Tonight's story had us covering the Filipino community's support for Manny Pacquiao in his "Fight of the Century" against Floyd Mayweather at a restaurant popular with Filipinos. Live at 6:30, 10 and 11.
No problem, until I realized the fight was supposed to begin at 9pm. A little math:
12 rounds x 3 minutes each + 1 minute between rounds = 48 minutes
If the fight goes the distance, it'll be over at 9:48pm, 12 minutes before the 10pm show begins. This called for a plan. This is what my videographer and I came up with:
- if the fight was over early, say a Round 2 knockout at 9:10pm, we'd have time to do post-fight interviews and still put a package together at 10pm.
- if the fight went longer, say a Round 6 knockout around 9:30pm, we'd have time to do one post-fight interview and do a live VOSOT at 10pm.
- if the fight went the distance, ending at 9:48pm, we would only have time to do a live interview at 10pm.
The fight did go the distance, so we employed Plan #3. Even though we were in the middle of a crowded restaurant full of disappointed Pacquiao fans we were sure of what we needed to do and confident we could get it done. All that's because we thought ahead of time, came up with a plan and stuck to it.
- By definition, live TV is unpredictable and fluid. That's why it pays to have a plan, and more importantly, a backup plan. A little forethought goes a long way toward helping you see through the fog of deadline pressure.