Zero News

October 3, 2008

G and I have been stopped on the streets for camera interviews three times so far. The latest is embarassingly accessible online.  We were browsing through a flea market in Tokyo and got pounced on by a producer for this News Zero show, which apparently has this “10 second voice” segment of man-on-the-streets interviews. This one was about the impact we feel with the recent financial crisis.

The producer talked to me for at least ten minutes to try and get a sound bite. Is your life in Japan affected by the financial crisis in the US? Nope. Do you send money home to your family? Nope. Is your family worried? Don’t think so. Will your family’s lifestyle change as a result? No, they are careful with money. 

The poor thing couldn’t find anything to put on the air. Finally, I said that maybe, when we return to the US, it might be harder for me to get a job. (I was trying to throw her a bone, really– someone already pointed out that my lack of a job has little to do with difficult financial times.)

She pounced on that. I only got eight seconds, so we practiced what I would say in front of the camera. Then the other producer wanted to change my phrasing, so I had to memorize a different sentence. Then, look straight at the camera, not left or right because that makes the viewers nervous. And, smile, but not too happy, kind of a sad smile. OK, and go! 

(The other foreigner on the page speaks similarly stilted; I think they must have changed her lines too.)

After about half an hour, we got a free tote back and were sent on our way.


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