A9xw at cs.com
A9xw at cs.com
Mon Oct 12 13:03:51 EDT 2009
Many jobs in broadcasting for the most part no longer exist. The telecine
operator has gone the way of the dodo bird, but graphics arts from simple
Chyron to complicated Henry, Harry and other post devices need lots of
operators. Production still requires editors, camera operators, TD's, audio and
other skilled people. And while editing no longer requires a 2 week course on
setting up the Quad machines, and Editec II Avid and Final Cut pro programs
and such do require skills to utilize and you still have to know where to
splice the tape (albeit its a hard drive file) to get the proper timing and
dramatic effect you want to tell the story. The newer equipment doesn't need a
professional photog to operate, but the better cameras and HD do require
photog skills, and a good product requires professional training.
While some of my friends feel life in broadcasting is about to end, it is
simply evolving from old film and slide projectors and cantankerous TK41's
and other old stuff to TV station on a chip, someone still has to connect the
chips together and despite the world going digital, a lot of boxes are not
plug and play or compatible with other boxes.
Production trucks still require a crew to operate and SAT/ENG trucks
require knowledge and skill to use properly.
We can't turn the clock back to B&W and mono audio although we might think
about it, we are in the age of 5.1 sound, HD in various flavors and DTV
transmissions and MPEG encoders and fiber optics.
Older programs were simpler productions because of the difficulty using
technology, its limitations and the skills needed to make it work. Today
productions are more complex, maybe 20 layers of graphics and effects, multiple
video tracks and dozens on sound tracks, various clean, mixed and edited or
processed feeds, simulcast SD, HD, 16:9, 3:4, stereo mix down, etc. Different
conversions to serve streaming, OTA and archive or VOD or IPTV.
We used to do one or two camera TV news programs, now its not unusual to
have 12 or more with POV, beauty shots, crowd shots, wx cams, traffic cams,
etc. A single news cast might have sat feeds, ENG feeds, SOT, compiled
packages, produced packages, graphics, server playouts and lots more. There are
still producers, editors, writers, shooters, TD, audio mixers, remote
coordinators, and someone yelling to get the wrong video off the screen.
Locally in Chicago there is Columbia College that teaches hands on
broadcast/production stuff. Dave Mason is the CE and an instructor on SOTA hardware.
312 369 7467 is the office number.
Stations also have intern positions in many areas.
So is now a good time to get into broadcasting? Do what you love to do and
you'll be happy. Are some of our jobs now low pay, long hours, crummy
bosses? I bet its the same at McBurger. But do you want to be paid to watch
TV, or handle customer complaints at Sears? Do you want a feeling of creative
accomplishment or work on an assembly line at Toyota?
Engineering has to be creative, just read the station stories in the
broadcast publications. People are finding new ways to make it happen and enjoying
I've seen 45 years of change, and if I include my tinkering with
electronic stuff from age 4 with razor blade and safety pins, oat meal boxes and cat
whiskers, cactus needles, 12ax7, 21AXP22, 6066 and other ancient stuff we're
looking at 60 years. I would not have missed it for the world.
My stations just completed a new HD facility, bought a big production truck
and an ENG/SAT truck. just spent a week in DC going through a sat truck
operators certification course and met a bunch of nice people from around the
world and networked with them. Its a small industry and you see the same
faces over and over, even have some folks that have worked for me in 3
different companies, traded jobs with others and been hired by a former employee.
I don't know what the equipment will be like in 50 years, but someone still
had to know how to use it, fix it, and connect it. And when you get as old
as some of us, you'll have lots of opinions and anecdotes to share as well.
And by that time if someone doesn't like what you think, so what. Kick the
nay sayers to the curb and keep on going. Do what you like to do.
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