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Go Behind-The-Scenes Of The ‘Michigan Matters’ Auto Show Special

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Credit: Troy Frisby

Credit: Troy Frisby

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By Troy Frisby and Meagen Mazur
CBS 62/CW50 Interns

When Carol Cain arrived at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, she had a game plan and a pair of sneakers.

Cain, senior producer and host of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters,” attended the show’s media preview. There she caught up with Michigan leaders and officials from several major auto companies.

“To cover this event, you must have comfortable shoes as Cobo is huge and murder on the feet,” she said. “I have learned to take a roll along backpack and keep my dress shoes inside which I pop on before interviews.”

Cain began planning for this episode back in November, long before doors opened to the media. She used the help of her connections in the auto industry to secure her guests.

“I reached out to firms about interviews weeks ago knowing there were over 5,000 journalists, many from influential national and international networks and papers, competing for top interviews too,” she said.

Throughout the day, one of the most difficult tasks for the TV crew of three was lugging the equipment, including a large trolley cart covered with camera gear and two fragile LED lights, in and around the show and the numerous people walking around Cobo.

First up, Cain planned a sit-down with industry legend Bob Lutz at an exhibition for VL, an automotive company he founded. Once she had made it across the expansive lobby to the interview space, the cameramen quickly set up the cameras and lighting equipment.

Afterward, Cain was buzzing about Lutz’s passion for Detroit and the future of the automotive industry.

“You could hear it oozing when Bob Lutz, who at 80-something has been at this show for decades, still lives and breathes cars and has excitement about what he saw at the show,” she said.

The interview that required some creativity to organize was with Governor Rick Snyder, who was in high demand that day. After determining the best location for filming, the crew staked out their positions before the mob of journalists arrived.

As the crowd gathered, flashes of light consumed the area from the media’s cameras. Cain waited patiently until the Governor was finished observing a new vehicle before maneuvering him over to the less congested area for taping.

Having covered the auto show since the beginning of her career, Cain was prepared for the droves of journalists competing for an interview with her high-profile guest. Despite the distractions, she managed to complete the interview in record time.

Though almost all of the interviews were planned out before production began, Cain was able to score a few minutes with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel in between interviews. She always budgets in extra time to get more footage on the floor and possibly meet with other people.

“We start with our gameplan, and it evolves,” Cain said. “Sometimes interviews fall through or don’t go as expected, sometimes better, and other interviews just happen on the show floor organically.”

As she walked from company to company, the energy of the room was unavoidable. Cain, her guests, and much of the media at the auto show seemed united in the idea that Detroit is finally on the brink of a comeback.

“I have tremendous pride about Detroit,” Cain said. “I was born here, love seeing this show and this industry getting its swagger back.”

See what Carol Cain’s guests had to say on “Michigan Matters” this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CBS 62.

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