - USA won team event! Back to work till 4, when I went to the closing ceremony. I had been given a ticket for a great seat, but it was out in the sun and it was hot, so I sat up in the media section which had a cover. The event was very boring. My ticket said it cost $80 - I would have been pretty mad to have paid $80 for such a boring event. Now, Lyle Lovett was performing at the end, so if you were a fan, then the price of the ticket would have been worthwhile as he was going to perform for an hour and a half. Alot of people left when he started, though, which surprised me. I did leave when he started as I felt I should go back to work. Crews left at different times during the evening. Some runners, including myself, stayed and shuttled till midnight. There were only about 6 crew members left and David thought they'd be done soon, so I suggested the other runners leave and I'd stay for the last run. I waited till 12:30am and was told it would be another hour! I told David I couldn't responsibly drive anymore so he sent me "home" and said he'd shuttle the people who were left. Brian ended up doing the run to the parking lot. He and David got "home" at 2am. Jack called me at 6:30am Monday to ask when I was coming in. I told him that Jackie said I could sleep in some and what time I'd gotten home, so he said to come in whenever. He said everyone would be working till they dropped.. great! David & Brian went in at 8am and I went in at 10. Everyone was packing up everything and cleaning out the trailers. I started cleaning out the Edit trailer but people were still working in there so I couldn't do much. They kept the edit trailer warm, and it was warm out so I felt I was going to "drop" after just an hour, but then I got to work in the production trailer (where Jackie and David and had offices) that was much cooler so that was good and I perked up. (oh, back to the day before -The college students were back that day which was great. Rachel & Kristin, who are in the photo with me that David posted, gave me that photo, printed out and with a very touching message written on the back. I will treasure it. ) Back to Monday, we were done at 4 or 5pm which was great! It meant that David and I could leave the next day, instead of Wednesday! We met up with one of David & Brian's bosses and some others for dinner. Beautiful place but we were all tired. We started packing when we got back and finished up Tuesday morning. We put almost all of our things in to Brian's trailer as we were coming back in the Porsche. On Tuesday we headed North. While on the way, I rec'd a call from Jackie, who has already been offered to work at Rolex, the annual 3 day horse event they have at the park and she wanted to know if I was interested in working it. I said I would have to wait and see. I am pretty sure I won't want to work it but didn't want to say no yet. When we got to Maryland, we stopped at a Holiday Inn, in Cumberland, MD (hmmm, I think it was Cumberland) - it was in a sketchy area and had a train running right behind it. Was $135 a night for that "lovely" and noisey (due to train running every hour!) place so we decided to push on. Not too far up the road, we stopped at the Rocky Gap Resort in Flintstone, MD. It was $150/night. It was gorgeous place, however, unfortunately, we had an unhappy time in the restaurant...our complaints resulted in the manager tearing up our whole bill! Beautiful looking breakfast buffet the next day, but not so tasty. Oh well. I was actually longing for the food in the catering tent! Then we were off to Atlantic City. We stayed at the Trump Plaza for 2 nights (great prices for week days). Good food. David hated A.C. though. :-( He left early Friday, went home and then went to the Manchester airport to head to St. Louis to work a football game. I stayed in A. C. and moved to The Chelsea Pub and Inn. Caryl (David's sister) arrived around 6pm and we started our adventure which mostly consisted of shopping and eating. Saturday night we went to the Boardwalk Hall and saw the "So You Think You Can Dance Tour" which was great. We left Sunday at 5:30am in hopes of getting to Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ, before it got too busy there. The show "Cake Boss" is filmed there and is about the family run bakery. I had heard stories of people waiting in line for 4 hours to get in to this bakery! Caryl and I decided that if there was a line, we'd only wait an hour. We got there at 7:30am, parked right in front and walked right in! It was really fun and we got some yummy pastries and cakes. I got home that afternoon and was so glad to be back after being gone almost a month! So, dear family and friends... I say "adieu" and leave you with some photographs I took. Take care and thanks for tuning in! Rosemary

First night there, when I was happy, excited
and nieve! This is David's Gator.

Behind the Broadcast compound

Sunday, October 17, 2010

WEG Final-David

I have thought a lot about doing this final entry of World Equestrian Games. So many thoughts and emotions surround the last 4 years of the planning and implementation of this event. I was asked to do this back in Torino by Jim Carr of Carr-Hughes. Jim and I hadn't seen each other in years and it was by fate that we did run in to each other and he did ask if I was interested. From there led a lot of meetings, a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails that spanned over the 4 years. And having lived in Lexington for the last two months, certainly has made me a part of this history.

In a word, I hated it.

