February 27, 2009
Posted: 2008 GMT

You might not have realized it today, because we spent half the show in Obama coverage, but we had a set malfunction. To be more specific, the small wall – or the background wall that flashes graphics behind Hala during her camera shots – wasn't working. Thus, we had to move her to a position which she doesn't normally use. Steve, the director (of course you'll remember him from the last blog on Facebook) came into the studio early, as usual, and we repositioned the camera so that we could use the large wall, which we run our video on, as her backdrop as well.


The most important facet of the shot change, though, sits with the cameramen because they need to adjust to their new shots – which they're unaccustomed to – and maintain a fluidity, as if everything was scripted and part of a normal show.


I'll use all this as an ideal segue to introduce said cameramen. They are: Marc, the bald magician as I call him (he faintly resembles the great actor Sydney Poitier) and Matt, the dough-faced hawk-boy (he looks like a half-asleep Matt Dillon,) a nickname which I just came up with and kind of like.


Matt operates the steadi-cam, a camera designed to give the operator maximum mobility throughout the studio. It’s attached to a long arm which in turn is connected to a complex upper-body suit which faintly resembles a bullet-proof vest covered in buckles. All those roaming shots throughout the studio—they’re Matt.


Marc operates the Jib, which basically looks like a mechanical giraffe with a camera for a head. He gets all those glorious high, swooping shots.


Basically, without these two, the show would consist of a bunch of static shots—and a whole lot of the same. With them we get all the movement that makes I-Desk a symphony of alternating camera shots.


And before I go, I’d like to insert a gratuitous shout out to Javier, the producer, who is back with us after a bout with some phantom illness that surely kept him home from Salsa Tuesdays at the Mango Club. Javier, show your face more!


Till next time, behave.

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Filed under: Behind the scenes •I

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Posted: 1350 GMT


Hello everyone,

We'll be airing U.S. President Barack Obama's speech at camp LeJeune in North Carolina at the top of I-Desk today, in which he'll be detailing his administration's plans to pull back the number of American troops in Iraq.

President Obama is expected to announce that the United States will withdraw the bulk of its 142,000 troops contingent by the summer of 2010.

The plan is expected to call for a maximum of 50,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq until the following year, in an advisory and training role.

What do you think of the president's plans? Is it time for the United States to hand over security to Iraqi forces or could this jeopardize the nation's fragile security gains?

Post your comment below. We may read some of your thoughts live at the International Desk.

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Filed under: Barack Obama •Iraq

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February 26, 2009
Posted: 1637 GMT

Hello everyone,

It's finally here! I-Desk's very own blog.

In this space, we'd like to ask our viewers and readers to take part in discussions and debates about the news items we cover on the show.

Our producers, writers and on-air contributors will take part in this blog with their take on the hour's news.

We'll also be featuring quick votes and story of the day questions. If the comments tell us you care about a certain topic, I might read some of your thoughts out on air.

Back to work for me. See you on air in about a half hour!

Hala Gorani

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About this blog

International Desk brings viewers into the heart of the largest news gathering operation in the world. Viewers don't come here to watch the news; they come here to be immersed in it. To feel the rush of being the first to know what's happening as stories break, and to leave knowing they've gotten the best and latest information available. The show airs Mon-Fri at 1900 CET.

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