Liquid Interactive is a place full of really, really interesting people… In my time here, I’ve learned all kinds of things. For instance, our Lead Developer often flies around the country on weekend band gigs. A member of our sales team has a vintage toy collection that would make Geoffrey Giraffe salivate. Our video editor is a human encyclopedia of war history. Our CTO? He photographs stars through a telescope. We learn a lot about each other because we spend a lot of time together in the office…. With the possible exception of Brian Noreika, VP of Video Services and Liquid’s Director of Photography.
Brian, unlike most of Liquid’s team, spends most of his time on the road. On average, he’s gone about 15 days each month, shooting for broadcast television outlets. He’s lent his skills to all three major networks ABC,NBC,CBS as well as HBO, Discovery,TruTV, The History Channel, NatGeo, PBS, TLC, ESPN, HGTV, HLN and others. Brian has worked on such shows as Forensic Files, The Biggest Loser, True Crime With Aphrodite Jones, House Hunters, Bridezillas, My Strange Addiction, Prison Wives, Call 911 and various others. Rent the DVD of Robert Redford’s The Conspirators where he shot the bonus footage for the DVD extras . Currently, he's working on DiscoveryID’s Nightmare Next Door, Deadly Affairs and HLN’s Mystery Detectives.
Today, he’s spending a rare day in the office… so I thought you might like to know a little more about Brian’s time on the road, what it takes to shoot video for television and a little about the interesting people he’s met during his travels.
Kelly: So do you know how many states you’ve traveled to for work?
Brian: Looking at a map there have only been twelve states I haven’t shot in. Hawaii, Alaska, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, Indiana, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. We've also shot in the Bahamas and Canada but not Europe...yet.
Kelly: You’ve worked on a lot of murder investigation shows. What goes on during a typical shoot?
Brian: For Forensic Files we shot as many as 18 days but typically the shoots ran 7-10 days. Nightmare Next Door is eight days of shooting and two days of travel. The days are scheduled to run ten hours but 11 or 12 is more typical. On Forensic Files the Field Producer and Producer were the same person. They wrote and produced the show as well as field produced the interviews and additional footage. On Nightmare Next Door there's a producer in the office who writes the show and comes up with the questions and shot lists for a field producer to acquire. Also depending on the show...either I hire a crew which for Forensic Files was just myself and a sound man working with the producer or... on Nightmare Next Door they hire myself and some of my gear and then I travel to the shoot location where I meet up with the sound man, grip, associate producer and the field producer. Sometimes it's people I've worked with before and other times it's all new faces. Since Nightmare Next Door is an hour long show the shoot usually starts out with a 4 or 5 hour interview with the main investigators. After that, we shoot b-roll (the footage that supports the story)… That usually takes another day or two. The rest of the time is filled with supporting interviews from the victims family members, additional law enforcement officials, a local town voice as well as location footage, recreations or items that fill in the details of the story we’re telling.
Kelly: How many people are on a typical shoot for a TV series or documentary?
Brian: There's typically a producer, director of photography, sound man, grip, maybe an associate producer, makeup person and a director. Each show is different depending on the budget. A 5 or 6 person crew is a luxury...more typical is a 3 man crew...DP, sound and producer.
Kelly: Talk about the hours.
Brian: A standard day is usually 10 hours on location. The worst I've had was two twenty hour days in a row. I left my house at 4 to catch a 6 AM flight to Kansas City. I got to Missouri by ten – and with the time difference, I gained an extra hour. I met the producer and sound man and we drove an hour to the hotel, had lunch, and then shot from 4 PM until 1 in the morning. When we got back to the hotel, the producer said, “We need to be ready to go by 4 AM,” I got two hours of sleep. The next day we shot from 5 AM till 1 AM.
Kelly: What are some unusual locations you’ve shot in so far?
Brian: A Tantalum mine up in Canada that was a mile underneath a lake, next to the cooling pool of a nuclear reactor, the farm at "The Land" exhibit at Disney's Epcot, the Nasa Space Center, Charles Lindbergh's New Jersey home and the room where his son was kidnapped from, Fords theater and the Lincoln box, various morgues, funeral homes, prisons, forensic labs, operating rooms and strip joints have all been pretty unique places to shoot.
Kelly: Everyone will want to know what famous people you’ve worked with.
Brian: Dr. Spock was one of the first…Doris Kerns Goodwin, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Goldman, Mr. Rogers, Bill Bergey, Lenny Dykstra, Curt Schilling, Harold Carmichael, Senator Carl Levin, New Jersey Mayor Corey Booker, Senator Tom Ridge… I know there have been others but that's all I can think of right now. Usually the more interesting people I've met aren't famous. I almost got to pee with General Petraeus at the Senate building. He came in right after me.
Kelly: What do you like most about shooting for TV?
Brian: It’s a fun job. It’s a lot of work. Sometimes you can be creative and other times you just have to get what you can with the time you're given. I love the travel and I really enjoy the people I get to work with as well as the ones we meet during the shoots. The access to places and people that no one else gets access to. Wild and crazy Cop stories are the best! I've heard some bizarre stories that you just can't believe.
Kelly: Thank you, Brian!
About Kelly Planer
Kelly Planer is the Video Services Manager at Liquid. For almost two decades, Kelly has written, directed and produced across all media touch points: Thirty-second commercials, long form documentaries, social media, blogs, training programs, live broadcasts and web. She particularly enjoys persuasive, emotionally-charged projects that influences positive behavioral change. Her skills have been recognized with several Telly Awards, a PA Broadcasters’ Award, and three Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations.