Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mailbag: One more reason to hate one-man-bands

Grape,

I'm a one man band in my first job. While I don't necessarily mind hauling the gear around, I'm clueless about the nuances of photography and there's no one at the station to teach me anything.

My biggest problem is standups. I always do them in the middle of the day so there will be plenty of light but they just look lousy. Am I doing something wrong?



Ah, yet another example that proves owning a camera doesn't make one a photographer. But even I know the answer to this one. The light is most harsh in the middle of the day when it is directly overhead and can create lovely shadows that can make you look like Lord Voldemort even if you have a face like Nicole Kidman. The best times to shoot standups in natural light are very early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the angle of the sun is low. It gives you a wonderful golden glow.

Of course, if your story is happening in the middle of the day, that's not much help if you don't know what you're doing. But in that case, a real photog can manipulate light so that you'll still look good.

Bad lighting can be a killer, as often illustrated by the Seinfeld "bad lighting girlfriend" episode.

Hope your next job lands you in a station with photogs.


Grapevine,

If you see a job posting for an anchor position, is there a way to find out if they're looking for a male or a female?


Sure, there are lots of avenues. You can check those "moving on" sections in tvjobs.com to see who might have just left. You can watch the station's newscast online to see which gender is missing. Or you can call the newsroom after hours and politely ask.

Years ago they used to run ads that read, "need anchor to complement our female" and you would know they were looking for a guy. These days that kind of stuff would get you sued.

One other thing to consider. Certain shows are not averse to two men or two women anchors. Morning shows, noon shows and 5pm shows fall into this category.

Bottom line, if you're not absolutely sure, send the tape.


Grapevine,

Can you please, please, PLEASE start twittering?


No, no, NO.

Okay, I'll throw you a bone. I just mowed the lawn.

Riveting, huh?

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