A few weeks back, I got to interview Carol Lynde about her job. Carol supervises the audio-visual section at the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Her team produces Arizona Wildlife Views (a half-hour TV show) and YouTube videos about wildlife.
I went into the interview thinking of all the ways our jobs are different. I am a wordsmith, and videographers like Carol think in moving images. We speak different languages, right? Our brains are probably wired completely differently. What could we possibly have in common?
Plenty, as it turns out.
The building blocks that make a good story are the same in Carol’s world and mine. Yes, I write articles and she writes scripts. But we both weave together direct quotes and narrative text, and then marry text with visual art to create a finished product.
We also face many of the same challenges. Getting people to talk to you. Sorting fact from fiction. Waiting for the right moment to ask the challenging question. Staying long enough to see what you came to see.
So much of what Carol said about her job was true of mine as well. When she’s in the field, she says, “You can’t be worrying, I have to go do this interview, or I’ve got to get back, or I want lunch. You can’t do that. … If you’re in the moment, stay with the moment.”
How true that is, no matter what kind of creative work you do.
This blog is called “Words for Wildlife” because my job is to write for and edit a magazine about wildlife. But interviewing Carol was a lovely reminder that I’m not the only person who feels passionate about this line of work. We’re both out there looking for ways to communicate about wild animals and the natural world, with the goal of strengthening the connections people have with wild places and the creatures that inhabit them.
As Carol said, “If more people connected with animals, the world would be a much better place. We fill our lives with distractions that take us away from our purpose of being good human beings, and I think we could reverse that by connecting with animals.”
Carol used my story “Condor ER” as the basis for a script that became this segment of Arizona Wildlife Views TV. Who says visual people and word people can’t get along? It’s on YouTube at:
Those in Phoenix can watch it this Sunday, Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m. on PBS Channel 8.