EIFFEL’S Tower

CBS asked me to do this story and gave me two weeks to shoot and deliver it. I don’t work well under pressure. So I tried to think: what ? Here’s the Eiffel Tower and there it is!!

I thought about trying to do sort of “a day in the life” of the Tower but frankly that either takes several crews shooting ONE day or one person shooting SEVERAL days. Neither would work. What kept gnawing at me was the realization that at some point I’d HAVE to go up; see I’m TERRIFIED- like REALLY SCARED of heights. Then it dawned on me – good Dave! – that was the story.

All drama is based on conflict. The hero or protagonist (that’d be me for one) defeating or overcoming the antagonist or enemy (that’d be my fear of heights). But there was also the story of Gustav Eiffel and the opposition HE faced in building the tower.

Another element of drama: three acts. Yes, even in a four minute piece there is the First Act: everything leading up to my line “the irony is it was supposed to be torn down after twenty years.”  Now you have the conflict.   Act Two: the plot is advanced — all the stuff about the inner workings and history of the construction — and we’re going up higher.  Act Three  — the resolution: the third level “… till finally this is the top.”

I’d already written the line for the end “to reach the pinnacle of great design …” to encompass not only the fact that I’D done it, but so had Eiffel. The fact that Antoine has a sense of humor and that Eric was such a charming man – that was just luck.