If you’ve ever watched a myWindow segment, you’ve probably noticed the reporting team isn’t simply sitting behind a desk. They’re exploring Central Oregon and bringing the audience along.
Whether John Hammarley is learning to flip his kayak, Mackenzie Wilson is giving paragliding a shot, or Kerri Stewart is getting fashion tips from local pros, each episode explores a different adventure and topic with the myWindow team.
But what the audience sees is the easy part – a well-produced, engaging news segment. The weekly editorial meetings, the interviews, the scheduling, the filming, the planning and the brainstorming is what most don’t see.
John Hammarley, feature reporter for Zolo Media, said the process from conception to finished story usually takes about three to four days for myWindow segments. But time is not always a luxury.
“How long, you ask, does it take from start to finish?” John said recently. “After winning five Emmy Awards over 30 years of storytelling, my answer is ‘as long as I have.'”
If that means he has to turn a story around in a day, he can do it, he said.
In late July, John filmed a future myWindow segment at the Rainshadow Organics farm in Terrebonne, where we were able to snag some behind-the-scene photos. Luckily, in this case, his cameraman was able to snag the necessary shots while John kept the farm dog occupied and someone else tended to the turkeys.
As you can see, it’s no ordinary day in the office for this team.
John and Mackenzie, both feature reporters, develop their own story ideas and pursue them individually. And though the process can wrap up fairly swiftly, a lot goes into it. John explained:
“I either come up with a story idea and then go out and find someone locally who is involved with that story, or I ask around Central Oregon for interesting people or subjects. Once someone agrees and we’ve set a time and location, a photographer and I go to the subject’s location and shoot interviews and corresponding video that helps ‘tell’ the story. After that, I return to the station, review all the raw tape, select what comments from the interview I want to use in the story, and from there, write the script that serves as the backbone of the story. I then narrate and record my parts of the script and send everything to the video editor.”
myWindow reporter Kerri Stewart spends her time lining up 10 different six-minute interviews that she films in one day each week.
“The content is always varied,” she said, “but it’s mostly focused on notable and enterprising businesses, interesting people, upcoming events, places to visit, entrepreneurs and athletes. It’s kind of an ‘all things good’ about Central Oregon segment.”
Though the Zolo group is currently working on reformatting and rebranding the news show, it’s clear that this talented team will continue to showcase the best of Central Oregon.
Written by Krista Ledbetter.