Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Holiday Inn on Van Ness Avenue, 9th Floor - The place I'm writing from -- a Holiday Inn filled with crazed Journalism students from all over the country -- seems somewhat incongruous with the photo.
The photo is a still shot taken from my video, "Flying Without A Net," which I just completed before coming to SF for the weekend and the Associated Collegiate Press convention. It's also the convention of Adm. Fox, the California College Media Association, and this afternoon I have to oversee the judging of Best-of-Show, kind of like the best of show at Westminister, except in this case the newspapers are on top.
Flying Without A Net proved, once again, that simply going out and shooting a bunch of video in a single visit is not enough to do a complete film. It's interesting (Scott Noble, a pilot friend loved the rough cut of it), but without some actor/participants telling the story about what's going on, I have to rely too much on voiceovers and titles. (What the hell is he talking about, you're wondering?)
So I am going to do the unthinkable -- break out a storyboard for the next video so I make sure I get people talking and doing what I need. It's the same thing I resist when doing fiction writing. Who needs to outline the plot? Let the characters take over. That's probably why I have three unfinished novels.
Maybe if the Class of 66 (the group, not the non-fiction book I still haven't finished either) has a reunion in 2006, I can do a video about the reunion.
"Class of 66 - The Movie."
Has a nice ring to it.
In the meantime, I'll put the newspapers on the floor for Best of Show judging.