FIELD NOTES #2
The World Cup final played out in a lot of different ways for people. Arguably the best final in the history of the game (I have seen a few) this was possibly my most memorable. Not for the grandiose travel, or large screens, or sexy bars and hotels, but rather for the most simple and basic way of all. On a radio.
On the side of a street, next to a viaduct, with complete strangers, going about their morning ritual, I experienced a great shooting opportunity, a slice of humanity and a great game.
There is an old Tahoe parked in a driveway to a cement yard, with all the doors open. Inside is a man in his 60’s eating and listening to the radio. This will be the Norteño, and Banda music you hear. He was switching stations frequently. At least I think that is what he was listening to. At the same time, a much younger woman was coming from a tent about 25 feet to the right of the truck and down a slight embankment. She was engaging with me, while I set up my gear. I was above her to the right, on the overpass. She was cleaning up her area and complaining that none of the men do shit in the camp to help. We spoke for a bit, as we went about our work. To my right on the sidealk is a man in a wheel chair. He has been rolling back and forth on the sidewalk and street, interacting with slight motions and blurting out strange utternaces. He is using his feet to move to and fro, so the chair is not indicative of some king of spinal injury by itself. Almost as a counterpoint to the madness of early morning music and traffic, he switches on a transistor radio. I captured the chaotic symphony of this scene in audio form.
I was there for a while. Stopping to listen to the game and sharing smiles of disbelief with the strangers. As we began to pay more attention to the excitement of the announcers, even somebody who knew nothing about this game, could tell something really special was happening. I went back and forth, setting up shots, and waiting for “just the right moment”. At the same time, my new companions went about their business. All the while, we paused for every PK attempt. Interestingly, when Argentina wins …we pause, smile and then go right back to our business. The radio just turns to crowd noise and life in this little part of LA keeps going on.
I edited the clip. In truth it would have been over an hour and included dialog with people experiencing homelessness that were personal conversation between us. You do hear the point in time where he switches the game on. I just edit that first 31 minutes and last 29 minutes. 'Cuz this shit ain’t that interesting!