Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My sentiments exactly . I worked at times with Cal Burns and Tom Nadig and I'm familiar with the work of maintenance technicians. They were a videopersons right arm. Sadly, it was an unusual TD who placed maintenance techs names on lists for Christmas gifts from stars whose shows the crew worked. Heck, I did not receive a gift one year from Studio One (Westinghouse) with the rest of the Studio crew. Do I ask the TD or not? I had been a tech two years. Am I being paranoid? Summoning up courage to question my TD, he looked puzzled and slightly annoyed
He shall be nameless but his reply lacked social grace. " I TOOK THE CREW LIST FROM THE WEEKLY CREW SCHEDULE AND YOU WERE ON VACATION THAT WEEK !. MAYBE NEXT YEAR." I then knew how a maintenance, master control and telecine tech must have felt.
On a positive note, I can cite a magnificent solution to a technical problem by one JIM PATTERSON down at the Cape. I previously wrote about Walter Cronkite's first color coverage using our CBS/W camera. CBS/NY master control notified us that our sub carrier frequency way off. We had no spare and Jim saved the day with a nail. He inserted a nail into a coil in the sub carrier circuit of the Camera Control Unit. The coil was wire around a cylindrical cardboard base. The nail was inserted inside the cylinder. Basic electronics 101 says that this changes the frequency of the circuit. Color was locked. WALTER was in COLOR. W. SHAKESPEARE our EIC, mumbled, " for the want of a nail.............."
Maintenance, MC, VIDEO had quietly saved the day.
With kindest regards to these unsung techs I have worked with -

Frank Novack