It’s a little after midnight and we just got back to the Final Stay. It was nice and quiet in my room so I cranked up my TV to 4 and was watching CNN. At about 1:15 I heard my neighbor walk into his room with a giggling girl in tow. I can hear everything through the paper thin walls. The radio turned on. I know where this is going. All I can say is that guy had stamina. They must have been going at it for over an hour. “Ooooooh, oooooh, yes baby” The tacky gold framed water color painting above my bed was bouncing at one point. If only my TV volume could go past four. I eventually fell asleep and missed the magic moment, the so-called "money shot." This made my stay at the Final Stay complete.
Today is the big finale of the convention, the much anticipated Obama acceptance speech. The event is so big that we have moved out of the Pepsi Center to the neighboring Invesco Field. This move was a logistical nightmare for the Getty technical staff and field editors. At the conclusion of Biden’s speech on Wednesday, they had to completely tear down the network of computers and spoolers to move the operation over. Our chief photographer Win McNamee also had to move tons of lenses and camera equipment over as well to avoid having to have it all swept the next day. He hung remote cameras and took care of other things until the wee hours of the morning. The move to Invesco was not welcomed by many in the media, especially TV.
The day started out early for us and would go late. We got to Invesco at 10 a.m. for a speech that was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Despite the early start, the shuttle ride from the Pepsi Center and the extra security, this was going to an historic day. This is why I love my job. I get to experience some amazing things.
It’s warm out, but not too warm. The day would have been tough if it was as hot as it had been all week. People began to stream in at noon. By three o’clock the stadium was nearing capacity. Eight Getty photographers were in place around the stadium when the speakers began shortly after three. For the most part, they were pretty dull until the five o’clock hour when Will.i.am and John Legend performed. Shortly after Sheryl Crow did a quick three song set. Stevie Wonder came later. He wanted me to tell you that he loves you.
Al Gore brought the crowd of flag waving democrats to their feet as he took the stage. His speech had a few of those funny Al Gore one liners which the crowd loved. His best one was when he took a swipe at John McCain’s failed policies that mimic the Bush administration. Gore said “Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.”
The big moment came a little bit after eight. Obama took the stage and 84,000 people came to their feet in a roar. Lights flashed, flags waved. Invesco was alive. Obama walked to the podium, waving to the crowd. He is not one to really ham it up to the crowd like some politicians do. I don’t think I have ever seen him do that pointing thing that Hillary does or the fist pump thumbs-up thing. I like that about him. At the podium, he repeatedly said thank you to the crowd. So far, the pictures weren’t that great. His speech was close to an hour long. From my side position, the photos were limited. The money shot was supposed to come at the end when fireworks, confetti and streamers were to be launched from the top of the stadium. Rumors were going around that the fireworks show would be very Beijing-like. When it all went down, it was pathetic. The families came out on the stage, did the wave thing, but the fireworks and confetti never came. When it did, after they had left the runway stage, the fireworks were wimpy, the confetti was intermittent and the streamers were launched into the wires of the Skycam. I hope they enhanced the fireworks for the TV viewers at home just as they did for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Still, it was history and very cool.
Bring on the RNC and the Tiny Fey lookalike VP candidate. See you in Minnesota.
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