Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Focus on the Moments, Not the Shiny Things

I don't have an Olympic Sport/Athlete for Day Four. I watched a lot of the coverage, but nothing stood out for me as a moment I just had to share.

Except the coverage itself. CTV's growing pains covering the Olympics is really driving me to distraction.

On-air hosts are given the wrong information by their behind the scenes crew, and are then left looking vacantly at the camera while the footage they were told is cued up, or the guest they were advised is in studio, is MIA ... or a completely different sport than they've been told they are introducing. So far the hosts have kept their humour ("Boy, hockey has sure changed since I was a kid", after speed skating is broadcast upon being set up as hockey), but I for one am tired of having to watch them continually tap dance in order to cover that who ever is speaking in their ear pathologically leads them down Red Herring Lane. I have taken to recording blocks of the programming while I watch other shows, then come back every few hours to fast forward to anything that looks interesting. That way I limit my pain.

But what really makes me want to walk to Vancouver and slap a few people is how, when we actually get to see what we were waiting for, the director doesn't know to show the important moments. At the precise moment when the in-stadium cauldron was lit by Gretzky, LeMay Doan, Nash, Greene and Hansen on the first night, the coverage showed shots of the crowd! By time the director remembered that something was happening on the field, the cauldron was already half lit. When Boudreau's name was called last night and he stepped onto the podium to ear shattering cheers, we were forced to look at a shot of Jean Charest. By time the director figured out what the applause was for, Boudreau was already on the podium, hands raised.

Moments matter. In fact, sometimes moments are all it takes or all you get. CTV needs to quit getting distracted by the shiny things fluttering in their periphery and remember that they are supposed to be taking the job of bringing the Games to us seriously. Quit getting your rocks off on the ubiquitous buxom blonde in the arena while the hockey game is on -- we want to see the game!

I'm pretty sure Brian Williams' goof identifying CBC as the station we are watching was wishful thinking. It certainly was for me.

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