Yahoo! News Underground: Subculture Songs

Alt Video Journalism

I started a solo journalism project for Yahoo! News in 2006 just as a new Executive Video Producer from 60 Minutes came onboard. He wanted my clips to tell stories. Underground was a web show, I didn’t agree, but did agree to try.

But the audio on the gay rodeo footage for my first clip was messed up. Having already given the clip the working title, “The Ballad of Winnie Bago’s Thrashed Undercarriage,” at some point it dawned on me to write the narrative as a ballad. Duh. My other choice was lots of voice over. I opted for song…

Upon seeing my rough edit, the producer, who’d been angling for control of Underground said, “Fuck you. You did it. Do that all the time.” (BTW- my early edits, being particularly DIY, stayed rough.)

I did all the shooting, interviewing, editing, songwriting, recording V.O., performing and recording music on my own at first (though getting music arrangement and production assistance from a talented friend, as well as additional tracks). I was later supported by Didrik Johnck, a fine shooter, editor and producer.

It was the early days of YouTube and I was working for Yahoo: we uploaded the clips to Yahoo! Video. It’s now gone, along with records of our views, which were substantial when the Yahoo home page featured Underground.

Having missed that year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I wound up attending the older and DIY-ier World Science Fiction Convention on my own for four days . . . along with the largest group of social misfits I’d ever encountered in my life.

By the time of the Rocketry episode, my sidekick, Didrik Johnck, had joined me and was drastically improving the video quality (I absolutely NEVER was able to keep the camera pointed at the rockets once they were launched.)

Bollywood film dance troupe competitions are hilarious and covering “Bollywood Berkeley” was a kick ball change. I definitely could have used a recording engineer to improve my vocals…