Hate may be a strong word but I didn't enjoy this as I thought I would. The long hours I was use to. The stupidity of the Organizing Committee I can deal with. The lack of professionalism by some of the key players I could deal with. The fact that there was issues within the Logistics that directly effected how we did work I could cope with. What was not enjoyable was dealing with all of this together. If I was 10 years younger, I would have enjoyed the challenge and looked to each day as yet another opportunity. Not this time which has really surprised me. I like challenges and I like running a crew but to have 160 people looking for direction was very taxing and I did have two good tech managers working for me, so I was covered with that. AND with 16 broadcast days with multi-venues going on, I heard very little complaining from the crews. And these people can be very very good at complaining. They could have complained about the hotels and they didn't. They could have complained about the transportation and they didn't. They could have complained about the long hours and we never heard a word. The crew was very patient with us and did okay. Some didn't shine and would never be hired by Carr-Hughes ever again. But we did have a pretty good time with them.

The one thing that I will say was good was having most of my family with me (it would have been really cool to have Diane there but a little spooky as well). Brian has learned so much dealing with crews and multi-venue, long days. He did very well on the 28 camera cross country event but he did well dealing with the production team and getting shows to air. I was glad he did it and glad he was there. Having Rosemary with me working was something very new. I thought she would be doing 8-10 hour days and getting a chance to see the inner workings of what Brian and I really do. That was not to be. She worked like a trooper to the hours and duties they threw at her. She did her assignments very well but the long hours were a real killer. There would be days when I saw her a total of 15-20 minutes. I thought we could eat together, talk, be together during the entire time. We would sleep in the same bed and every once in a while we could eat together but not like I imagined. She would go to work before me and sometimes not come home after I got there. That was truly a change of what we are use to. If I had known what type of schedule they had for her, I would never have suggested it. I think she is glad she did it and she did keep up with people a lot younger than her. I am proud she did it and didn't quit.

I know that you all have heard this before but I can safely say that this is it for me. I always enjoyed doing shows as a tech manager. I am afraid that having done this has finished me from ever wanting to do this again. I am glad it was successful but I can safely say I don't ever want to tech manage again.

Rosemary and I leaving the compound for the last time.

From St. Louis (don't ask, you wouldn't believe me)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WEG Final Day

I want to fill you in on our last days before we end this Blog with our final thoughts. Brian has done his and Rosemary and I will do ours in the next few days. Probably by the weekend and we can give these to you but for now, this is what happened over our last days;

The last day started with a final driving competition and a final vaulting. The driving compettion was of driving teams thru obstacles with cones and tennis balls. It was timed events and it was going very quickly until our timing and scoring crashed. We have had problems with these people of timing and scoring for both weeks and the judges had had it with them and stopped the competition completely. For an hour! They finally decided to run it with stop watches the old fashion way. We finally got thru but then there was the awards ceremony that went on for over an hour. We needed to move this crew down to Closing Ceremonies and get to rehearse for them. So, instead of 2 hours of rehearsing, they got about 10 minutes.

Brian's venue was a little bit luckier as they finished, had lunch, then took their cameras down. They then went up to driving and removed all of those cameras as well. They also removed all of the cabling there. Brian had a real good crew and never really complained. More on this in my closing remarks later.

We finally suffered thru Closing and got thru the Lyle Lovett concert we couldn't broadcast due to rights but had to stay for feeding the large screens. Finally brought everyone in for supper and to shut down the compound. The race was on. We wanted people out by 9:00p but that didn't work and then tried for 10:00p. Still no joy as we had a lot of equipment and cable out. Finally we started getting people away and most were gone by midnight. Except Brian and I.

One of the trucks had problems closing their doors. And they played and fixed and played and fixed until 1:00a. Finally the last truck drove away at 1:45a and Brian and I got back to the campground at 2:00a.

Needless to say, Brian and I were exhausted. We got up 5 hours later to go in to work. We had to pack what was left of cable and equipment that were not going on the trucks and all of the rental gear to boot. It was and always is a letdown at the end of these large events as we were there to "turn out the lights and shut the door". Our crews are gone, the trucks have left, and after racing around and running for a month, we were very, very tired and now had to de-compress. We did do a small dinner that night at a restaurant and went to bed early. Brian did stay up to build a fire in his campsite (first and last) and kicked back to enjoy his Kentucky Cocktail and write in the Blog. Rosemary and I headed east to Atlantic City where I am finally able to write this edition. I will need another day to gather my thoughts on closing out this adventure. Brian has already written his and Rosemary will probably follow me.

So, Dear Readers, stand by for closing out this adventure.

From Trump Plaza

Monday, October 11, 2010

WEG - Day "Who cares! We're done!"

As I sit here on Day 35 of MY time here, I'd like to reflect on my time at the World Equestrian Games. I'm sipping on a Kentucky Cocktail, which has become my local favorite, as a celebration to the end of the games. I'm sure once I get home, it'll fall to the way side, but for's what I've got. It's made of Bourbon {Woodford Reserve} and an Ale-8-1 {pronounced "A Late One", which tastes like ginger ale, but not quite}. To add to the mood, which one must achieve to finalize their thoughts on the last several weeks, I've finally added a bonfire to my camping experience in Lexington.

