Monday, June 05, 2006

I recently had the joy of reading blogs by Lenslinger... I I've now been inspired.. his look back at the start of his career in this wacky business we call "television" was eerily similar to my own... so he I will share my random thoughts and observations as I forge ahead in this business.

I guess you could say what really got me into this whole mess to begin with was working in the theatre in High School (thanks to my sister on that one...) My childhoos love of switches and buttons and lighst that flash and chaneg colors had me mezmorized the first time I walked in on a pre-show light check.

I walked into my first TV station when I was only 15... It was only a community cable, all-volunteer joint. They put me on camera my first night, and at that moment, I was hooked. THIS was what I was looking for all my oh-so-short life to do. I quickly progressed onto other things such as audio, editing and directing. But that's not what did me in...

A friend of my Dad's was an engineer at WUSA, and had arranged a group tour for him and his buddies. They had just moved into their new Broadcast House a year or so before, so you could still smell the fresh paint on the walls. Going past the security desk with my adhesive "Visitor" badge, that smell of fresh paint mixed with the smell of sweat. I was stoked! You could just feel the energy oozing out of every surface in the newsroom. From moment one my jaw was on the floor. As the tour progressed, going through the studios, engineering, the tape room, production facilities (If my could've dropped any lower, it would've been in the basement!) & Art department, my fate wa sealed. Not only did I like working in television, but the pros had MUCH cooler toys to play with.

I went to school and majored in Communications with a concentration in Broadcasting. Long story short, I didn't finish (yet). I even taught my TV Production professor the finer points of non-linear editing. After an unsuccessful attempt at actually graduating, I ended up here in Hampton Roads.

After hawking cars for about a year, I decided to finally do what I wanted to do, and got my start as a Part Time Production Tech at WTKR. I had one foot in the door, but I was still unsure of exactly what I wanted to do. I quickly befriended many of my coworkers and many of the people in News. After countless Fridays at the local media hangout (read: bar), I quickly figured out that above all else, I wanted to shoot.

Now, I wasn't going to let my lack of experience hold me back. Fortunately for me, HS football season was fast approaching, and they needed people to step up and shoot (on a freelance basis) some games. I practically raced to the newsroom & volunteered. Having shot some games in high school was really going to come in handy. The first footage I brough back quickly caught our sports director's eye and as he cut the VO, gave me pointers on how I could make it even better. By the end of the season I was editing my own footage with ease, and even garnered a few "3 to See" nominations. At season's end I was named "Rookie of the Year" by the Sports director & producer.

The next year I was not only holding down my production duties, but freelancing with news as an editor. I edited a few shows here and there, and as soon as a full-time Photog/Editor position came open, I jumped at the chance. Of course I got the job, or I wouldn't be writing this.

Since then I have gotten to know the dreaded VOSOT patrol, the dreaded MOS's and uncooperative producers (as well as some really darned good ones). As crazy, trying and frustrating as this busness can be, I couldn't be happier. Not only do I now get to the "cool toys" I drooled over as a kid, but the comraderie can't be beat. Having your hobby become your job ain't so bad...


Blogger Lenslinger said...

Welcome, Chris. thanks for the plug.

9:55 AM  

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