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Taking Care of Business
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Old October 6th, 2003, 07:05 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Tavares Fla
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You are obviously an experienced videographer. What direction do you see the studios stringer budgets heading, up or down? Do you think a stringer can be a full time business in the future? You said it has been 8 months since you quit news, if I may ask please, what was the deciding factor?
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Old October 6th, 2003, 07:36 AM   #17
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Location: San Antonio
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Hi Don,

I quit news to take a job here with the municiply owned power and gas co. The head PR guy figuered out it would be lots cheaper to hire and equip in house rather than countinue to contract out for every project.

man, he was'nt kidding. those production houses were poking thier eyes out.

In my market, San Antonio, all 4 big affliates have just this year gone to stringer overnight video. This is after decades of over night staff at the big 3 (Fox is a baby at 7 years).

TV news is a big target right now for many corps that have other holdings and can't understand the mandate to provide a public service as part of thier FCC license requirement. every month or so I read about anthor station dropping one or all of its newscasts.
Anchors no longer get outrageous salaries. Staff cuts all over the place. I would think now is a better time than ever to be a stringer.

As a full time business?
You and all stringers have something I lack, guts to go out there and do it yourself. I cant really answer that question. but, I would not think that the demand for stringer video will be decreaseing anytime soon.

the stringer and his dad in this market have a nice business, but they also, provide a dubbing service, small 1-2 camera freelance gigs and format conversions.

I know the stringer and his dad quite well. they shoot Sony PD 150 and i've heard no complaints.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 09:46 AM   #18
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I personally am in a market that floats with the economy. The NASDAQ catastrophe sent the budgets way back. FOX here in the Orlando stopped using stringers as far as I know. They just don't buy it anymore and have probably added a crew. I guess thats opposite choice of what you have seen.

I would be interested to here from other stringers as to what they feel is happening in their market.

And to Phil, I am sure you are doing some research in your area, how is the planning going?

Donny (Florida State Fire College cert. # 5712)
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Old October 6th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #19
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Location: Clearwater, Florida
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Wow... I never knew my question would generate such response.

Thanks for the info and interesting discussions thus far!

Just as an FYI, I ditched the XL1S and have put the money towards a JVC DV5000 and accessories. (ka-ching!)

Which leads me to a brief tangent:

I borrowed a DSR-300 for a wedding a couple of months back, and was quite surprised about the different reactions I got from both the B/G, the pastor and attendees in general.

At previous events, with the PD-150 or the XL, I was the "videographer".

Boy, did that change when I was walking around with "Big Iron" on my shoulder (or would that be “Big Plastic Composite”?). I was known at the “TV Guy”. Table interviews went much smoother, and folks kept asking me, “am I going to be on TV?”

The pastor wanted my card. Attendees wanted my card. The DJ wanted my card-- I ran out of cards that night!

I guess image is everything—either at weddings or at a news scene.

At risk of getting flamed, even though in my opinion the PD-150 is a superior camera for type of jobs I do, the perception created by a large shoulder cam and the right attitude impresses clients. (Along with the all-important good technique, editing and creative skills…)

But I digress.

As far as planning goes, I really have not had much time to get out. My regular gig as a wireless networking tech is holding me hostage to a paycheck right now. I shoot what and when I can and just save the footage. I’m going to get around to editing a demo tape one day for the broadcast-related field.

I see that you too are a alumni of the FSFC in Ocala. I went through back in ’89 right after I decided that full-time law enforcement was not for me. (long story, involving a bad guy, a car, bullets and a lonely interstate at 2:00 AM with no back-up—no I was not hit.)

I am looking at a career change, and hope that I am good enough to impress someone well enough to take a chance on me. (I have absolutely no expectations though…)

If not, there’s always losing 30 pounds, getting back into shape, passing a physical agility test, and getting back into the Fire Service somewhere…

I have documentable corporate video and radio/TV engineering experience. I am trying to build a targeted resume’ that will highlight my skills and experience in video, my electronics experience as a FCC licensed electronics tech, along with my documentable experience in Public Safety, including law enforcement, firefighting and EMS.

Sorry everyone if this post rambles a bit. I’m writing it through a Vicadin haze, as I just had some dental work done…

Phil Reams
Timeless Studio Productions
Clearwater, Florida

FCC Licensed Electronics Technician (GROL)
Amateur Radio - KC4UVU
Life Member of the PSHA - Pinnacle Studio Haters of America
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Old November 21st, 2003, 08:43 AM   #20
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I was fortunate to spend 3 hours this past weekend to work with a cameraperson from FOX in Tampa. It was very informative to say the least.

I asked her about stringers in this area and she said FOX doesn't use them unless it's for footage they need and don't possess. She said in the area she used to work(Miami), stringers were very common but the news stations there focused more on accidents / crime, etc.

Another interesting fact was she said in Miami they used the Panasonic DVX100 in 24P mode for most of their work which really surprised me. She was looking to purchase one for herself and even trying to convince the Tampa station into trying them out.
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