When we were invited to come to the Saratoga area in New York, four years ago, I was overwhelmed by the fount of information our boss was giving us. It's hard to try and grasp 16 days in a few hours. There were so many unanswered questions from this meeting, and it wasn't because he didn't know, it was a matter that the organizing committee had yet to determine what they wanted to do.

Over the last several years, I'd hear tidbits here and there about what was coming, but never the full picture. Again, not because we didn't know, but because the organizing committee hadn't decided. But, showing up several weeks ago, it was clear: decisions had been made, actions were required, and I was one of those people that needed to make sure it happened.

The quick answers are here:
Did I enjoy doing it? Yes!
Was it worth it? Yes!
Would you do it again? Yes!
Best moment: Getting all 28 cameras up in three hours for Eventing: Cross County
Worst moment: Getting yelled at as to why we couldn't see all 28 cameras the day before. Oops!

Here are the long answers:
Did I enjoy doing it?
I did. It was certainly a challenge. It was the largest event that required a lot of patience and focus based upon the fact there was so much going on at the same time that affected eachother (ie one event needed to end, so another could start) that I had ever done. It was stressful and rewarding, all at the same time. I may have disliked certain times, WHILE I was enduring them, but overall I enjoyed my time here.

Was it worth it?
Yes! This is one of those many events in my life that I can look back and say, "I learned something from that!" And either I'll say: "I'm NEVER going to....." or "You know, back in Lexington we did ...... And it worked!" These will help us grow to be better at our job, so we may grow professionally and technically for the next one.

Would you do it again?
Yes! I would do this again because this is the early/middle-time for my career. My father's done 6 Olympics, so he's good with that. I'm ready for more!

From the Horse Park

Saturday, October 09, 2010

WEG Day #54

Next to the last day of competition. We have had our excitement today as the director decided to change camera names yesterday and forgot to tell anyone so there was confusion as cameras came alive. Long story but we finally figured it out. Then we had a small POV (point of view) camera not work after working and being checked several times. 3 hours later, we fixed the problem.

Today is Driving Marathon. Carriages and horses going like crazy thru mazes. Unfortunately, when I took pictures, I didn't have the settings correct. No pictures. They were fascinating to watch and it went well.

Things are winding down here and tomorrow will be the last day and with closing ceremonies. I will try to get both Brian and Rosemary to write something of their final thoughts and I will give you mine. I know this has probably been a little boring this time but I am glad that we did write our thoughts and let you all know that we are alive and well but just tired.

We have jumping finals tonight and that will be it for Jumping. Not sorry to see that go as it was always a late night activity.

From the Horse Park

Friday, October 08, 2010

WEG Day #53

We tend to forget sometimes you don't get a chance to see some of the camera people and some of the work they do behind the scenes. I will give you some behind the scenes shots;

Jib camera in action

Wireless camera so he can move around anywhere in the arena without cables

One of our wired camera people shooting a jump

One of our cameras on a scissors lift. One day he went a little too high and the phone rang off the hook to have him lower it.

Yes, it was cold one day

This is one of the lower camera positions

This camera position is called the "bird's nest" for the obvious reasons.

From the Horse Park

WEG Day #53


At the Indoor Arena, where my events occur, we have a jib. Which is a crane with a camera on the end of it. This gives the large swooping look that you've seen at sporting events before.

Very early on, during rehearsals our director asked for a set of 4 ferns and a World Equestrian Games sign. The jib operator set them up so the sign was sitting on the ferns, and the opening shot was of the jib swinging over the sign. It was wonderful!

We set that up very early on (September 24th, I believe) and then Wednesday (October 6th!!!!) they went missing!!!! Where did the ferns go?

It seems our production manager found them from the Main Stadium florist, which is different than the Indoor Arena florist. It took over two weeks for the Main Stadium florist to realize their ferns were in the Indoor Arena. Instead of them calling us and say, "Hey, you need to find some new ferns" they just TOOK them. It was a huge mystery while our production manager scurried to find some new ferns. We only have a few days left, WHY are we changing things?!?!?!

From the Horse Park

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

WEG Day #51

I wrote the header and am now very tired. 51 days and I am still here. I have 7 more days and then going home. Rosemary is exhausted and Brian is beat. We did have dinner with my cousin's friend, Erica, last night so it was nice getting away. I am getting her a credential and she will come visit tonight.

One issue that we have had all along was infinity passes and lack of them. Infinity means you have access everywhere. So we finally were issued ours and I have one along with Brian. This picture was taken which just shows you that nothing is ever correct.

The last picture is from Rosemary and her other runner buddies.
Rosemary, Rachel and Kristen, trying to keep warm on a golf cart at 4:00AM

from the Horse Park