Behind the Sins
(I was supposed to post this for Daily Post WordPress Challenge but I’m already three days late. I hate to send this on the bin though. The question is this: Do you prefer being behind the camera or not?)
In those rare moments when I reveal to someone that I’m a journalism student, always, one reaction would spring out: “Oh, we can’t wait to see you on TV soon!”
I guess it’s understandable in some level. Filipinos love their media and what most of them usually see, they usually love. I can’t speak for the aspirations of other journalists as I am only fresh in the industry myself, but I can understand the expectations and misconceptions other people mostly associate with us and I bet those successful ones, both off and on-the-camera, heard the same words over and over again. Words like, “Oh you’re gonna be a famous reporter” or ‘maybe “OMG! We’ll see you on TV soon!” or something to that effect.
In every career there is, the ultimate form of success is something society would impose on you. It goes the same thing in journalism and media, a field most people overlooked and taken for granted. Ironically, the great minds behind the media, behind the newscasts, behind the special effects you see in TV and behind those teleseryes you can’t wait to watch in prime time are rarely exposed to the public. What the people usually see are the actors, the live reporters, the news anchors and hosts and this forms a predominant belief that being in front of the camera is the ultimate form of success for journalists. Nobody can blame us, the society. The people on-cam are the ones who get to travel around places, rub elbows with politicians and celebrities and get their faces exposed in TV or their voices aired in radio every day. Filipinos are hungry for media exposure (Just watch those variety shows every noon and Youtube videos) and for them, being granted this opportunity is too good to be true.
Those working behind the scenes are virtually unknown to the great public. The names of those editors, video crew, researchers, writers, graphic artists, photographers, videographers, directors, etc. are only seen in the credits but their work and craftsmanship are present throughout the finished media segment. In one of her talks, acclaimed documentarist and GMA News Anchor, Kara David, said that the awards she reaped for her amazing documentaries are not of her work alone. It is the collective effort and product of the whole team. People off cam are as important as the people in front. It’s amazing how the little black camera sitting atop a dolly could draw the line.
Some people deliberately shy away from the spotlight out of choice and preference. There are journalists out there who declined getting caught up in the limelight for many reasons and some do actually enjoy the production work and I am one of those people who fell in this category. From the start, in production works, I never like being shoot at; I prefer holding the guns, which are my camera and recorder. I don’t want to be fussed over. As narcissistic and self-centered I am, I can’t even write a decent piece about myself or some sort of autobiography. I also hated being questioned. The half-completed autobiographies I tried to create can pass off as horse crap. I hate being the center of attention. Not out of shyness or reservations, I just enjoy the creativity behind the camera and the writing and I guess those journalists before me feel the same exhilaration and thrill of having to work by the sidelines, gratefully away from the horrors of the camera.
Now as media continues to grow and develop in a much faster rate than any of us could imagine, as it grows dirtier and uglier, as it continues to push for changes no matter how much of a mess it will get into just to inform and influence the people, the challenge of having to work in production is getting narrower. With the advent of social media, anyone with a camera and a lot of guts can be instant famous and I hope through this, people will eventually realize the joy of the experience of production works, and yes, it can be worth it to work in the sidelines. To work behind the scenes and sins.