Getting back in? (Maybe)

So maybe the wrong place to put this but probably not.

5 years ago I quit news packed my bags and headed to Hollywood. Worked on a few good films mostly bad, made some money and didn't have to wake up at 3am to chase a fire engine (woke up at 3am to film a zombie eatting people but knew about that when I went to bed). Now I love movies but I'm wondering if I should jump back in to jurnalism.

So I'm asking you guys out there in b_roll land, how is the business? Slow?
I know my old beta sp cam is gone is it all P2cards now? Do I have to re learn avid or can I just shoot? My reel is all movies now, can I even get a job with that? Is it as fun (on good days) as I remember.

Yeah thanks for reading


Do you have a tape from when you left? The news business isn't what it was 5 years ago. Most stations have gone or are going OMB. If you know any non-linear platform, you can pretty much learn avid. All the programs are generally the same, just some minor changes in the different progams. I worked with P2 before I got out, it's a nice camera and system, but I'm old school and still like tapes...too many problems with losing stories when on vacation. In my opinion, if you have nothing else to do, then sure go back to news, but I personally wouldn't go back and I just got out a year and a half ago.

Freddie Mercury

Well-known member
Most stations have gone or are going OMB? No. The VAST majority of stations are still doing things the traditional way, perhaps with 1 or 2 OMBs mixed in.

There is a lot less money being spent than there was 5 years ago, and most stations are not hiring or even still laying off. If you are making a living in film in Hollywood, you may do well to stick with that for now.

If you do try to switch back, why not use your old reel? Nobody is going to care about your support role in a movie unless you were DP. Good luck.

zac love

Well-known member
The biggest thing I would say is do your research at the stations you want to apply to. There are a lot of layoffs, hiring freezes, wage freezes, etc.

If you are making a stable income now I wouldn't suggest moving unless you got into a company that was really solid.

Journalism is going through major transformations in every medium and the only constant is that if you're willing to blog for no money, you won't lose your salary. Anyone trying to pay bills and work in journalism is facing some level of uncertainty.
Thanks for the advice guys. I just got off shotting a doc. and it got my jurnalism juices going, but I'm staying with scripted material. Cause then the good guys win and nobody really dies.

Thanks again
TV world is hard now, most of the TV stations in my area had layoffs one station even laid off all the photographers including the chief, left an editor as the only photog and made all reporters shoot on p2's. I currently work for the local Telemundo they seem to be more steady in the bizz.

David R. Busse

Well-known member
If you don't like the 3am calls, then stay out of local news....the only "growth" in TV news seems to be morning news shows, where 3am calls (or earlier) and "you should have been here last night" live shots are a staple of life.

I've worked in TV journalism since 1977. I've also had some brief stints doing production and hated every minute of it. TV news and, to a lesser extent, documentary film, may be the last place where the person shooting the camera gets a broad range of creative (and journalistic) control. That was passed along to me by an old mentor in 1977 and it is true today.

I shot a network production one time and had four people insist they look in the viewfinder before each shot. "Wow, great...beautiful..." they said. One guy bumped the camera and I had to readjust.So I flipped the 2x extender halfway, to get an ugly dual-image in the viewfinder. The last of these four production assistant clowns then had his obligatory turn looking in the viewfinder.

"Wow, great...beautiful..." he said, parroting the others.

"Get me outta here," I muttered.

Disclaimer: I also love spot news and the wildfire season is the highlight of my year. So I don't mind the crazy hours when it involves getting paid for something I would want to see on my own time, anyway.