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So Long and Thanks for Chuck Fishbein: What Happens in Vegas

Friends, after 10 years of writing this page, it's time to bid a fond farewell.

Friends, after 10 years of writing this page, it’s time to bid a fond farewell. My next shoot is Tricia making bed skirts. Honestly, you don’t want to read that. Time to move on and introduce my friend Chuck. He and his partner, Sarah, have been shooting and editing great stuff for 20 years or more. BFN ~Stefan.

Here in New Jersey it’s raining, raining hard. Sarah and I are sitting on the floor, attempting to fit all the video gear into a Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 70, the largest case I own that will legally fit on the plane. This game is something akin to Tetris.

Two cameras? FS7, FS5. Check! How about lenses? Which ones? Microphones, flash drives? Check! Batteries, XLRs? Check!

Tomorrow we’re off to Vegas to shoot, edit and produce the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

Me, I’m no stranger to Las Vegas, having been one of five cameramen who shot the U2 concert there way back in 1997. Did I say 1997? Twenty years ago, almost to the day.

The iHeartRadio Music Festival is now in its seventh year and it has grown incredibly. We used to cover it with “just the two of us” (cue Grover Washington Jr.) but this year our crew has grown to five.

TGI Friday
Sarah and our assistant, Nick, arrive at the venue to secure their position for the evening. Starting around 5 p.m., Sarah will be interviewing A-list talent on the carpet while Nick operates our Sony FS7.

I’m running around with a lightweight Sony FS5, shooting B-roll in and around the venue.

My New Team
Shaka, our most excellent PA, takes her place in the production truck, where she’ll be pulling a live, clean feed off the multicam switcher and recording it with an Atomos Shogun Studio deck, while taking timecode notes on the best cuts for Beth, our editor.

Sarah interviews Heidi Klum

Beth is holed up backstage in a production room, pulling in media from all of us and editing continuously as the show progresses. All of this needs to be carved into an EPK (electronic press kit) that will be approved and uploaded to major media outlets just a few hours after the show ends.

Saturday Morning
We’re back in action at the iHeartRadio Village, an outdoor concert with a crowd of close to 20,000. Once again we’re taking a feed off the stage cameras and capturing B-roll to be used in a separate press kit.

The show runs past 5 p.m. With taxis at a premium, we walk the mile back to the arena, where Sarah and Nick are already interviewing talent on the carpet. Saturday’s show is about to begin.

Checking my phone and I’m already at 17,000 steps, with the night just beginning.

At 3 in the morning, Beth and I are still at the arena, completing the edit for the Village concert, the Saturday night show and a red carpet fashion reel.

Finally it’s time to upload, and the internet speed is 25 times faster here than in our hotel.

Dawn, all packed up and ready for the flight back to New York.

Battered and bruised—two days without sleep, but it was great. Our client is over the moon. I upgrade to business class: free drinks and five hours for sleep, sleep, wonderful sleep. 

Download the November 2017 issue of Digital Video magazine