How have you changed while b-roll.net FORUM has been on hiatus?

Clutch City

Well-known member
It's been such a long time since being active that I imagine many of us have changed in certain ways, in both careers and shooting/editing philosophies. Here's some of mine:

1. Shooting news after shooting sports for 18 years in a top 10 market after leaving and coming back the same station (long story). I don't miss sports as much as i thought I would, especially working nights and weekends. I'm a licensed drone pilot, but don't get a lot of time to fly unfortunately.

2. Jump cuts no long bother me anymore. If the shots are varied enough, it's not as jarring to me to cut directly to an interview without letting the same person go out of frame or whatever. I'm over my "dissolve to solve" phase. In fact, I hate using dissolves at all now.

3. I accept mmj's more. While I still think Michael's vision of them taking over the business is unrealistic, they CAN and do have a place. On the downside, many are cheap hires and the quality of their work can be lacking from what I've seen. Many will do anything to get to a bigger market, but have no real desire to stay an mmj and it shows.

Those are just a few things off the top of my head.
 
Good question...

1. The first and most obvious thing is that I'm no longer in news. I left a little over 10 years ago, and now work in commercial production. It took me a long time to get used to the stylistic differences between shooting news and shooting commercials... Actually directing talent to do certain things rather than be the fly on the wall and such... But, I still get to produce short documentaries. Working on a few right now for our local medical school, and those are the highlight of my year. And 15 minutes to tell a story? It's a dream come true.

2. I think I'm there with you about jump cuts. If it's not too distracting, I can live with it.

3. The one thing I can't stand anymore is unmotivated camera moves. Appropriate pans and zooms I can live with. But in commercial production people tend to shoot more cinematic style. And want the camera to move at all times. It drives me crazy to use a slider just to use a slider. Don't get me wrong, they are really nice when you have something to play off of in the foreground, when there is some perspective in the move, and when used sparingly. But I've worked with directors who use a dolly on every shot, and the camera is always moving. I find it really distracting to use moving shots for every single shot. Maybe it's just the photojournalist in me... But I still like shooting very simple... Locked down shots, and then rely on your editing skills to tell the story. Granted, that's very basic. But sometimes basic works... To me, if you can't shoot and tell a story with just a camera, tripod, and mic, then you've got no foundation.

4. I miss shooting in sequence. We shoot a lot of montage style... Since we're working from scripts while we're shooting we know exactly what we need. I still shoot in sequence as much as possible, but rarely get to edit a good sequence. For a :30 spot, I typically only have time to use one shot out of the sequence. It's more documentary style where it's less about shooting in sequence and telling a visual story, and more about making the footage relate directly to the copy... It's what clients expect unfortunately.

5. And lastly, even though I've been out of the business for over 10 years, it still amazes me that the rest of the world has NO concept of a deadline. I can work fast under pressure and still produce a decent spot or video. And I think it's because in the back of my mind I pretend like I'm still cutting a story for the 5PM newscast. I don't play around and just get the work done. But I've worked numerous jobs since I left news, and so many people just push deadlines. again, and again, and again. It drives me crazy. Don't they realize that if you miss a deadline it could rip open the fabric of the space time continuum and destroy the universe? ;)
 

Clutch City

Well-known member
Good question...

1. The first and most obvious thing is that I'm no longer in news. I left a little over 10 years ago, and now work in commercial production. It took me a long time to get used to the stylistic differences between shooting news and shooting commercials... Actually directing talent to do certain things rather than be the fly on the wall and such... But, I still get to produce short documentaries. Working on a few right now for our local medical school, and those are the highlight of my year. And 15 minutes to tell a story? It's a dream come true.

2. I think I'm there with you about jump cuts. If it's not too distracting, I can live with it.

3. The one thing I can't stand anymore is unmotivated camera moves. Appropriate pans and zooms I can live with. But in commercial production people tend to shoot more cinematic style. And want the camera to move at all times. It drives me crazy to use a slider just to use a slider. Don't get me wrong, they are really nice when you have something to play off of in the foreground, when there is some perspective in the move, and when used sparingly. But I've worked with directors who use a dolly on every shot, and the camera is always moving. I find it really distracting to use moving shots for every single shot. Maybe it's just the photojournalist in me... But I still like shooting very simple... Locked down shots, and then rely on your editing skills to tell the story. Granted, that's very basic. But sometimes basic works... To me, if you can't shoot and tell a story with just a camera, tripod, and mic, then you've got no foundation.

4. I miss shooting in sequence. We shoot a lot of montage style... Since we're working from scripts while we're shooting we know exactly what we need. I still shoot in sequence as much as possible, but rarely get to edit a good sequence. For a :30 spot, I typically only have time to use one shot out of the sequence. It's more documentary style where it's less about shooting in sequence and telling a visual story, and more about making the footage relate directly to the copy... It's what clients expect unfortunately.

5. And lastly, even though I've been out of the business for over 10 years, it still amazes me that the rest of the world has NO concept of a deadline. I can work fast under pressure and still produce a decent spot or video. And I think it's because in the back of my mind I pretend like I'm still cutting a story for the 5PM newscast. I don't play around and just get the work done. But I've worked numerous jobs since I left news, and so many people just push deadlines. again, and again, and again. It drives me crazy. Don't they realize that if you miss a deadline it could rip open the fabric of the space time continuum and destroy the universe? ;)

Good stuff. I think the dslr revolution has changed the way I look at things. When I watch YouTube and see some of the videos put out by the young millennials. But while the majority of them can shoot and edit amazingly, a lot of them have no concept of telling a story and I think that's something that has benefited us.
 

b-roll

Administrator
Staff member
Nice set up question, @Clutch City .

I think I have to agree on the jump cut thing... people are getting used to youtube vloggers doing "standups" and cutting out the ah's and um's and leaving the jump cuts. It is starting to seem normal now.

I taught shooting at Univ of MD and jump cuts were hard for them to grasp - because it happens all the time in video these days.

I'm not going to go to that level in a news pkg, but if the subject is in a wide shot and then I cut to the same person in an interview closeup - I'm not tremendously worried about it. If I can cover it with an interesting b-roll shot I will - but I'm not going to worry about a dissolve to cover it.

Thanks for stepping back into the discussion on b-roll.net!

kev
 
I'm not going to go to that level in a news pkg, but if the subject is in a wide shot and then I cut to the same person in an interview closeup - I'm not tremendously worried about it. If I can cover it with an interesting b-roll shot I will - but I'm not going to worry about a dissolve to cover it.
Yeah, that's when I'm OK with them as well. We shoot interviews in 4K now. I'm not super concerned if going from a wide to tight framing has a bit of a jump cut. If it's really distracting then I won't use it. But I used to get super critical and want to make sure their facial expressions matched perfectly and such.

I am OK with the videos a lot of YouTubers are doing that include jump cuts. It works for what they are doing... Mainly just cutting out material in their standups. But I'm still a big believer in people learning the basics of editing... Jump cuts, when to use camera movements and when not to, designing graphics for title safe... I work with other editors at times who design outside of title safe thinking it will be OK because it's just for web... Then someone asks to broadcast the video, and they wonder why the graphics go off the screen.

On a side note, I will say the one thing I learned after leaving news that has helped me tremendously as an editor... I learned how to read waveforms and vector scopes. I do a lot of color grading these days, and I just don't see how people even try to do color correction without a basic understanding of the scopes.

I may have my grips about the state of the business these days... I mean, there is a reason why I left the business 10 years ago. it took me awhile, but I'm able to have a much better work/life balance and support my family working in commercial production.

But I would be lying if I said I wasn't thankful for starting my career in news. It gave me a solid foundation that others I've worked with just didn't have the opportunity to learn. I'm at the point in my career now where I'm trying to do what I can to teach the next generation of videographers, at least those willing to learn. I'm involved in our local advertising federation now, with an emphasis on helping college students navigate their way into careers in production. The ones I have met are eager to learn... So hopefully I will be able to impart some of my knowledge on to them.
 

Shaky & Blue

Well-known member
How have I changed?

I quit television.

I went back to school and received a second degree in Finance.

I passed the CPA exam and received my license.

I went to work for Deloitte in Nashville.

I hated Deloitte and hated Nashville, so one day I just quit and moved to New Orleans.

I got an auditing job in the title insurance business. I thought it would be boring. I was wrong. I work out of my home, set my own schedule, travel 80% of my time and can go up to a year without actually seeing my manager in person. We can go for a month at a time without even talking on the phone. As long as I keep turning in audits for review, they pretty much leave me alone to do my job. The work has taken me to half the states in the country, but these days I primarily travel to small towns and big cities around Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

I now live in a small village in Florida where the locals speak Greek, the seafood was swimming a few hours before I eat it, and I can walk across the street and watch the manatees frolic under the disapproving eyes of the ospreys that fish the bayou.

No, I don't miss working in teevee at all. I haven't picked up a video camera since 2006. Jump cut or use shaky VJ footage all you want, I'm probably not watching.
 

b-roll

Administrator
Staff member
Wow @Shaky & Blue great catch up. This forum return is like the end of the movie where they post a photo of the characters and write the "where are they now" text on the screen. Sounds like you made the right choice. Enjoy the good life!

kev
 

cameragod

Well-known member
As well as still freelancing I've got a full-time gig with a small production house. What I find interesting is all those skills I learnt to make me better at ENG news coverage are the same skills in demand in production now days. Fast setups quick sequences and edit friendly shooting that doesn't need hours of grading in post.

I never want to hire another "Videographer" who can take a nice shot but seems incapable of shooting a sequence. They are a one trick pony in an industry that needs more than just montages of shallow DOF, slomowed within an inch of its life.

So still shooting. Still doing the odd news shift. Still doing good work :)
 
As well as still freelancing I've got a full-time gig with a small production house. What I find interesting is all those skills I learnt to make me better at ENG news coverage are the same skills in demand in production now days. Fast setups quick sequences and edit friendly shooting that doesn't need hours of grading in post.

I never want to hire another "Videographer" who can take a nice shot but seems incapable of shooting a sequence. They are a one trick pony in an industry that needs more than just montages of shallow DOF, slomowed within an inch of its life.

So still shooting. Still doing the odd news shift. Still doing good work :)
I love working in commercial production, but there is still one thing that I enjoy more than anything else... The rare occasion when I get to go out on my own for a few hours and get some b-roll of the city for some project we are working on. Anytime I can get out, just me and my camera and sticks, and just shoot some b-roll... reminds me the good times when I worked in news... And with no deadline on my shoulders to get back and slap together a VO/SOT.

And you bring up a great point about shooting in sequence... Sometimes I feel like my hands are tied, because I am trained to shoot in sequence and those I work with aren't. There are times when I've been able to push hard for shooting a sequence instead of just shooting bits and piecers here and there for a montage, and it has saved our hides. I wish I had the power to demand we shoot in sequence all the time, but I'm a hired gun and have to pick and choose my battles.

The other thing I didn't realize I had learned until I got out of news and started working in commercials... I know how to be organized when I shoot. And by that, I mean rolling just on the material you really need to shoot. Granted, in the news world you are often filming standoffs and such where you just need to roll. But on the average story you learn how to roll for 15-20 seconds, get the shot you need, and then stop rolling. When you get back and ingest your footage, all your shots are thumbnailed in your NLE. It drives me crazy when I work with material I didn't shoot and the shooter rolled for 5 minutes, and a good chunk of that is completely unusable.

I may have been out of news for 10 years, but I still shoot as if I'm going to have to edit a VO/SOT in 10 minutes when I get back to the station. All my material is organized, and if someone else besides me has to edit it then they won't have to spend hours going through all my footage just to find usable shots. I swear, one of my life goals is to start teaching some courses for college students on how to shoot, and the number one thing I'm going to teach them is how to stay organized...
 

Todio

Well-known member
Still doing sound but have now transitioned into producing. 2 shows on the air (French TV in Canada) and working on pitching more. LOVE this phase of my career! Also, learning to fly. Should be solo within a week or so. That's pretty exciting.
 

Davoosie

Member
Went from a network gig in NYC, then got sick of the big city and took a position at a local station, went back to doing freelance on the side, currently working part time for a "YouTuber" shooting and editing. Best gig I've ever had!

Did a 180 with my gear too, soly my BetaSP, DVCPro-HD and P2HD cameras and my Arri light kit. Now I shoot a Panny CX350 and 3 GoPros. Got a cheap Dracast LED kit and currently loving it.
 
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