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  1. #1
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    SkateCast #58: Interview with Kelli Lawrence

    Making up for lost time here, and since I had a slow week, I got a second podcast up today!

    Kelli Lawrence is a recreational skater, but she also is a writer and producer. She's written for both PSA and Skating Magazines, but most recently wrote the book "Skating On Air: The Broadcast History of an Olympic Marquee Sport" which outlines how movies and television have influenced skating over time, and vice-versa. It's an interesting read, and certainly very well researched.

    Available on my website now, or on iTunes in a bit when the internet spiders tell iTunes it's there.

    I hope to get another podcast up late next week, and then I'll be caught up for time lost over the summer.

    Enjoy!
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  2. #2
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    Meant to add: the author is giving away a copy of her awesome book! So please check it out.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  3. #3

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    I gotta download this onto my mp3 player. . . BTW, it really is a good book. Much more pithy than I expected from a book about skating and TV--most skating-related books are fairly fluffy, but this one was well-researched and had all kinds of interesting info about the development of how they broadcast FS.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the interview, manleywoman! I reserved the book at my local library. Sounds like a good read. Very interesting that Kelli started out researching for a possible book about Matt Savoie, but Matt himself was not really interested, and then Kelli's research sparked her idea for a book about the fascinating relationship between figure skating and broadcast television.

    The whole Dick Button info I didn't know about at all. Wow! I really wish Dick would write a book (an entire book could be done on all his famous iconic buttonisms).

    ITA re Kelli mentioning how she hates when cameras switch from the skater to the audience reaction immediately after their performance. Same goes for when the camera goes to a close-up of skaters' feet when we want to see what their entire bodies are doing. I've always wondered why they don't use a split screen in these instances.

    As far as the reference to why the original push for a dedicated figure skating channel on tv did not work out, my recollection is that a channel called Ice Network was being developed by a famous skating promoter/ agent (can't recall his name). The current IN copped the same name. And reportedly the main reason why a television channel by that name did not work is because of the rights issue, in addition to funding issue. USFS, ISU and the various broadcast networks hold the rights to lots of skating footage which would have been difficult to obtain in order to fill up air time. Although, I suppose there would have been opportunities to create current and interesting new programming formats, similar to what the Tennis Channel does.

    Seems to me that USFS said, "Okay, we are going to take over this idea ourselves with the footage and rights we hold." And IN has worked for USFS because there are fans willing to pay for online viewing, but I agree IN is pushing it to ask for additional money toward the end of the season for Worlds and 4CC.

    In any case, I think that despite the rights issue, a 24/7 skating channel would be a blast, and there are plenty of unique opportunities for old and new programming without having to rely only upon premier events controlled by ISU and the various federations and television networks. It might take a bold visionary with a love of fs who has big bucks, clout and influence.

    ETA: BTW, thanks so much for mentioning Howard Craker's vids on youtube. Little did I know that youtube has so much vintage skating footage available!!!

  5. #5
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    Highlights from SkateCast 58 with Kelli Lawrence are now transcribed. Don't forget to enter the contest to win her book!

    And yes aftershocks, I agree with all your statements above. I would love a 24/7 skating channel. And there are plenty of skaters with big bucks. But I think it's harder to do than we think, since there are lots of skating projects that seem easy to implement if the money were there, but they never happen (eg: finding a museum for Roy Blakey's collection, or the Pro Skaters Foundation collection, etc)
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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