Kurt Austin celebrated his 21st year at KGW last week. He sat down with us (on Father’s day) to discuss two stories in particular. Both are natural sound pieces, and both are daily turns. Kurt gives a good play by play of each story.
The first is about a rare sport that only people in Portland can appreciate, Cyclocross. You have to watch the story to understand. A few things stand out. First, Kurt’s ability to make his subjects feel at ease in front of the camera. Second, his knack for finding a surprise. In our interview Kurt explains how it didn’t take long to find great characters willing to talk.
“You can always tell right off the bat, if they’re laughing and conversing with you….you know they are going to play along and you use that person as your characters in your story.”
Kurt will build the story in his head while on location, so no logging takes place hours later. He knows immediately if he has a compelling beginning and ending for his story. Kurt says it’s the middle part that sometimes is the hardest. Like most photographers, he is never sure if he has shot enough video.
Watch the story and you will see how Kurt surprises the viewer at the beginning.
The next story he discusses is one of our favorites. It has won numerous awards including an Emmy for general news. It’s called “One Day in My Life”.
“They had this just incredible moment and I was just there to capture it.”
This story really stands out with Kurt capturing moments on tape. One of those moments was particularly difficult to watch because it involves a discussion about an attempted suicide, something you rarely see on local tv news. Kurt tastefully tells this story while still getting personal. Great story.