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Old March 7th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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Mr. Smith goes to Washington

Well, not actually Washington, but New York city.
I am a wedding videographer, who occasionally gets some chances to work with "Big Names" but I usually do not leave my rural state.
I will be filming at a conference in New York and have been informed that I may be working alongside news crews from the national networks.
My question is, are there established rules of conduct or just things I should be aware of, so as not to look like a complete idiot and embarrassing my client?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mark Ganglfinger View Post
Well, not actually Washington, but New York city.
I am a wedding videographer, who occasionally gets some chances to work with "Big Names" but I usually do not leave my rural state.
I will be filming at a conference in New York and have been informed that I may be working alongside news crews from the national networks.
My question is, are there established rules of conduct or just things I should be aware of, so as not to look like a complete idiot and embarrassing my client?
...Beware and brace yourself for the media types ! TV newscamera operators can be very aggressive along with the journalists themselves. You usually don't get one without the other. You may be surprised at how insufferably rude both the camera operators and especially the journalists themselves can be when the cameras aren't rolling ! Watchout for the elbos (I'm not kidding about this). I've seen media cameramen swarm a person in front of me, then see the person freak out and elbo and push them back, only (To my amazement) to watch the news guys push the guy right back again ! These people aren't nice and they play for keeps. I would describe them as a group of desperately anal type "A" individuals!
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #3
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Common sense goes a long way, but you'd be amazed at what you see from time to time. Some suggestions, after years of packed news conference action:

1. Get there early. If there is a riser, and you want to be on it, stake out your spot with your tripod. But if you need to be getting on and off to shoot cutaways, don't put your sticks right in the middle of the scrum, where you'll be inconveniencing everyone when you move. Oh, and don't be surprised if some jerk moves your sticks, so keep an eye on them.

2. If you do get on and off the platform, do it gently, and don't bounce everyone. When you do step off, for heaven's sake, don't walk in front of the assembled cameras. You'd be surprised how often this happens.

3. Look around and see if there is another angle to work besides the main press area. Sometimes off to the side a bit can give you a much more interesting view, with less elbows.

4. As you move for your cutaways, look around you first to make sure you're not about to step into someone else's shot as they also work the crowd.

5. Be polite, be pleasant, but above all, be sure to get what you need.

Last edited by Bill Ward; March 7th, 2009 at 03:47 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #4
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and have a double scotch before you go...

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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...Beware and brace yourself for the media types ! TV newscamera operators can be very aggressive along with the journalists themselves.
Actually, we're doing our jobs. And if the elbows do come up, you generally deserve it by stepping in front of us or doing something completely asinine like turning on a tungsten balanced light after all of us have agreed to use dichroic filters. Which is not to say there aren't jerks and idiots among us media types but generally we're reasonable to each other AS LONG AS we're getting what we need. There are well established (and generally unspoken) protocols that we work with. If all we did was bump and jostle each other continually, NONE OF US would get a shot and the entire venture would be for nought.

Try to remember that those of us that do news are professionals and generally FULL TIME pros. Ask us questions before everything gets started.
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Last edited by Shaun Roemich; March 7th, 2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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I was told that they had a riser for the cameras last year, and probably would again this year. I was also already told that they can be a little shaky. Would it be a bad idea to stand on the riser and have my tripod right in front of me on the floor (since I am using a center column tripod that goes up over 9 feet). Of course, Bill's suggestion of being off to the side of the main press area would certainly help me avoid a lot of hassle.
Fortunately, I will not have to do the "chasing the subject down the hallway" type shot with a whole crowd of cameras and reporters!
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Old March 7th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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Jeez... is it all that brutal down thar in the big city? (grin)

I'll echo the "walk very lightly on the riser" sentiment. I was shooting on a wooden frame platform and a still photog was hopping about like kangaroo. A quick and polite word from me and the guy from channel six and all was well.

I'd also recommend getting there early and asking a few polite questions of someone who looks the have some experience there. That could take you a very long way.
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