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Press conference with the Top Gear team

Michael Turner is a journalism student at Macleay College. He is doing his internship at CarsGuide.com.au. His first day on the job was to interview Jeremy Clarkson and the other Top Gear presenters at a press conference… Click here to see his video story

I dash out of Circular Quay station and make my way to the International Passenger Terminal. It is 7am. I see the basic set-up for media and begin to put my camera down, configure my settings and take notes on how I will set-up each shot.

Good. I know the location, I have a good idea of what I need for the coverage and everything is set. I head back to Circular Quay for some breakfast. I didn’t have time at home because I was up last night writing another article and then prepping my notes. Sleep doesn’t come with this job.

I begin to drink my double shot coffee and eat my bagel, before my phone buzzes on the table. An email, followed immediately by a phone call. “I emailed you regarding something that came up overnight, please check…” my editor says. I barely had time to check the email before the call, but quickly read its contents.

8:55am… crap, I have five minutes to get to the location for the shoot. I rush down, leaving my dignity behind, running with three large bags and a tripod. My phone rings again. I look at the screen and it’s a friend. No time for mates today.

I get to the shoot, quickly set up, and manage to squeeze my original spot in among the media scrum. They arrive soon after – Jeremy Clarkson, James May and his entourage. I follow the photographer pack pushing to get photos. I get my shots, squeezing between people, legs and tripods.

I had 10 minutes, took my photos, yelled my question, no response, damn. Time for plan B. Before they can pack up I squeeze in photos of the cars and The Stig, and then wrap everything up.

I look through the photos, so many unusable photos, and then, the money shot. Yes. There’s my online wide shot. The story began to take place.

I rush to Macleay, sit in all the classes lugging camera bags everywhere, and in my breaks jumping on the computers to edit the photos and write the article. Send it all off, confirm, create an online album, and finally edit the video.

3pm and my phone rings. I have to do a voiceover for the online video. I write a quick spiel and record it on my iPad, email to the office and rush out of Macleay.

I get to the office and make my way up to the 22nd floor. I head to my desk, my editor is ready to brief me. I open a new file, chuck all the information, all the pictures and words, and get to work on the video.

There’s not much to work with, but I edit it all and create my video, and upload it. Finally, the video is online.

It is done. 2 minutes of video, 10 photos and 200 words, which people will read in 5 minutes. Worth it?

I get home, finally, the time is 7pm and my phone buzzes again. Another email. I check it and sitting there is a brief and a press-pass for the Saturday Top Gear Festival event. I start preparing my itinerary, my camera ops and the focus we want to take.

This is the life of this industry – long days of work for little reward, a small byline and five minutes of someone’s time. But is it worth it?

Yes, it definitely is!

Watch Michael's video story from the event here

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