Monday, 25 February 2013

And The Winner Is...

When my producer called to ask if i would like to go to the Royal Television Society Awards, my heart skipped a beat. Had i finally been given the overwhelmingly deserved recognition for my time spent cold and alone standing on the streets in search of TV News gold..?

I searched and searched... But my name was not there.

As it turned out, no. I had not. I was however, invited to film the awards. That is, would i like to film my contemporaries, colleagues and friends win an award, have a sumptuous dinner, and drink like fishes..? Why yes i would, thank you very much. I would be delighted.

It's not that i am bitter, twisted and filled with a jealous rage that once again, i had been overlooked in the Best Camerawork category, or the Best News Film Award. I do this job for the love of it, the search for truth, plus an adequate pile of cash. Trinkets and baubles mean nothing to me...**

(**Although, if you are offering...)

I would like to emphasise the fact that i am not at all bitter... Or twisted.

So i set up my camera in the upper stalls, overlooking the glittering event as the best of the best walked on stage to collect their well deserved prize for a job very well done. Warm applause filled the air, award winning backs are slapped. Fellow nominees smile and clap although inside they slowly die the death of bitter disappointment... (keep smiling, i don't want to look like a bad loser, even though i am crying inside). Oh well, maybe next year.

Me..? I quietly went about my filming business as i always do. I may not receive nominations or awards, but on that very night, as i worked from my lofty position above the glitz and glamour of awards night, i had the pleasure to be positioned directly above the ITV Meridian Tonight News table, and a particular buxom journalist in a low cut dress top. That was prize enough for me.

From my lofty position, i got a good view of my colleagues getting pissed, and an unexpected view of an ITV Journo's ample cleavage.

I am however, heartened by the rumour that next year there will be a Royal Television Society category for Best Wizened Old Fart with A Camera And Blog (Lifetime achievement) Award, and The Best Media Grump Award...

I'm a shoo in for at least one of them.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Graduate In TV Studies... Get Boy Band Hair.

I saw this poster advert in Coventry today... 16 or 17 years old..? Just about to leave school and thinking about your future career plans..? Fear not. Study the TV industry and all will be well. The future is bright, the future is TV shaped.

£36K Plus per year..! Boy band hair..! I'm applying now. Where do i sign..?

 Colleges up and down the land can teach you the production skills to become a Director Of Photography, a top notch TV Producer, anything you like. You will enter college a spotty, callow youth with a slack jaw, and you will emerge a shiny, boy band haired, smiling TV Director with plans to make your very own reality TV show that will make you millions within 1 year.

Top production companies will beat a path to your door having realised you have just graduated, offer you a £36.000.00 starting salary and put you in charge of the next big show slated to transmit in the upcoming Autumn schedule. You're gonna make it big. You are going to be rich with a London Soho pad next to the post production houses and a weekend retreat in the country.

On the other hand...

You may have to fight for TV work placements with the thousands of other recently graduated TV hopefuls. You may have to offer your services for less than minimum wage or for free just to get your foot in the door. Glittery, glamourous TV land is in a race to the bottom for the cheapest prices for your hard won qualifications.

Don't worry about your wages, rent or food... This next job is gonna look great on the old CV. People are going to be impressed at the long hours you have worked for travel expenses and food supplied on set. So impressed, they are going to ask you to do it again, it's just that... well... we don't really have a big budget... You know. But it will look great on your CV.

What the hell are they smiling at..? Their camera is already out of date...

 The smile from the poster will disappear, the youthful bounce in your step will turn into a shuffle, and the boy band hair will thin out and eventually turn grey... Oh, and the camera you were holding in the poster..? I know it's not that old, but it's already well out of date... Do keep up.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.


Monday, 11 February 2013

Busy TV News Day..? Or... Is The Pope A Catholic..?

Right about now, about 3 hours following the Popes resignation, TV Newsrooms around the world are probably in a state of mass panic, confusion and meltdown. No.. No.. No.. You misunderstand, this is not how it usually is.

Over to our reporter live... "Is there anything... anything at all that you can possibly speculate on for the 24 Hour news channels..?"

 This mornings announcement caught everyone by surprise. Even parts of the Vatican were not informed of the imminent release of this piece of juicy news. Yep, news producers and journalists the world over right now, feel like they were caught with their collective pants around their ankles, looking like they've been violently intruded by an Omnibus.

Hair is being torn out, Wikipedia has exploded, and a coffee shop owner called Guiseppe in Rome is rubbing his hands in glee at the thought of the thousands of news crews and journo's from around the world descending on his little coffee shop, just outside the Vatican gates. (Prices under review).

Right now, as you read this, Governments are releasing unpalatable news. Spin doctors and press officers are in overdrive. I can imagine the Cabinet Office at Whitehall...

"Hey... Dave, you know that piece of legislation on halving Social fiscal governmental savings applications for the 21st Century..? I'm sure that was due for media release today... Along with the re-introduction of Victorian style workhouses for the poor... We could do that one at the same time... just a suggestion like..."

Watch them... Watch them like hawks. Someone, somewhere, will do this. Whilst the world is gripped by the sight of men in multi layered dressing gowns quibble over who gets to talk to the big man upstairs, the illuminati are quietly limbering up.

So don't be surprised when Spring arrives and the whole Pope business fades away from the news agenda, that you are standing in rags, your house has been repossessed, and your gas bill has somehow risen by 300 percent. You will have to make some serious phone calls.

"You what..? You want your kids back..? Ah, well as we said on the morning of Monday 11th of February, child workhouse placements begin mid February for children whose families cannot pay their bills. The information was released to the media... Hmm..? You didn't see that..? Weren't you listening..? We did tell you."

The next month or so is going to be really quite interesting...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.