Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gear is nice, but people are most important

I often hear from young people who have gone on interviews who like the people they've met but are disappointed in the station's equipment. "They're still editing tape to tape," or "the set didn't have any flat screens," or "the newsroom had old computers."

Seriously? Like this stuff makes a bit of difference in your career?

The young generation is obsessed with technology. You want the newest, the fastest, the model with the most features.

But give me a great photog, and I'll beat you every time. You could have state of the art editing and a high def camera. Give me an old 3/4 deck, a 1984 BVU 800 editing system and a terrific shooter, and I'll still win.

Because producing great television isn't about equipment. It's about people.

I worked in one station that was just about falling apart. But the photogs were world class, and so was the rest of the staff. I spent time in another station with the best of everything, yet all the photogs but one were lazy and the staff was phoning it in.

I don't have a single story on tape from the second station.

Viewers at home don't care if you're shooting on a new camera or editing non-linear. News Directors watching resume tapes couldn't care less what gear you have, or if you're anchoring with a plasma screen over your shoulder.

When looking for a job, the main thing to consider is the quality of the people with whom you'll be working.

You've probably noticed that technology becomes obsolete very quickly. Quality people don't wear out. Today's camera may be tomorrow's trash, but a great staff will still be great next year.

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

i think i worked in that first station with you. still using the lessons those guys taught me. that fancy betacam the guys across town owned while i toted 3/4 inch gear, let's just say it went the way of the TK. people are a newsroom's greatest resource.