Where are the Pros?
At the risk of sounding like the elitists that I hate, where are all the questions from the industry professionals? It seems that most of the questions are things that shouldn't need asking if you're truly working at the broadcast level. The thought of using a computer and a scan converter as a CG? Using an SP camera back as a VTR? What are frame rates? I must ask the question of anyone reading this who may be responsible for those posts, Are you in school of is video just a hobby?
I appreciate the sharing of knowledge, and that's what the forum is for, I just thought that most of the exchanges would be at a higher level.
Sorry if I've become one of "those" people.
It's the democratization of video. No longer do you need million dollar linear edit suites to put together local car commercials. Now, with any number of desktop editing solutions and a decent camera, people can and are putting together product in their basement. Is this a bad thing? Probably, if you're still invested in the million dollar suite. Unfortunately, the knowledge level that came with those suites isn't usually available to the desktop video editor. A good V-scope/WFM combo costs more than the gear producing the show, and you can't adjust levels on firewire deck anyway. The good thing about this is EVERYONE has a voice - the diversity of thought available on any subject is astounding! The annoying thing is EVERYONE has an opinion, and wading through the flotsam to find meaningful work is becoming more and more difficult. And, it's only going to get worse. Video iPods, better web delivery, means more and more 'stuff' out there to see. Think about this - where did you see the 'Christmas light house' - on a commercial or in an email a friend sent? (My wife wants lights that do that next year!) It's easier and easier to provide content to the masses. And if you are one of those "People don't want to view poor video signals" people, remember this - 'America's Funniest Home Videos' become one of the biggest shows on the air showing really crappy VHS and 8mm video.
The main question, as I see it, is not where is the knowledge level. The question is at what point are you letting the technical side impede your creative side? At some point, the lack of technical knowledge is going to cut off the creative message. That's when you become interested in the technical side. My fourteen year old son is in a video production class in high school. I can't imagine where I'd be if I had access to that technology in high school (although I had a really cool darkroom!)
The point of this rant? I'll answer what questions I can to help raise the level of professionalism. Our 'craft' is an interesting blend of art and science. When you don't have an engineer babysitting a million dollar suite to explain IRE, frame rates and why you need to white balance so you don't have to 'fix it in post', it's really hard to acquire that knowledge. On the flip side, I believe it's important to seek out the knowledge of others. I like to think of the COW as a virtual engineer! And by the way, those or you who wish you were one of 'them' will be in several years. Those of you who are 'them' probabaly wish you were one of 'those' - it's an exciting time in video. You just have to choose wether to ride the digital wave, or complain about getting wet from the spray.
My two cents....
"So you want to throw out the old you - but the old you is old enough to know it won't make it better"
Del Amitri - "Make it Better"
Sometimes it is hard to remember the long hard path all of us "professionals" had to climb in our career a long time ago. As a result we can become impatient with "newbie
[tony salgado] "Anyone who is daring enough to ask a stupid question has made the first step to enlighten themselves"
[tony salgado] "No one should ever fear asking a question instead never learning the answers is a greater tragedy in itself."
I have always said the only stupid question is the one not asked, because the person needing the information is too embarrassed to look stupid. You end up looking much more stupid when you fail to ask questions.
[tony salgado] "Many years later when I was in the position of answering questions instead of asking them I recalled the responsibility I had to pass on the knowledge gained from those before me."
And after over 40 years in the business, I still ask qustions, along with the fun and rewarding part of answering those I know at least part of the answer to. We honestly never totally know the complete answer to anything.
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Lots of great answers about "paying it forward". I understand the frustration about the proportion of newbie questions... The COWpokes have also responded to this need already, by recently creating creativecalf.net as a place for the more entry-level questions. I expect that will take off gradually. If you feel you are particularly expert at any certain aspect, you might take some time to visit there looking for people to help, because the better job they do there, the fewer "annoying" questions will wind up over HERE.