From the Publisher
How our teams captured Tallahassee while you were likely sleepingHow It Happened One Night
By Brian Rowland
There is a huge audience of avid fans for “24” – a Fox network show that, throughout the program’s season, covers a 24-hour time period in the life of a counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer.
When our creative director, Larry Davidson, approached me about doing a photo essay in Tallahassee Magazine and focusing on the 12 hours from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. – when most of our community is home and on the way toward their sleep cycle – I thought: “Great idea. Let’s do it.”
The editorial team began what would become a daunting task: first, identifying potential locations, and then contacting many agencies and firms to seek permission to enter their nighttime space and document that slice of life. We would end up with more than 50 photographic possibilities and, to our pleasant surprise, almost everyone welcomed us with open arms and went out of their way to facilitate our needs.
We were able to pull together seven teams – each with a photographer and a reporter – composed of Rowland Publishing staff, our intrepid interns and volunteer photographers. At 6 p.m., the teams departed our office with a 12-hour shoot schedule that took them to many areas you have never seen or never could get access to. We set up a central command post at the office with our vice president, Greg Springs, who stayed in phone contact to troubleshoot any problems and to coordinate teams coming in to catch their breath or to refuel at the all-night buffet. Another staffer, Carlin Trammel, had video camera in hand throughout the night, recording the teams as they recorded the night’s events.
The evening was filled with late-night surprises, and several teams came back with crazy stories to tell. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office sent up two helicopters, allowing for some incredible shots of Tallahassee lit up at night. Public relations director Warren Jones personally met us at 2 a.m. at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital to escort our team around Labor and Delivery. Sgt. Chris Chase of the sheriff’s office allowed us in his patrol car.
Of course, the evening had its moment of drama. Our staff photographer, Nikki Ritcher, and editorial assistant, Erica Bailey, had the assignment at TMH’s Labor and Delivery; unknown to them, Rowland Publishing Inc. vice president Kim Howes was in labor. The hospital staff, not knowing Kim worked here, had approached her, asking if she would be OK with allowing a photographer from Tallahassee Magazine to take some pictures. She, urging PR director Jones to keep her identity secret, waited as our team was brought in. When the curtain was pulled back, our crackerjack team was left speechless and surprised. Running short on time, however, they were forced to leave Kim before the actual birth of her son, Brandon.
One team came upon a potential DUI wreck and a home on fire, in which the fire department rescued a woman and her cats.
We often hear about the fear and tragedy of child abduction; I want to salute the residents near a bus stop in Woodville for being alert. One of our male photographers was assigned to photograph a 5:30 a.m. pickup of a student at a bus stop. So, there he was, waiting alone in a darkened car watching a group of children … not a good picture for the unknowing eye. Soon enough, residents called the sheriff’s office, and the bus driver turned the bus to get between the children and the unknown driver. With a quick explanation and a call to headquarters, all was explained.
These are a few of the highlights our teams experienced that night. They persevered through the long night – with the help of several cans of Red Bull and late-night snacks. For them, it was a night they will never forget.
So take a 12-hour journey with us in our 24-page photo spread and experience what goes on in Tallahassee in the wee hours. Though we are only able to publish a small selection of photos, we will have more available online as well as the “making-of” video at www.tallahasseemagazine.com.
I also want to invite you to explore the elaborately redesigned Web sites of Tallahassee, Emerald Coast and Bay Life magazines, the crown jewels of the Rowland Publishing magazine group. The sites are designed and maintained by our in-house team and, over time, you will begin to see additional enhancements and links that will usher you to our network of strategic partners.