Sunday, March 14, 2010
entertainment industry coach question 376: Does it hurt my career if I don't watch TV? (I'm a camera operator)
I love that you're catching on and giving me the specifics. There are many classifications that should watch tv to know how they'd be cast in it, how they'd write for it, how they'd direct it, because while it's easy to get access to shows now, having prior knowledge does give you a leg up. But even for these classifications it's not a necessity to watch TV if it is a lifestyle choice.
As a camera operator, it's less necessary from your job perspective, because you could get called in for a dayplaying job, watch 2 episodes on Hulu and have an idea of the operating style.
So from the artists' perspective, not watching TV isn't a deal breaker. HOWEVER it's a huge rapport breaker, when you want to work in TV and the people who can hire you are passionate about TV and you tell them you don't watch it. It's like going to a couple's parenting weekend with a single parent as their moral support and telling everyone that you're not really interested in kids.
I personally love TV. I love talking about it with other people who are passionate about the shows I love, so yes, if I had the choice between bring you on my TV show or an operator who loves 30 minute single camera comedies, I'm not going to choose you. But I'm just one person.
On the one hand, you want to stay true to your values, and if you see TV as a "time-suck," then you shouldn't have to force yourself to watch it. On the other hand, you're in a highly competitive industry of people who are passionate about TV, so you get an edge when you're an expert in your field, and being able to talk about shows, is important.
Of course, you don't have to go after TV. If you're passionate about film, target those jobs.
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