I feel like every one of these posts starts with me lamenting that I don't blog more because I've been so busy. So after a five and a half month writing hiatus, here I am again making the same excuse. At least July has brought a slight break in the action for me to catch up on what's happened since I last posted.
Oh boy, so where to begin? Hockey playoffs? College hoops? Dancing?
In June, I shot a pair of dance recitals. For the second straight year, To The Pointe Dance out of Hillsborough hired me for their two-day event.
A week later, I traveled to downtown Goldsboro to shoot the Artistic Dance Academy's recital.
No, after covering four Final Fours, the Rose Bowl, etc., I never envisioned I would be A) shooting dance recitals and B) actually enjoying it. But hard work is hard work, and these recitals are the culmination of hours, weeks and months the dancers and teachers spent working on these routines. It's an honor to be asked to capture these moments. And the pay isn't so bad either. Here's hoping for more of these next year.
Sticking to the freelance scene, way way back in February and March, I spent several days working with my former WRAL colleague Christi Lowe at her Fayetteville office while her company--Christi Lowe Productions—was between hires. I simply helped bridge the gap for her when I was available, but I had the chance to edit a variety of videos: marketing, instructional, etc.
Here's one for a laundromat that I helped shape.
In May, I shot a few public speaking events, most notably the Smithfield-Selma Chamber Women's Business Network for the second year in a row where I was hired to shoot a roundtable panel discussion plus highlight keynote speaker Amy Edge of Leading Edge Institute:
Melissa Overton, who runs the event, has been quite the blessing lining me up with a few projects. She also asked me shoot one of her classes at Johnston Community College and cut four hours down to three minutes:
Melissa is also the person who connected me with CommWell Health and the videos I produced for them last year.
They hired me again in April to shoot video of their new building in Four Oaks to show to their board members and might have some more work for me in the near future.
Melissa also introduced me her friend Vernon Mason, Jr. who was President of the Wee School Child Development Center but decided the retire this year. Vernon hired me to produce a simple "goodbye" video to the school, which I thought was finally a chance to show off what the Sony A7III camera could do.
But even after all that, my freelance work has only kept me moderately busy compared to the increased workload at WRAL, especially behind the camera.
Acting once again as a band-aid to patch up temporary short staffing, I spent most of the hours editing for WRALSportsFan.com while the station was between hires in the online department. That's the main reason why I didn't travel for NCAA Tournament coverage for basketball or during the Carolina Hurricanes' playoff run.
It was amazing to be at PNC Arena for a few of the home playoff games though. I forgot how much I missed it. After a decade drought of postseason hockey, the Caniacs certainly lived up to their reputation for bringing the noise in the playoffs.
Every once in awhile, this old man was called upon to report on a few stories like the NC State football Pro Day for Ryan Finley and also a story from that day on the Pack's Garrett Bradbury and Kelvin Harmon.
Keeping with the football theme, I covered Mack Brown's first spring game back at UNC.
I also covered Carolina winning the ACC Tournament in baseball (this was a fun one).
And I did report on the Hurricanes a few times in the regular season. Here's my last effort in a loss to the team they ended up beating in the first round of the playoffs: the Washington Capitals.
I never expected to be working so much for WRAL since moving back to Raleigh, but it's been an incredible blessing and, for several reasons, an even more enjoyable experience for me personally than it was when I worked there the first time.
And it's about to get even better! In a few weeks, I'll be able to announce my exciting new role in the department, but I have to keep it hush hush for now.
So between WRAL and freelancing, the challenge is trying to give enough attention to our son Jackson because he certainly demands it. Thankfully, we're willing to give it to him. Here's something I put together for his second birthday in March. It's also the video I'm most proud of.
Jason Jennings is a freelance videographer based in Raleigh, NC. He previously spent more than a decade covering sports for television stations in Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Missouri.