On a video forum site some (and only some) of the 'TV professionals' were up in arms about self shooting – one said the Shoot It Yourself product was 'c**p' and had a limited shelf life, another widened the debate to self-shooters in the media industry slamming them as little more than 'secretary's with cameras...'
Well my hackles rose – I thought this debate may have been put to bed some time ago but obviously not...
When I first started out as a VJ back in the heady days of Channel One self-shooting was a new, innovative concept triggered by the arrival of more affordable broadcast cameras. The sneering and back stabbing, especially in the regions, by cameramen and journalists alike, was palpable. When I moved to ITN as one of it's first VJ's a trainee sound man told me I didn't deserve to earn more than him, despite him being not long out of college and in his first job. At that stage I'd been a journalist for 9 years working in press, radio and television – I was not only a journalist but a multi-skilled journalist who could shoot, edit and report but, in his eyes, I was still 'only' a VJ.
Now everyone is self-shooting and some amazing stories are being covered that would have never been touched by the traditional broadcast outlets. You only have to look at some of the courageous and innovative videos on VJ Movement http://www.facebook.com/vjmovement. Sure some of the camera work may not make it onto terrestrial TV but would terrestrial TV ever cover some of these important and unreported stories anyway? Self shooting has spurred on a huge amount of incredibly talented individuals to take up film making. A quick trawl through Vimeo sees professionals and amateurs alike pushing the boundaries of film making.
Our business depends on people wanting to self-shoot – with training, guidance, plenty of practise and a bit of originality I really believe anyone can produce great videos. OK so it may not be good enough for the 'TV professional' boys but has anyone actually checked out what rubbish is on TV nowadays!
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