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AR June 4th, 2013 11:08 AM

1,000 Political TV Spots!
 
Don't worry, censors. Despite the title of the thread, this isn't really about politics.

Last night I had the great pleasure of appearing on a panel before a very special group of kids. . .they're bright high school students from Baltimore who've had a tough start in life but who have been given a big leg up through a charter school program in the arts started by some very dedicated philanthropists and supported strongly by Oprah Winfrey. There are schools in Baltimore, Washington and some other cities as well. The kids are college-bound, and will make it as long as they keep their grades up.

Part of the program is to give them insights into the "real world" and last night's gathering took place at this area's top video post-production house, just ten minutes from me here in Arlington. The owner of this editing house (an old friend) was on the panel along with the programming VP of PBS, and me. We each talked about the various disciplines of the production business, showed clips, etc.

But "teachers" aren't really having fun unless they're learning too. I was floored when Rob (the owner of the editing house) said that in a presidential election year, no fewer than 1,000 political TV spots are edited there in just a few months. And, with rare exceptions, each one has to be edited, finished, duplicated and distributed for air in less than 24 hours. I'd always known the number was high, and Rob had told me previously what a zoo it is over there during silly season. He makes jokes about putting police tape up in the hallways to keep the Platfields from seeing what the McCoys are doing, setting up a schedule for when each party's producers can use the break room to grab a cup of coffee, and all the rest. But I'd never heard the 1,000 spot figure before. That's just astounding.

The other thing I learned was how gratifying it is to see a bunch of kids setting off on a tough climb. A bit shy, a bit unsure, but in at least some of them the unmistakable signs of a fire in the belly. One of the things I talked about was writing, and a couple of the kids want to send me some things to critique. I was touched, and I wish them all well.

venice June 4th, 2013 11:41 AM

AR...thanks for your willingness to share your expertise and encouragement to that group of young people...for them to be able to gain insight in how the role of video post production can shape perceptions is powerful. I hope you keep in touch with the students that requested your insight

Cruznut2 June 4th, 2013 12:40 PM

Venice, Nice to see you posting again. I and many others have missed your presence here.

Laura

Lakers Fan June 4th, 2013 12:48 PM

Wow ,welcome back "Venice".

Luanne Russo June 4th, 2013 08:08 PM

AR, I think this is wonderful!! It does my heart good to hear about adults taking the time to help young people. I wish there were more like you.

Way to GO!!

Aerogirl June 4th, 2013 08:42 PM

[QUOTE=Luanne Russo;1475396]AR, I think this is wonderful!! It does my heart good to hear about adults taking the time to help young people. I wish there were more like you.

Way to GO!![/QUOTE

Took to words right out of my mouth!

Paul Motter June 6th, 2013 03:07 PM

Thanks for the insight, AR.

Somehow that figure of 1000 political spots being edited doesn't surprise me at all when you figure all of the regional markets, all of the varied political positions in any election, etc.

It is good to hear that students are interested in true journalism, but I mostly hope they are guided to report the truth, and not brought up to think the media is a tool for propagating one's own opinion.

These days - being a reporter seems to be far more about look and personality than substance - and a lot of kids going into journalism school only want to be on camera first, not in the field to report the actual news.

I would be interested in seeing what they have to write.

AR June 6th, 2013 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1475548)
Thanks for the insight, AR.

Somehow that figure of 1000 political spots being edited doesn't surprise me at all when you figure all of the regional markets, all of the varied political positions in any election, etc.

It is good to hear that students are interested in true journalism, but I mostly hope they are guided to report the truth, and not brought up to think the media is a tool for propagating one's own opinion.

These days - being a reporter seems to be far more about look and personality than substance - and a lot of kids going into journalism school only want to be on camera first, not in the field to report the actual news.

I would be interested in seeing what they have to write.

Right, it isn't so much the fact that 1,000 spots are made, it's that they all filter through that one building. It's not a tiny facility, but it's not huge either. It must be an absolute circus during those few months. The job of scheduling the edit suites alone must create ulcers.

AR June 6th, 2013 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1475548)
Thanks for the insight, AR.

Somehow that figure of 1000 political spots being edited doesn't surprise me at all when you figure all of the regional markets, all of the varied political positions in any election, etc.

It is good to hear that students are interested in true journalism, but I mostly hope they are guided to report the truth, and not brought up to think the media is a tool for propagating one's own opinion.

These days - being a reporter seems to be far more about look and personality than substance - and a lot of kids going into journalism school only want to be on camera first, not in the field to report the actual news.

I would be interested in seeing what they have to write.

Right, it isn't so much the fact that 1,000 spots are made, it's that they all filter through that one building. It's not a tiny facility, but it's not huge either. They carry about 50 employees. It must be an absolute circus during those few months. The job of scheduling the edit suites alone must create ulcers.

venice June 6th, 2013 06:29 PM

AR...can you only dream of what you could do in your field if the technology of today was there when you started out as a young man? You must love the IPAD..lol...

My Dad insisted that Latin would come in handy in my written communications. He was right...i believe young people who express a future in communications technology embrace a path that includes a strong foundation and soak up your expertise and understand that 95% of what they see on cable tv is not journalism

On my Jazz Cruise on the Carnival Freedom last November, there was a workshop that embraced an application where I could learn to play bass guitar with Stanley Clarke on my IPAD.. the technology is coming where you will not need a production editing studio, you have the "apps" to do it on your IPAD

AR June 6th, 2013 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by venice (Post 1475563)
AR...can you only dream of what you could do in your field if the technology of today was there when you started out as a young man? You must love the IPAD..lol...

My Dad insisted that Latin would come in handy in my written communications. He was right...i believe young people who express a future in communications technology embrace a path that includes a strong foundation and soak up your expertise and understand that 95% of what they see on cable tv is not journalism

On my Jazz Cruise on the Carnival Freedom last November, there was a workshop that embraced an application where I could learn to play bass guitar with Stanley Clarke on my IPAD.. the technology is coming where you will not need a production editing studio, you have the "apps" to do it on your IPAD

For sure, but I've thought a lot about whether it's all a net positive or not. In my earlier days, what we did was much more a collaborative process, which was useful, if for no other reason than somebody could stick his or her head in your edit room, lean against the wall and say, "Hey, that really sucks."

Only sort of kidding. My concern is that when people can create everything they do in a creative vacuum, it might not turn out as well. It's kind of like what's wrong with a lot of the internet these days, where stuff is just typed up and posted with no peer review, no editorial rigor. Even the best need somebody to check the work, keep them honest. It's like Scott Pelley said in my signature line below. . .

venice June 7th, 2013 09:32 AM

Have you and your fellow panelist thought about forming a specialize Junior Achievement Club and recruit some of the students who have expressed a sincere interest in this area and take them thru the process from A-Z?

AR June 7th, 2013 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by venice (Post 1475623)
Have you and your fellow panelist thought about forming a specialize Junior Achievement Club and recruit some of the students who have expressed a sincere interest in this area and take them thru the process from A-Z?

As I understand it, their school is essentially doing that. I'll check with the powers that be. Worth looking at.


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