By Emily Wolfe Explore Big Sky Managing Editor
Space, time, turtlenecks and softball – anything is fair game for the Big Sky Town Crier.
First aired in December 2012, the show has a different formula for covering local news and human-interest stories. Host Joseph T. O’Connor (also senior editor of this newspaper) has reported from atop the Marketplace Building in Big Sky, crashed a croquet tournament, and this week, raced two local motocross youth competitors, Bridger Babcock and Harrison Schreiner.
O’Connor gave the boys a run for their money on his 70cc bike – or so he says.
Babcock, 14, won first place in the Western Hare Scrambles series this year, and both boys are competing in the upcoming AMA Kenda Big Sky Off Road National Championships presented by KLIM.
EBS sat down recently with the team that pulls the T.C. together, O’Connor and videographer Joe Paulet, to find out what makes them tick, and what makes Mr. O’Connor want to eat 200 cc dust.
Q&A: the Town Crier Joe’s
Joseph T. O’Connor (host), Joe Paulet (video producer/editor/voice of reason)
EW: Have you ever been on TV before?
JP: Portlandia. I was a homeless DJ in two episodes of season two. I pretended to use turntables connected to a shopping cart walking around in downtown Portland.
JTO: I helped out with the Morning Show on Resort Sports Network in Lake Tahoe in 2008.
EW: Was that similar to the Town Crier?
JTO: Yes, I wrote scripts, set up shot lists, shot interviews, hosted and edited the footage.
EW: (To JTO) Did you interview anyone cool?
JTO: No. Not there.
EW: Have you interviewed anyone cool in Big Sky?
JTO: I interviewed Michael Johnson, the former Olympian and 400-meter world record holder, at the PBR. I also interviewed a 5-year-old rail jam competitor last winter. Dog interviews are always good. They’re short, which is nice.
EW: I see that you interviewed your dog Puck last week.
JTO: Yeah, he was a little surly. He blackmailed me for some treats.
EW: JP, tell me about Portlandia
JP: I was Best Boy Electric, the right hand to the gaffer. The gaffer is the chief lighting technician. I set up lights, moved lights, distributed power, kept track of all the orders and dealt with vendors.
EW: Who are your heroes?
JTO: Burt Bacharach is my hero. He’s a record producer and pianist who did the soundtrack for Austin Powers.
JP: Ronald D. Moore. He’s an influential science fiction writer who wrote a lot of the best episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation and re-imagined the Battle Star Galactica television series three years ago.
EW: Will we see any of those influences in the Town Crier?
JTO: I expect we’ll see Burt Bacharach sometime soon.
JP: The Town Crier is going to take on some big issues soon surrounding the space-time continuum.
EW: I’ve heard you (JTO) also play softball. What is your position?
JTO: I play shortstop for the Country Market Team.
EW: What styles are going to be in this winter? Are turtlenecks coming back in for men?
JTO: Turtlenecks went out?
EW: Anything else do you want your viewers to know?
JP: We’re out there. We’re coming for you.