First of all, let me explain something…
I LOVE what I do.
I’ve been fortunate enough to earn a living for the last 14 years playing with technology and talking to people with a whole HEAP of traveling thrown in for good measure.
But as I look back at what I’ve achieved over the past almost-decade-and-a-half, I realize that I haven’t done it alone.
My mentor Terry Kennedy passed away in 1999 leaving me to run his video production business to finish off an important project for the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba for a grassroots initiative called Workers of Tomorrow (later SAFE Workers of Tomorrow) taking a message of working safely to high school students. Terry introduced me to the world of live event, conference and convention coverage, which is my absolute passion these days and will likely comprise much of my ramblings on here.
On one such convention back in 1999, I met my Brother-From-Another-Mother, Earl Greyeyes. Earl is ten years my senior but I think we both keep each other young. He too is an ex-CBC television “shooter” (industry lingo for “camera operator”). We hit it off immediately. He is the one who first called me a Road Dog: I used to pack up an entire “television studio in a box” and travel from Winnipeg, Manitoba to either Saskatoon or Regina in Saskatchewan to do an annual convention once a year. This was virtually unheard of back then.
My mentor Terry made an early investment in technology that was TREMENDOUSLY expensive back then that allowed for live switching of multiple cameras, tethered by long, heavy, expensive multi-strand cables to a common engineering and switching post. By today’s standards, the setup would be considered archaic, ridiculously complicated and of questionable visual quality but BACK THEN, we were one of only a small handful of independent video production houses with this capability. And it was EXCITING!
When Terry passed away, Earl and I banded together to make sure Terry’s legacy would live on. Terry had one mantra: NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR THE WORKERS. To today, I hold that truth to be self-evident: treat your people well and they will reward you tenfold.
As years passed, I made systemic and coordinated upgrades to the system, eventually moving beyond Terry’s initial setup. The system I use today is small, light, powerful and incredibly fast to set up. But it is still an homage to the big, heavy, kludgy system that Terry so proudly invested in all those years ago.
Earl and I have gotten older and possibly wiser. We have brought others into the fold and share Terry’s teachings of what a Road Crew is supposed to be… a brotherhood. And we have lost some of our brothers, most notably Aron, whom we called Smokey, who worked with us on a number of conventions and was a cornerstone of the ORIGINAL “Prairie Dogs”, serving Manitoba and Saskatchewan…
I would not be here today if not for my Brothers In Arms.