TV-BAY
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>> poverty. And now in the programme production industry only a small percentage of people earn high salaries. About Graham I worked for the BBC for 21 years, first as a Camera Assistant, then as a Cameraman, before leaving as a Senior Cameraman to work as a Freelance Lighting Cameraman. So why am I writing about painters? Because I think there is now so much talk in publications, like TV-Bay, that are about the hardware, new cameras, monitors, etc., that it can seem that if you have the latest camera or edit system that’s all you need to make great programmes. The ‘art’ seems to have become very much less important then the hardware. On of these young enthusiastic people said recently how much she had enjoyed editing a three camera music video but knowing how a editing package works does not make you an editor. How can they learn about the ‘grammar’ of picture editing – something audiences feel when it is ‘right’? - just as knowing how a camera works does not make you a cameraman. Talented people know how to make great pictures and programmes because the creativity comes from the soul, so I don’t think you can teach creativity but creative people do need to be nurtured in skills and technique as did the young Joseph Turner. How and where can this be done? At Ravensbourne College it takes me a morning to explain to the students how a studio camera pedestal works but it will take about 2 years of using one to become any good at it. I work on every type of TV programme both in studios and on location, single camera and multi-camera with a very wide range of camera equipment. As a Lighting Director I work both in studios and location lighting both small and large events. As well as being a Sessional Lecture at Ravensbourne College I run training workshops on camera work and lighting for training companies. To contact me please email me and to see more about my work and please visit my web site: grahamreed2006@yahoo.co.uk www.grahamreedlightingcameraman.com How will these students get this experience? I see badly exposed and framed pictures on TV, why? It’s worrying that I often meet other cameraman who have no idea how to operate a studio “ped”. As many programmes are made in studios using pedestals often used by operators who were trained by the BBC or ITV but when they retire who will be left to operate this equipment and how will the new operators be trained? Are the operators not trained, don’t they know how to expose and frame properly? Who taught them and more to the point who booked them? I have great respect for boom operators as well, but I know of no training for this very specialised sound skill. Using radio mics alone is not the same because of the lack of sound perspective. Cameras no longer need engineers to maintain them, VT machines no longer need a whole room to house them, so it has become a belief, especially by producers, that anybody can use them. Training is very often considered no longer necessary as the equipment is easy to use and because of all the keen people eager to work in the industry at any price where there is always somebody willing to run off with a camera and work with very little training and often for little, if any, money. I know I have written mainly about camera work because I’m a busy working Trainer and Lighting Cameraman/Lighting Director but a lack of training concerns me in all craft skills. It used to be that after people trained in the BBC they went and worked for commercial companies. Then they were very employable because they had recognisable skills as BBC trained people. But now...? British craft skills mustn’t be allowed to drop because our best TV programmes – like the best American shows - sell around the World. For now. 46 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Next month..’Will the TV industry recognise formal training schemes? “