Your Questions

Does Not Compute?
[From: Tom Geise, Chief Videographer WUTR]

Has anyone found a happy medium when it comes to shooting computer screens? I'm fine when it comes to tight shots of the screen,(white balance off "white" computer screen) but if I want a wide shot of the area around the computer the video is red. If I get a "normal" white balance everything around the computer is fine, but the computer screen is blue.

Sunny Side Up
[From: Drew]

I've been having trouble shooting interviews in sunny/bright yet overcast weather. There's no way to turn my interview into the sun, and I can't seem to find a filter/iris combination that works. If the interview is properly lit, the background is washed, if the backround looks fine, the subject is too dark. I shoot on DVCPRO.

Richard Campbell, Atlanta,GA
I have a different foul weather problem:dirt.I shoot a lot of dirt track races and even with a rain cover and duct tape,the camera is still getting covered in dirt.I have tried several things,and while it's got a little better,I wonder if there's a better way.Any suggestions?

KRBC-TV has recently been acquired by Sunrise Television Corp. and plans are under way for new gear. KRBC has been shooting on 3/4 for the last ten years and the equipment is really getting beat up. The new owners say that we are getting BVW-400 Betacams and all the related equipment that goes along with it. My question is: As chief photographer, how do I keep track of the new gear? How do I make people accountable if something gets broken? and I need some tips on what kind of accessories I should get the other photogs for everyday ENG. Please give me as much info as possible.
Joe B. Fry

Any ideas for Joe?  Send them here, and we'll post the results.

My Gear Bag (from Kevin Johnson)

  • BetacamSX
  • Earpiece
  • O'Connor Tripod (35 series)
  • Lectrosonic UHF Wireless Receiver
  • "Stick Mic" Cube Transmitter
  • Lavalier Microphone Transmitter
  • Frezzi Light
  • 4 Sony Lithium Batteries
  • Lowell 3 Head Light Kit
  • Folding Sun Reflector
  • Cell Phone
  • Cables and Adapters

Hey Joe,

I was looking in that equipment bag and I didn't see any tapes? I know, I know, they're in the run bag. You have a nice little package there. Here are a few things you may want to add. [From: "Shoot10"]

  • A mic stand to place on a light stand for those impromptu pressers outside city hall.
  • A flex fill holder for a light stand. You can get those anywhere.
  • a sandbag or 2
  • an umbrella, preferably for golfing, also with a claw holder that attaches to a light stand, so you or your reporter stay dry for those long shoots during snow coverage.
  • head cleaning tape.
  • tweaker kit.
  • clean underwear.

Hi Joe,

When new gear arrives there is always the wish to get it on the road as soon as possible. Just try and get EVERYTHING labeled as soon as you can. Keep the new stuff together and label it Kit 1, Kit 2 … etc. then make one Cameraman responsible for each kit. That doesn't mean that the cameraman responsible for kit 5 takes it away on holiday with him but you can bet that if there is something missing or busted when he gets back he will damn well find out who did it because Kit 5 is "His" kit. The pool system does not work, has never worked and will cost your station a fortune in replacing lost or broken gear in the end. Apart from the fact that cameramen will treat the kit better if it is "Their" kit, in the pool system the tendency is for people to say, "If I have this fixed they will think I broke it, anyway why should I go to the hassle of having this fixed? It's not mine and the next guy will probably do it."

The other bonus of assigning Kit is you can see if someone is a bit ruff with it. I had the same Tripod for 8 years where one of my colleges destroyed 3 over the same period of time. Obviously he was doing something wrong. A fact we wouldn't have picked up from a pool system. Actually he may have been doing something right as he always ended up with the latest tripod wile I was still stuck with my old one! Oh well.

Good luck
Stephen Press

Mike Shore of WJBK FOX2 in Detroit is wondering if anybody out there has any tips/tricks for shoooting hidden camera stuff. He's looking for equipment recommendations/configurations. They just started an Investigative Unit and are "feeling the growing pains."


There are many "hidden camera" units on the market. I like my board cam. It's a little pinhole lense and a chip mounted on a board about one and a half inches square. With a minor modification, I use it in a baseball cap. I removed the chip and lens from the board. I remounted the unit using stiff, single strand wire. The chip and lens can actually be aimed. The board sits on top of my head and there is no tell tale buldge in the front of the hat. Board cams come in B/W or color. You can have fun with these little units. There is no end to where you can put them. Don't be afraid to modify...

Terry E. Toller, KVVU Fox 5 Las Vegas

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