THERE ARE TIMES IN WORKING FOR SELF, as a MultipleMedia Manager™ when work is coming through really slowly; at these times even watching tumble weeds blowing through town can seem like a welcome bit of excitement [Ooh eee!]… and then there are other times when media events are literally coming at you thicker and faster than a hail of Klingon Birds-of-Prey class Battle-crusers, decloaking off your starboard bow with obvious malice aforethought!… This is something that definitely demands your full attention methinks.
June 2017 has been one of those months, where everything suddenly and inexplicably flies off the “fo shizzle”; from nought-to-sixty-six thousand in 6 seconds! This boom/bust kind of existence, is obviously not to everyone’s taste, and having to suddenly negotiate “strange new world’s, civilisation…” and any amount of random: “to boldly go-ing” can actually do ones head in. I, on the other hand, have lived this way for over a decade now, and one gets, dare I say, sort of used to it.
With a snap General Election being called here in the UK this year, and having close working alliances with the Greens in my area, I automatically flipped into Videography mode, as you do, covering intense campaigning for the candidate standing for MP in the local constituency. Mr Rashid Nix is not only a candidate who has a history of standing in these elections, but is a close colleague and a long time friend, and every few years I am blessed to get to experience the behind-the-scenes of this weird kind of bubble world, which most people recognise, albeit wrongly, as the epitome of politics. For me the epitome of politics has to be the work that is done in the four years in between an election, but hey, what do I know?… I’m just the video guy. [frown]
Events usually range between political hustings, street canvassing, and conducting “pieces-to-camera” for publish via social media, and other assorted behind-the-scenes stuff. There is usually a tight schedule, but it almost always goes out the window, and we usually end up “winging it” as time runs out, and polling day draws near.
This year they allowed us to do some extra BTS at the actual count, which always ends up being a very long night, I guess they are getting used to seeing us there.
There are other various projects that I’ve been working on as of late; some of which are private, so I can’t tell you too much about them at this point. One major video project basically takes the form of a documentary. We’ve shot about fifteen hours of footage so far, and it is looking good. It almost entirely consists of head-and-shoulders interviews, with a few location pieces for added aesthetics and dynamism.
I’ve had to dig deep and use my journalism skills when interviewing to extract hidden nuggets of information buried way below ground zero within each of the interviewees, which has been quite a challenge, as they all have different personalities. It’s like being a kind of video detective.
I haven’t worked on a documentary for a good while, and it is the first one that I’ve shot completely with a DSLR, which has it’s own challenges, as they overheat if you shoot for too long, and the file sizes are huge. Having said that, the quality is really excellent in comparison to the usual DVCam. In a few days time I will begin the edit process to produce a first draught, and we’ll take it from there…
Then there was the Red Carpet Event. These are usually quite straight forward, and once you’ve done one, you’ve done them all. Again I was shooting video, not stills, which can be a bit of a struggle when you’re standing with a load of frustrated photographers in the press area who all seem to hate you. The photographer and the video man are not friends!… [Cue the song from the movie Oklahoma]… Photographers hate the video light; Videographers need the video light; something has to give… I ended up doing what I had to do with my light turned down very low in order to accommodate them [ain’t I nice?]
The event was: the British Restaurant Awards, and my main job, after battling angry photographers and filming the arrivals on the red carpet, was to briefly interview the winners of each category after they had received their award. I set up my tripod in a room to the side of the main event, that for some reason I thought I’d have all to myself: WRONG!… The small room quickly filled up with other interviewers, from other channels, video people and a complete online pod-cast set up, and I can tell you, trying to interview someone in a noisy room of other interviewers, where you don’t even have time to think is not fun. Not only that but I didn’t have a presenter with me this time, so I had to work the camera, the lights, AND ask questions while watching the audio levels on an external Zoom h4n hand recorder!… Intense or what! I can laugh now, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.
Throughout all of this I have still been maintaining my street photography, which seems to be my main passion right now, and I somehow managed to find time to still go out and take some interesting shots. My library of images is getting a bit crazy, and managing them is something I’m going to have to do a lot better. There’s always something to shoot, and I’m slowly realising that just because of this, doesn’t mean that everything I shoot has to be shared online. Only a tiny percentage of the images I shoot actually make it onto Instagram or Facebook or whatever.
The image displayed here, is one I happened upon on my way to the West End. Some Latin Americans had gathered in Trafalgar Square to highlight some terrible events happening back in their native home under the hashtag #SOSvenezuela. What I gleaned from the protest, people are being heavily abused by government, locked up, and even disappeared. The protesters spoke in their native language which I don’t speak, but I think you can tell from the woman’s expression, lament and general demeanour, that she had lost a very close loved one… it was very moving.
Lastly my MicroWebSeries: The Life&TimesOfaMultipleMediaManager, which is a commemoration of my ten years working for self in all the various disciplines of media, but together as one conglomeration; hence the term MultipleMedia. The idea was to aim at producing two short episodes a week; looking at, basically, my life and times… However, this has reduced down to one a week thanks to how hectic things have suddenly become. Currently at episode 29, and realistically I can’t see it going past 52 episodes; one for each week of the year, which would still be cool.
The Goldilocks principle though, is messing with my world of MultipleMedia, because of it, things it seems can never be: “Just right.” Either things are slow, like at the beginning of the year, and I look forward to a time when work will pick up, and then when work suddenly picks up, albeit waaay too quickly becoming hectic, I growl for things to slow down again; manz just can’t win!…