The Iceman Roger

On Saturday, January 23, I had the chance to begin a new semester of reporting for my COMM 479 course. The opportunity to shoot a story over the weekend came to my mind during the previous week, when I realized that I would be heading up North to spend the weekend in Duluth Minnesota with my boyfriend, Justin. I typically try to shoot my reports (stories) before the day that I report on for UTVS News, which happens to be Tuesday this semester. For the first week of class, I wanted to do something that would be light hearted, fun, and feature-like so that I would have the time to edit it to my greatest ability, and also learn the new software that we are using at UTVS, Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The software was introduced to me during the fall semester, but I was hesitant to learn a new program, finding myself shying away from opening a new chapter in my career, which I now regret. The subject of my Mindings Collage and the publications that will follow from these entry’s is set to center on new beginnings, and taking risks in order to continue down the path of life, and become a better individual not only for myself, but society as a whole. With this in mind, I wish I would have taken the time to give up our old system (Final Cut Pro), and begin using Adobe Premiere Pro CC earlier on. But, with that regret set aside, I am happy to report that I have successfully learned the basics of our new system, which has allowed me to progress in my work with UTVS News, and create the story that I am about to discuss with you in this entry.

After packing up my camera equipment and making the trek up North to Duluth, I settled in to my boyfriend’s apartment, and prepared myself for the following day. I scheduled an interview with a man known as Iceman Roger for that Saturday, and was excited to meet him, once again! While on winter break, I spent a day helping out at WDIO-TV Eyewitness News in Duluth, shadowing reporter Baihly Warfield. When I arrived on that chilly Tuesday, I was excited to learn that we would be heading to Superior Wisconsin, just across the bridge from Duluth, to interview Iceman Roger about his Ice Project that he is creating once again in preparation for the Lake Superior Ice Festival. I had heard about Iceman Roger last winter while watching Eyewitness News, and was thrilled to have the chance to meet him, and find out all the details about his newest creation this year. The City of Superior asked Roger, originally from Big Lake Minnesota, to construct his ice sculptures for the City of Superior over the next three years. Using advanced technology, the retired computer engineer works countless hours programming and developing new technology systems that pump and spray water continuously on a structure that begins as a few poles and tents set up to structure the piece of work. Last year, Roger was working to set the World Record with his project, but to his dismay, the 60-foot mass of ice tumbled to the ground, never reaching the record setting height that he had anticipated. This year, Roger is back at it again, constructing a European Castle out of ice, using the same technology as before. What amazes me is that he develops everything by himself, and leaves his wife and family back home in Big Lake to spend the winter in Superior working on the project that he is so passionate about. His passion truly resonates on camera, and I am thankful that he was willing to speak with me once again for my report that aired on UTVS News this evening.

I was more excited about shooting and editing this story, because over the weekend, Justin was able to come with me during the interview, and had the chance to see just how I do my work, and how passionate I am about telling people’s stories to the public. I have had the chance to see him working with his class at Piedmont Elementary in Duluth, so it was fun to have him along for the ride as I conducted my interview with the Iceman, and shot video after.

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Airing the Iceman Roger story on UTVS News. Photo by Brett Mensing

Ever since doing the story with Baihly Warfield for Eyewitness News, I have been keeping a close eye on the comments Roger is receiving on social media. These comments make me sad, because people are truly filled with courageous hate over the computer, and have said many hurtful and uncalled for things regarding the purpose of Rogers work. Getting paid to construct this by the City of Superior, many residents are unhappy with the way that their tourism dollars are being spent in the city, but they never seem to realize that this has nothing to do with him, and it truly is an issue that the Mayor of Superior should be considering. With that said, I wanted to focus on Roger himself, and his passion for turning his interest in geothermal technology into a hobby. And that I did with my story, creating a package that I personally feel told a great story of who Iceman Roger really is, and why he does what he does. This isn’t something that happens overnight, and the amount of time and dedication to this work amazes me. I loved telling Iceman Roger’s story, because he gave me hope and courage that even if people are hurtful and negative toward me in my career as a broadcast journalist one day, I will still work to be the best I can possibly be, and follow my dreams and aspirations in life. This is very important as I grow older, and get closer to developing a career in the public eye. Roger told me that he loves the attention and praise he receives from doing this project every year, but mostly enjoys putting his knowledge and dreams to use. I enjoyed doing this entry, because it allowed me to think deeper into the mind of Roger, and see that no matter what others say to try and bring me down one day, that I will prevail to become the best I can be in my life, and continue turning my passion into a profession.

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