Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Top Ten Tips To Being A TV News Cameraman...

Having spent literally minutes in deep thought about what it takes to being a Freelance TV News Cameraman, and perusing the top ten lists of UnstableJobs.Com I took to the interwebs, where you can find a top 10 list to being anything you want to be.

Interested in investing your hard earned cash..? There is a top 10 list on how to give your money to extremely wealthy, clever people who will piss away your money. There are even lots of top ten lists out there on getting your foot in the door of the TV News industry... None of which are any good, they are all mad... MAD i tell you..! So here is my very own top ten list, dutifully researched and verified within a 20 minute lunch break...

1. Get a good coat. Here in the UK, you will spend most of your time freezing your nuts off outside a warm and snug office building... waiting for someone who doesn't want to talk to you.

2. Get good waterproofs. As above, because being the UK, it will mostly be pissing down with rain as you wait for said person, outside the aforementioned warm and snug office building.

3. Learn to speak PR. Only then will you recognise bullshit at 50 paces, and wonder in awe as you enter a multi-billion Pound corporation's HQ building, just as they lay off 500 plus workers. (Refer to No.9 below)

4. Grow thicker skin. When the insults fly in this game, they can be cutting. Getting called a bloodsucking leech by a sports capped, slack jawed fuckwit with an judicial appointment should be like water off a cameraman's waterproofs. (Refer to No.2 above) See..? i don't just make this shit up..!

5. Ignore the pain. Trying to catch a little shut eye in a live truck will leave you with a spine in the shape of a banana. Your pain threshold should be able to cope without industrial amounts of Ibuprofen. (Also, refer to No 10.)

6. Numb your taste buds. No amount of hot chilli sauce is going to spice up the bland, plastic wrapped petrol station food, or Cheese Puffs, which you will consume by the metric tonne.

7. Dullness is your best friend. Only sporadically will the glamour of working in the TV news industry reveal itself. Until then, learn to love Mr and Mrs Dull... and their pet pooch, Comatose.

8. Avoid the TV newsroom. If you are in the TV newsroom, you obviously have nothing better to do and you will be caught. Ego's far larger than yours reside therein, and will have you filming computer screens for a cutaway shot that nobody will use. You must be unseen and unheard.

9. Learn to laugh. Death, tragedy and good old unfairness will stalk you at every turn. Laugh in the face of death, tweak the nipples of tragedy... I could go on...

10. Drink copiously and often. No explanation required.

So there you go then. Hope that helped. I know i didn't mention cameras, college courses, qualifications or how to spice up your CV. You can learn that stuff elsewhere. What matters... What really matters, is that you learn the realities of life as a freelance TV News cameraman. I have... now if you will excuse me, my plastic lunch awaits, it's getting cold out and Mr and Mrs Dull are knocking at the news van's door...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk