Just some observations


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Most of the recent topics here have been about business issues. Finding work, bottom feeders, insurance, buying gear, etc. It seems like a while since we talked much about artistic or technical things. You know, shooting.

It also seems like this group has slowed down significantly since the rise of social media sites like Face Book. I admit I'm guilty of spending far more of my internet time on FB than B-roll. However, informing all of my 1200+ "friends" that I'm baking yet another batch of chocolate laced banana bread is not making much of a contribution to the world.

I would not be where I am today with out this community. I have received so much advice, information, instruction, and other invaluable help through this site through the years. From now on I'm going to try to check in at least once a day if possible, see if I can contribute to the collective wisdom, and do my part to help keep it going.


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I don't know exactly when it happened but I've fallen out of love with the internet. Slowly it seems we've drifted apart. It doesn't excite me like it used to and I find myself staring at the same old pages... the whole world to look at and I'm still board.
While I still visit sites I find myself participating less.The internet has gotten old and predictable and I'm not sure I'm willing to put in the hours to keep our relationship going.
I tried spicing things up with a tablet, to make the special moments last longer, but to be honest I find it harder to fully participate and I'm becoming less engaged.

Its sad but at least I know that no matter how we may drift apart we will always have b-roll.


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Frankly, Im disappointed in the way the board has slowed the last year or so. We had some phenomenal people here...I know some will come and go...though the 30 page arguments between some posters I think drove people away. That's not to say that there weren't good points by both sides...just that some people have enough drama with people in their lives and just need information. (See Medialine).

I too feel tired of computers, the internet, technology etc. Sure it's handy to do some things...not having to go to the post office is great sometimes, and the information is good when you need it...but constantly feeling like you HAVE to go to a computer or interact with some electronics device to do things has gotten old. I'm tired of having to learn new stuff to get things to work. And I used to be a semi-geek.

Tv Shooter

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However, informing all of my 1200+ "friends" that I'm baking yet another batch of chocolate laced banana bread is not making much of a contribution to the world.
I nominate Brian to help cater the 2012 Broll Bash dessert. See-the world's already a little bit sweeter.


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Much of this can be contributed to information overload. TMI. We seem to have less and less personal time and even when we have some (I know in my case it is true) we turn to the virtual world. Last night I forced myself to walk away from the computer and read...and got so engrossed I forgot about time.

I totally agree with you in the invaluable information on this site...from Latin Lens to Necktie Boy to many others...I know I can ask a technical or even rhetorical question and either get a tightly focused answer or a good laugh (when they bite back).

And it is all to easy (especially as you get older) to bitch and moan about "the way it used to be" or "the way it should be."

I look forward to your postings and hope to learn from you and the rest...having been out of news for ten years (in the classroom) and now freelancing, I truly miss the comradeship of the newsroom. The tough times, the laughs, practical jokes, the shoulders to lean on, the tension as deadlines approach, competing with and against but also offering support to the competition...being part of a group who has chosen to live outside the boundaries of normal society. It's lonely out here...but on this site I can at times reconnect with like minds. And feel accepted.


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Personally, I don't care about Facebook very much. This forum is much more important to me. I would rather talk about business and job skills/advice than about who had the best Sunday football pizza party or went out to eat at some lame restaurant.

I got into this business for several reasons, but two big ones are that I always have a gay old time shooting, and I love all of the cool toys that I get to play with. I have also learned invaluable information from my seniors who have been in this business much longer than I have. And, I feel privileged to be part of the lucky few who can make a living freelancing and doing something different and interesting at work each day.

I would like to thank everyone who has given me advice over the years. I love this forum.


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Personally, I don't care about Facebook very much. This forum is much more important to me...I love this forum.
Eh...facebook is not my life but I have reconnected with my best friend from 8th grade (that was from the late 60s) and folks I've worked with over the years. And like you, I love this forum.


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I have never been on Facebook and refuse to... Same goes for Twitter. Never did MySpace, either.


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The problem with this and many other forums is that the demographic of this business has changed. Up to five years ago nobody with half a brain would ever consider attempting to make a living simply by buying a 2K camera and a laptop and calling themselves professional videographers without some substantial training. Today this new Youtube demographic has pretty much invaded this business and dragged it to the lowest level imaginable.

Go back as far as you can on this forum and see the types of conversations we had back then, you’ll see how drastically the level of intelligent conversations has dropped.

These forums were intended to share ideas but sharing is a two way street. Even experienced professionals want to learn, but once the most frequently asked question is “what camera should I buy” is time for those who has something to share to move on, is nothing here for them. Add to this those few hot heads who actually believe that a 2K camera it the future and add arguments to the conversation and you’ll have an exodus of intelligence.

As far as the social networks goes, I opened and account long ago on Facebook, never went further than having my name there. After receiving countless email of people who want to me my friend, I have no clue who 2/3 of those were, I decided that wasn’t for me, I had better things to do with my time. I’m kind of old fashioned when it comes to being social. Being by myself in front of a computer for hours with thousand of cyber friends isn’t my definition of being social, more like anti social to me. I much rather getting together with few of my friends once a week, the flesh and blood kind. Even my youngest son who’s 21 closed his Facebook account because he felt he was wasting too much time “being social”. He told me that girls are much more fun in person than on the web. I'm proud of this kid.

Necktie Boy

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Don't do Facebook, either.

Thanks for the good words, Cyndy.

As others, I have been busy, and have kept off the computer. Sort of a computer overload.

But all boards I visited have slowed down. The information is still being asked, just not as much. This board has slowed down, but I am hoping because we are working more.
But I check it everyday, and try to help and comment to help out.


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I do Facebook and some outdoor forums that pertain to my love of the outdoors. I enjoy the contacts and ability to rapidly spread valuable information, although you do have to sift through the crap.

I "refuse to refuse" technology. While I may be slow to accept it, or embrace it, I'm not ready to become a dinosaur just yet. The technology train is rolling down the tracks and I'm not going to jump off at the next station and say goodbye.

TIMES IS A CHANGING! Fast too. Technology is the reason. 70 years ago today Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and it took a couple of DAYS for the new to reach many people. Today, well, we know how fast the news would be out.

Adapt to change, stay on your toes, because "them youngin's" will be nippin' at your heels if you don't.

Plus, you start to sound really old if you start complaining about "how things used to be"!!!


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As you guys can see, I've been on here for more than ten years. In that time, I've seen interest go up and down numerous times, I've seen great members and trolls come and go, I've contributed to interesting discussions, and I've let myself get dragged into silly ones. One things stays the same though...any time I come on here with a serious question dealing with ENG/EFP in any form, I always end up with a useful answer from someone. That's what keeps me coming back.
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While I still visit sites I find myself participating less.The internet has gotten old and predictable and I'm not sure I'm willing to put in the hours to keep our relationship going.
Same here. If I have much spare time I prefer to be out on the river kayaking.

I think that the last few years had a sort of 'false popularity'. My reasoning for this is that before 2004 most were using Betacam, SX etc. But 2004 was the year that gave us HDV, and most importantly, the first tapeless cameras.

From 2004 up until about now there have been fairly fast developments. We've had the arguments of optical vs solid state, we've had HDD based cameras, the release of third party recorders, so called prosumer cameras with full HD-SDI out for use with those recorders, DSLR's that do video (no matter what some say, they ARE valid for professional use), the list goes on and on.

Al of this has fuelled a lot of discussion, and those developments in technology have made it easier for any kid with a camera to go out and shoot video while calling themselves professionals. This in turn has fuelled further debate.

But now things are easing off. A new solid state camera release is not a big thing any more. HD cameras are now as mature as SD camera tech was back in 2004/2005. Any new camera is going to produce a damn good noise free image. Even the latest DSLR releases have solved the moire issue to a large degree.

There is a plus side to this, as long as we keep our heads. When most cameras are able to produce a great image, and they have the versatility we need, then it all comes down to choosing the right camera for the right job (as it always has really), but importantly it means that people can finally be chosen for a job based upon their skill rather than because of the camera that they own.

Personally one thing that has made me take much more of a backseat from participating in discussions on all forums, particularly DVinfo (although it appears I have been banned as the site always locks up when I log in, no matter what device I use, browser, or location in the world, and Chris Hurd won't reply to my questions why. Another thing I hate about the internet which I'll come to in a moment) is that most discussions revolve around the camera of the month. There are so many people it seems that are able to purchase any new camera that arrives on the scene on a whim.

Guys like Phil Bloom have fuelled this mentality. Unfortunately it does infect the pro scene because producers and directors have now started choosing based upon the camera. I'm not sure it is their place to do so since it isn't their area of expertise much of the time.

Another reason is 'little Hitler' syndrome. I like B-Roll. it is one of the few forums where people can be extremely frank but everyone is professional enough to be able to debate things properly.

Contrast this with other forums where the participants and certain forum members are treated in a strangely cult style manner. The moderators clearly often having some sort of power complex.

I have fallen behind in camera tech developments to a fair degree due to spending my time doing other things. I have now sold off my last 'professional' camera. The EX3 got a fairly reasonable price. But my old 2/3" XDCAM SD camera, wow. I worked out the depreciation on it after I sold it and it was frightening! I was extremely lucky to be able to sell it at all. I was similarly lucky to get any sort of price for my J17 lens.

So now I am gradually moving away from production altogether. Unless something drastic turns around for me.

The internet I think has helped fuel the market to be oversaturated and thus in some cases is almost making it collapse under its own weight. This is certainly the case in a small country such as the UK.


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Ebb and Flow

There is definitely ebb and flow. I'm feeling self concious about posting so much lately. Our Sat truck is off getting HD upgrades so I have office time. Most of the time I just check in or harvest answers to questions, or suggestions we have in the shop. This is a great sounding board. B-roll and SNG forum have enough of the people I'd recognize at a natural disaster to make me feel comfortable.

I see the advantages of Social Media but opt out. I've spent so much time protecting the image and content of companies that it's hard for me to be so free with my own. Yes my hangup, but hard and fast now. That said I'm a techno geek... love them new fancy toys!

As for cameras and changing playing fields, yes, the equipment has made some things much easier. Even I might make some passable images from time to time. But the good ones make great images over and over. Make a client, correspondent, subject know they're taking care of all they can to make good TV.

DSLR is here and very real, just like IP video in my niche. Doesn't mean anyone's doomed. New toys and new games. I'm looking forward to the challenges of HD

If you recognize me at your next crisis, come say hello.




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Hey Brian and everybody else...I'm in agreement, things have changed so quickly in the past few years its become a bit overwhelming...the only sure thing is that change will continue and the pace will get faster. I think the heyday of camera owner/operators has regretfully passed us all and its tough to keep up when the 'it' camera changes every six months as it seems now. Specialization doesn't really exist much anymore, you have to do everything, it seems Rosenblum was right after all despite the amount of rancor he generated here. It's tough being a dinosaur, wasn't there supposed to be some kind of asteroid strike that made us all extinct ? It certainly seems like it has happened over night but its pretty hard to stop the march of technology AND society...yes things have changed. For the better ? who knows but by the time you get used to it things will have changed yet again, there' no more comfort zone of getting acquainted with the change. As an example, I took five years to pay off my Betacam and I thought that was great, try doing that today...five years is an eternity...


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This is my personal observation about the current state of our industry.

First, on the contrary of what most people think there’s still plenty of good business out there, actually there are more high paying gigs today than ever before, but one thing is for sure, they will not come to you even if you are an established veteran, you have to work for it in order to get in, but that’s an entirely different topic.

The major and most damaging change than I’ve seen happening in the last 5 plus years isn’t the introduction to new technology, is the shift in focusing the necessary skills from the front to the back of the camera.

Most of the recent topics here have been about business issues. Finding work, bottom feeders, insurance, buying gear, etc. It seems like a while since we talked much about artistic or technical things. You know, shooting.
It’s difficult to discuss “shooting” topics when there are no question asked on the subject. Most if not all question asked today are about the technical end of the business with “what camera to buy” leading the way.

I’ve been saying for years, there’s no money to be made behind the camera, the money is in front of the camera. Like I said countless times in the past, cameras, lights and everything I use is nothing more than tools for my trade, and like a good mechanic whose livelihood and quality of life depends on his work I will buy the very best tool that there is, but yet these are just tools to help my skill. Seriously, would you take your car to a mechanic who is still asking what tool should he buy to fix your transmission? Or if you are the client, would you hire a photographer who is still asking what camera he should buy to do your video assignment?

This “shift” from in front to behind the camera isn’t only on these boards, it’s a whole industry phenomenon and I attribute this to the power of manufacturers whose interest is selling products, for them there’s no money to be made in creativity, their only interest is in volume.

In my personal video library I have over 100 videos of techniques, those in front of the camera. Original all these videos were on VHS and I’ve been converting them to DVDs. Back in the 80 Kodak and other publishers had very extensive libraries of techniques covering just about every needed subject for all levels of expertise. Subjects that included tabletop, food and product photography, architectural both interior and exterior, all kinds of lighting both artificial and natural, composition, aesthetic, etc. You name your need and there was a tape for it. I’m forever thankful that back I had the wisdom of investing in these libraries.

Now, go to B&H and do a search on educational material, see how many videos or book you can find that cover any of those topics, very few, poorly done and mostly useless. Most educational material available today is about camera operation or post production softwares. The only reason that there’s almost no advanced educational material available is that there’s no mass demand for it. Yet those advanced techniques can be seen every minute of everyday on national programs, those are the programs that pay the highest rates to us. Those who can create those techniques are also those getting top dollars.

Years ago there was a phrase we used, “we’ll fix it in post”. It was mostly used as a joke when the cameraman screw up something, today this is the norm. The need of camera skills have shifted from doing it the right way in the camera to fix it in the computer, now they even have software that can focus an out of focus picture.

it seems Rosenblum was right after all despite the amount of rancor he generated here.
Welcome back Joe, how are things in the cold Northeast.

Let’s talk about the Rosenblum’s theory of “jack of all trades, master of none”. This might be good for small jobs, mostly low paying web gigs, that’s what most of the OMB operations do today. 99% of freelancers on this board do web projects only, and there are hundreds more entering the business everyday, use the theory of supply and demand and you'll see that Rosenblum's theory leads to poverty, in fact most people who in the past supported his method of doing business are now nowhere to be found, and there's a good reason for this, they need money to live and there's none to be made by following his system.

High paying clients do not and will never hire a OMB for their projects. These OMB freelancers do a little bit of everything except making money, sorry but in spite of what Rosenblum is preaching there’s no money to be made there, and by money I mean the ability to own a nice home in a safe family neighborhood, raise kids and provide for their education and build a nice nest egg for your retirement. Find me any of these jacks of all trades that can accomplish this. Even thou we've been asking him for years to show anyone who is actually making a living from his teaching and preaching, nobody at all has come forward and proved that a living can be made with limited skills, a toy camera and a computer, NOBODY.

I have 3 editing computers, 2 MacBookPro and one full blown desktop, and I keep them updated with every new release, I even buy new computers as Apple release a new one. Yet, the last job that I did editing was six years ago. It just doesn’t pay for me not to be behind the camera, that’s where by far the best money in this business is, beside, creating images is what I love to do, not fixing what I screwed up in the first place.

As more and more people concentrate their skill in behind the camera instead of in front of it, the demand those who have the “in front of the camera skill” is greater than ever and pay more than ever.

If you’re looking to make money you have to go after those with deep pockets, and as I said before there are still plenty of those. None of my national and international clients are interested in my editing and post production skills. My extent of post production involvement is the old school of shoot for edit. The reason the clients pay $2250 and more per day for me and my assistant/sound tech is that they want a tape or hard drive handed to them at the end of the day that contains the very best picture that can possibly be obtained IN THE CAMERA. If they have to spend hours trying to improve my work in post then I wouldn’t be worth my day rate. In the pay scale of all people involved in a production the highest paid one is the cameraman, or director of photography for the fancy title. So if we are talking about making money why on earth would anyone concentrate their efforts doing anything else.

This brings us back to the shift in skills from the front to the back of the camera that has been happening in recent years. There are not enough skilled photographers that can create quality images in front of the cameras to meet the demand. I mean the really skilled ones not the Rosenblum’s OMB types.

I just turned 66 and this month I’m collecting my first SS check, almost $1900 per month going directly into one of my saving accounts. That should be good for at least two good and well deserved vacations per year for me and my wife. Yet in spite of my age I’m the busiest that I’ve ever been in my 42 years career. In spite of everything that has been happening in this industry my business has been steadily growing year after year, I can only handle half of the work I’m getting, for the rest I have a number of trusted crews that I can depend on it. I attribute this in spite of all the hype about new technology driving the industry in different direction I never left the front of the camera, I used everything new to make that better and not different. This is also what every good and busy freelancer that I know and work with has been doing.

The Rosenblum’s dinosaur theory never materialized, in fact if you look at all his past predictions and you would have done exactly the opposite you would be doing very well today.

My participation to these forums has been very limited and down to nothing, it’s very hard to try to teach young kids how to make this a skilled and profitable career and in return being called and old fart, grumpy old man, over the hill, a dinosaur, etc. Granted I come from the old school that you get more attention with a kick in the a$$ than with white gloves, yet there’s no worst kick in the a$$ then when a bill comes due and there’s no money to pay for it.


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Nino, once again, a great post but it will fall on the deaf ears of the people who need the advice the most.

More and more often I find myself dragging a horse to water, and then watching as he dies of thirst. In this era of instant satisfaction and tons of meaningless distractions to divert someone's attention from what really matters, a lot people are just too damn lazy to do what it takes.

Flaca Productions

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yeah - what John says.
i read nearly every word of what douglas and nino write. too bad that over the internet, you can't hear me mentally filing away their tips and tricks, or see me nodding in agreement.

you guys are my kind of over the hill dinosaurs!

as for this forum, i'd like to think it's like everything else...a bit cyclical. it'll come back around. don't touch that dial.