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On-camera talent?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by alleyallen, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    First, let me preface this by saying I've done broadcast journalism and even took some schooling for military broadcasting, etc. However, this has always been a pet peeve, and will likely NEVER go away. Still ....

    When someone is getting interviewed, DON'T TURN THE CAMERA ON THE FREAKING INTERVIEWER? I'm watching Jeer-uh-mee She-app do an interview about the World Cup and they kept shifting the camera view to him, nodding semi-intelligently while the other guy talked.

    I do NOT want to see Schapp talking. He's not the focus of the interview. ESPN did the same thing with Michael Irvin and T.O., and plenty of other stations do this. It's freaking annoying. I don't care about the talking head off camera. I care about the interviewee.

    Rant over.
  2. I agree, although they're not turning the camera on him. It's a two-camera shoot and the editing manages to get the "reporter" in the report.
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I understand the terminology and that there are, indeed, two cameras. I just meant what the viewer is seeing is shifted from the interviewee to the interviewer, who is just nodding his head like one of those water-glass-drinking birds.
  4. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    It's always been a pet peeve of mine watching 60 minutes. Why the hell do I need a reaction shot from Mike Wallace or Dan Rather or Ed Bradley? Ask the fucking questions and let the viewer watch and listen to the response without attempting to influence the audience by your facial expressions.
  5. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Or, it's a one-camera shoot and reversals were shot afterwards.

    9 times out of 10 it's done for editing purposes.  You MUST HAVE something to cut away to.  You cannot have an interview subject drone for 5 minutes on one subject with no cuts.  Sorry.
  6. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    ESPN was doing a good job of that, intermixing clips of the World Cup, etc., during the guy's talking. That's fine. I just don't need to see Schapp or Irvin or anyone else bobbing up and down like a nitwit.
  7. Seabasket

    Seabasket Active Member

    I agree. That's the television equivalent of having a conversation with someone and staring them in the eye for five straight minutes. It's just creepy and uncomfortable.
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Alley, I'm sure you've "done" broadcast journalism... but as somebody who has "done" it for 12 years-- and done a shitload of editing:  There are times when I've been sitting in an edit bay and would've given my left tit for a reversal shot of the interviewer.  You can't always cover with a b-roll shot.  It just doesn't work that way.

    Most people have no concept of how television is put together.  Most have no concept of how the viewer gets bored with more than :10 seconds of the same shot-- or that simply covering every cut with b-roll is too repetitive.

    Just read heyabbott's post.  Yeah, 60 Minutes doesn't know what it's doing.  It doesn't know how to edit or make compelling television.

    C'mon guys.  There are plenty of other things to pick on the in TV world........
  9. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    We're talking about it from a TV "watcher's" view, not an editor's view. I have much more interest in the interviewee than the interviewer. But I also understand the difficulty in putting it together.

    I'm simply saying I don't like it. Didn't know I had to have a broadcaster's approval before expressing dissent.
  10. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member


    What if I got on here and started complaining about a procedure in the Navy-- something to do with a ship.  And I thought I knew what I was talking about because I've been aboard ships-- many times!  But as somebody who has served, it's clear to you I don't totally have an idea of what I'm talking about.

    It would make your hair hurt.

    You think you want to see the interviewee the whole time.  Broadcast television just isn't done like that.  I may have seen a public access show done like that-- maybe.  Not alot of people watch public access.

    For example, if we wanted to get the interviewer's question into the piece-- for clarity's sake-- i.e. if a questioner asks Barry Bonds, "Did you use steroids?"  And Bonds' answer is "No."... You can't just run Barry's answer, "No" without the context of the question.  And in that case, you'd probably want to see the interviewer ask it anyway.  I'm giving an overly simplified example.

    The bottom line is that putting together a piece is an art.  There are subtleties and "feel" to it.  I guess your post is bothering me so much because I've spent my career trying to get good at that art.  And you're boiling it down to "don't show the interviewer."  It's sort of insulting to me and my craft.

    Now, you could argue that the editor did a poor job of choosing Jeremy's cutaways-- that she chose awkward ones or chose too many of them.  But please don't make Jeremy sound like an ego-maniac who wanted his cutaways in the piece.  I guarantee you he had nothing to do with how it was edited... and for that matter, he's a credit to this side of the profession.

    My hair hurts... gotta go now... gotta go edit my sit-down...........
  11. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    From your perspective, it seems like the right thing to do to show the interviewer, for the reasons you mentioned below. But from the dumb, average viewer's point, it's something quite of a few of them dislike. As much as we like to make fun of our watchers, listeners or readers, sometimes they have a point, even if from a production standpoint we disagree.

    But hey, you don't have to like it ... just understand there's several people out there who dislike it.
  12. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member


    When you edit what the interviewee is saying, you have to have some other piece of video to cover the edit. That is frequently why the interviewer is shown - to bridge two pieces of video that can't go back to back. People who don't like it should sell their TVs, because it isn't going away.
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