|News cameras ... rapidly changing.|
I have lost count of the times i have been approached by young people for jobs. People who have graduated and find themselves without work in a media industry awash with graduates. Sorry guys, but that is just the reality of the situation right now.
There is of course another way. Getting a jump of three years on your university peers and going out there job hunting for work at the bottom of the industry pile. Runners, Cable basher, Courier. Get the foot in the door and work your way to the top. Good idea, commendable and shows good work ethic. But again, think about all those graduates you will be competing against for that job. It's never going to be easy.
|Cameramen ... kept behind bars.|
So which route did i take? None of the above. I knew i wanted to be a news cameraman since leaving the army at the age of 28. I had no real qualifications to do the job, and had never used a broadcast video camera before. To cut a long story short, i had enough money to buy a new camera, lens, and microphone, and that was all. Over the next six months i taught myself through trial and error how to use the camera. I read and re read the instruction manuals and every how to book i could find.
More importantly though, i watched the news. All of it. Every channel and every bulletin. I watched every report and asked myself why certain pictures made it into the report, what sequences worked, the pieces to camera by the journalists, The length of the sequences and what words were being put with the video. I took apart each piece and asked myself why that report made it onto TV. I also practiced filming shots and sequences, framing and composition of the shots, and what every little button on the camera did and what happens when you press it.
After six months or so, i decided to look for freelance work. Every broadcaster i approached turned me away citing lack of knowledge, lack of a CV, and lack of experience. That was if they replied to me in the first place.
Persistence is the key here. I very nearly stopped looking, thinking that my rise to the top of broadcasting was a non starter. However, following one interview with a man at the BBC regional news in Southampton, i walked away with a days freelance work. 1 days work. That was in 1997, and i still work there today.
Based on original article by Paul Martin.