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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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"Broadcast" experience

I was talking with a company about a position that was open, and they told me that my lack of Broadcast experience in video basically killed any shot I had. What is the difference in Broadcast quality and ... well, I don't even know what I'm supposed to be comparing it to. I know that the stuff I've made for the church I worked at were quality, though SD. What makes something "Broadcast quality." I'm not familiar with the term, nor how to even research this.

I apologize if this is in the wrong topic.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #2
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Maybe, and this is just a guess (not knowing what the position is), they are referring to experience dealing with material that is going to a broadcaster.

Do you know how to operate a digital betacam deck, operate the patch bay, etc. A dbeta deck has pages and pages of menus... you need to know what most of the settings do. There's some pretty specialized knowledge that you can only learn if you worked in a tape room or as an assistant editor for one of these facilities. (I've never seen any books or universities or colleges that teach that kind of thing.) And just reading the manual for a dbeta VTR doesn't really teach you how its used or how to troubleshoot problems with it.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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Alex,
It's not as much quality as it is the style, situation and production techniques that define Broadcast experience. Many companies and individuals in this business regard Church or Religious video work as more on the amateur side. Why? Because if you look at a many, not all, church services that have video support, the quality of composition, audio, graphics and other things are not up to the same level as broadcast. I do know that it depends on the church, location, personal, etc., but you have people that use that as a factor to weed others. I haven't seen your work so I wouldn't even want to comment on your quality, but possible they are using that to narrow their options. It's just like people looking down on public access programming. I think everybody should be judged on their personal merits, but it doesn't always work that way. I would recommend that you try and get some experience working with a local station or commercial production company. What about a cable company in your area? Sometimes local cable will broadcast High School, College and minor league events. See if you can get on with them. Try to vary your experience from just your church. Variety shows that you are versatile and willing to take on different styles of production. Don't feel down, just use this as a eye opener. Good luck.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle View Post
stuff I've made for the church I worked at were quality, though SD. What makes something "Broadcast quality."
There's quality and then there's quality. It likely wasn't about aesthetics so much about technical knowledge/experience. Making video for DVDs that is going to be played at your church is different from something that is going to go on the air where technical specifications are concerned. Do you know how to properly correct your footage for legal NTSC chroma and luma ranges? Do you know how to calibrate the equipment or trouble shoot technical issues that arise (they always arise)?

Broadcast is a bit of a different animal. David offers good advice that I would echo. Best place to learn this is on the job, but you'll have to get in at the bottom.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:05 PM   #5
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I can't add anything other than to agree w/what's already been said. Working at a post/production or similar facility that doesn't b'cast work is the only way really to get the hands on experience you need. Even if it is just temp PA work on the weekends that's enough to get you foot in the door and allow you to see how things work in the b'cast world and give you the chance to glean information from people that have been doing it for years.


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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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Another echo of what Mike and Andrew said.

Broadcast experience is simply that. It most often begins with a degree in film, radio/television, journalism or electrical engineering. Which is then followed by an internship, part time job or entry level position at a TV station or production house. Most of what you learn in the TV biz in "on the job" and there is a world of difference in expectations in quality, output and competence between church or wedding video and creating content for television.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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I think everyone regularly on this site would agree that the gap between independant producers, be that DVD's of whatever, and so called broadcast quality productions is narrowing all the time.

In fact, if anthing, the jobs that allow for art and creativity are surpassing the required standard & look for broadcast television.

I have a broadcast background in editing & graphics and in recent times have ben running my own production business. After a few months on this site it is obvious that the standard out there is getting sky high, particularly on a global scale.

I have seen some wedding samples on here from some guys that would not only put most so called broadcast cameramen / editors to shame, it would also give some of the better film directors, cinematographers and D.O.P's a run for their money.

Anyone these days who would immediately dismiss a cameraman/editor who does mainly dvd production ( be that wedding or events etc.) as a non runner for a job is simply coming from the older more traditional ideology that weddings equals poor quality.

This might sound cold, but sooner or later this generation will pass on. There will be a younger generation holding the power and they will know that there is no longer a clear line between the quality of one over the other.

I don't want to name any particular guys, so lets just say if Joe Soap from this site applied for a job in broadcast and showed his wedding reel, he'd be given a shot.
The ironic part is, they probably wouldn't be able to pay him enough to convince him to join them :)

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Old April 24th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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All good responses here, but I think two different topics are being touched upon. Broadcast quality (making something that looks professional enough to be on TV) and broadcast experience (understanding the terms, workflow, etc., associated w/working in a b'cast environment). Alex could be a very capable videographer who makes some great looking videos for his church (i.e. he pretty much has the "b'cast quality" area covered), but if the potential employer needs someone who can hit the ground running in a b'cast environment (someone who's readily familiar w/the terms, workflow, basic trouble shooting of pro gear, etc.,) then that's whole other ball of wax.

