Tuesday, October 03, 2006

TV Free Burning Man | DV.com

"In the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada, approximately 39,000 cheering people watch as a 40-foot-tall figure of a man perched atop an art deco pavilion explodes, burns, and lights up the night sky. And for the first time in the 20-year history of the Burning Man celebration, many thousands of people not on the desert playa at Black Rock also watch The Man burn, live, on television.

This as-it-happens video coverage of Burning Man 2006--shot largely by Burning Man participants themselves--was made possible by TV Free Burning Man, a pirate TV station that lasted only as long as the event itself."

So what is it about this story that I love so much? Well, I'm a big fan of the fire event. Any fire event. In particular, I've got a soft spot for the Woodford Folk Festival, a similar event to the Burning Man celebration, where I covered the fire event in 1999 and live on January 1 2000 for a worldwide Millenium broadcast. I always said, perhaps with a little too much hyperbole, that the control room in the ABC O.B. truck was my Zen Temple. From there I felt connected to all the sources coming in and it was up to me to get in time with what was happening and craft the output the way the pictures wanted to naturally be. Never was that more evident to me than those two times I was able to switch the Woodford Festival fire event. (Why stop switching? Because there's not many opportunities for events like that, and eventually Directors get to a point where they feel like they should be telling you what to do so they can justify their over-inflated paycheck. Switching commercial sports just isn't fun anymore. Too much pressure.)

The other thing I love about this story is the transience of the broadcast. Any time you put "Pirate" and "Television" together in a sentence you've got me won.

Read on and learned how the Burning Man Project and Current TV got the job done.

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