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Old June 9th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #1
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News Camera Work

Hi, I'm interested in doing news camera work but was looking for some further info on what to expect. I presume its long hours and stressful but probably rewarding as well. I'm just guessing so if anyone can throw further light on it for me (particularly those who've worked in the UK) that would be great.

Thanks
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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It's more a lot of waiting around and then going crazy trying to grab something, sometimes in the middle of a media scrum. There are lots of levels, so it really depends if you want to shoot local news, work for one of the news organisations or shoot network news. Usually you start with the local news, newspapers also do online video, although this may be done by video journalists, rather a camera person (this can also happen in local broadcast news). There are staff positions and freelance work that can be daily or even hourly or long contract work.

Often they now both shoot and edit, they commonly use specialised edit systems purely for news work. Avid | NewsCutter Software They also operate both camera & sound.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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Can't comment on the UK but one thing I can say is that shooting news made me a better production shooter. How? Simple - news you have NO time to set things up so you learn to maximize your return on (time) investment.

Inner dialog:
"I've got 1 minute. Where do I place talent? What's the background? Dial in some ND to get the background out of focus. Level the head. White balance and GO!"

"Oh, I've got another 5 minutes to set up. That's time to set up a light. Where? What can I use as reflector for fill? Hmmm... if I move that lav down JUST a bit I don't have to worry about if she turns her head. And if I raise the tripod JUST a bit, I can get that Inca head statue in the background JUST over her shoulder. OOOH! If I turn on the table lamp, I can get some really nice warm spill on that wall. And if I white balance over THERE, I can warm everything up JUST a bit..."

"You mean I've got 10 MINUTES to set up?!?!?!?! 4 lights, gobos, dolly track, trained monkeys... the sky is the LIMIT!!!"
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Old June 10th, 2010, 04:58 AM   #4
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If you are going to do current affairs work (chasing down dodgy types, etc), you might as well start practicing shouting "Don't touch the camera!!!"

:-)

Andrew
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Old June 10th, 2010, 06:43 AM   #5
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News has become increasingly specialised, so if say you plan to go into feature films or drama it's probably not the best move. Many people have started out shooting news, but if you want to work in other types of production perhaps it's best not not to linger too long in case you get a name as a "news guy". It is a good area to learn basic skills, but the limitations can be very restrictive unless you manage to get a good magazine slot with more time. Hard news is more of an adrenalin rush.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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I would recommend checking out b-roll.net | The Latest News in TV Photography. It's kind of the dvinfo of news video. Great folks and great resources for everything about shooting news.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses.

I've just checked out B-roll.net and looks great. Going to post the same question over there.
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