This kinda reminds me of a recent discussion in the Mac area regarding editors who are used to working alone stumbling when they get into a b'cast, or more professional group working environment, because the work they've been doing up until that point never had to "conform" to accepted industry standards and practices such as white/black levels, bars & tone, program starting at hour 01, EDL's, clean project organization for an offline/online workflow, etc.,. It's not that they are bad editors in terms of creativity, but they've taken an alternate path (a relatively new path created by the low cost of equipment now) that hasn't exposed them to the knowledge that, in the past, has been gained as people climbed the ranks from peon to editor, shooter, director, etc.,.


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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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Yeah..... what Andrew just said.

In reading the initiating post of this thread, it appeared that the original question of "broadcast experience" somewhat got re-interpreted in the same post as "broadcast quality experience".

"Broadcast quality" is pretty much a grey area - difficult to define, and used by different areas of the industry to mean different things.

"Broadcast experience" on the other hand can mean some very specific concepts with regards to traditional broadcast studio production environments.

Several of the posts thus far have included some great info on some of the very important aspects of the broadcast production environment.

Also very important in the context of "Broadcast experience" is the idea of working with a broadcast production crew. In contrast to the lone gunman approach of a sole proprietor videography business in which one person handles everything (sometimes a small crew with the addition of a second or third shooter), a broadcast production crew could mean anywhere from a crew of 5, 30 or 100 or more, depending upon the scope of the production. Everyone is expected to know their job, know who handles other jobs, to whom they must report and work as part of a well-oiled machine to meet inflexible deadlines, pulling it off together with consistent quality and as routine clockwork.

A lot of the requisite skills to work in this environment don't come from running your own videography business, and are often not taught in film school, but are rather learned "on the job" over time with folks who start out in the industry paying their dues on the low rung and working their way up. Depending upon the specific responsibilities one adopts in working with such a production crew, there are a number of skills that prior experience with shooting and editing can certainly be a strong asset. But in reality, the higher value is often placed on doing a specific job properly, doing it quickly, efficiently and on time, and all within an environment of perhaps many dozens of others also doing their jobs with equal amounts of stress.

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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Points accepted.
I will agree that it can be a different ball game working as part of a team in a team environment. It sounds like such a cliche but it also happens to be true.
Simply having the correct terminology so everybody understands what is being said when it is being said can be critical.
Also a lot of the time creativity doesn't suvive the guantlet of time pressure, leaving only the skillset one has picked up inside the doors.

At the same time it is so refreshing to see such a high standard developing outside of the broadcast industry.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 05:36 PM   #11
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At the same time it is so refreshing to see such a high standard developing outside of the broadcast industry.
IMO, I think such a factor is going to have a profoundly more dramatic impact on the industry as a whole over the next several years because the growing scope of independent production puts an ever greater degree of tools, controls, and even distribution mechanisms into the hands of independent producers.

The cream will always rise to the top, but it is an exciting landscape to be a part of these days.
-Jon
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Old April 24th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
At the same time it is so refreshing to see such a high standard developing outside of the broadcast industry.
It definitely is an exciting time to be in the industry. Digital technology and distribution is making waves in everything from YouTube videos shot w/cheap webcams to multi-milion dollar movies shooting digital instead of on film. Lots of new opportunities out there that didn't exist just a few years ago.


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Old April 24th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle View Post
I was talking with a company about a position that was open, and they told me that my lack of Broadcast experience in video basically killed any shot I had.
Broadcast experience is also dragging yourself out of bed every single day, at all times, in all schedules, weathers, degrees of health, in relationship problems, union and maybe money troubles.

And you do this with humor and to a constant level of excellence in the work. It's a great life.

Cheers.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #14
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Its Catch 22 really . You cant get a broadcast job without loads of experience, and you cant get proper experience without working in broadcast.
Could you handle a day when you direct, shoot and edit your own material to a non negotiable deadline. I have done this ,and had just enough time to rewind the tape, cue it up and playout to 3 million viewers.
I have also operated on a live video camera having the opening shot (which was changed minutes before going on air) of a European wide show called "Its a Knockout/ Jeux san Frontieres" with well over ten million viewers.
Technical quality is usually defined by the producer of the program who decides whether he or she wants ultimate quality or to go for very small cameras with debateable quality but dont intrude into the shooting situation.
You cant learn experience from a book or a course . You have to do stuff , get it wrong ( which I freely admit to doing!!) learn , and move on.
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