Roll! Shooting TV News: Shooting TV News:Views from Behind the Lens / Edition 1

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Roll! Shells fly overhead as night-scopes capture deadly fire fights with an eerie green hue, a category 5 hurricane devastates the Big Easy, hidden cameras enter a Cambodian village of brothels and a veteran journalist interviews himself throughout his own brain surgery. Part non-fiction drama, part trade publication, part text book, all woven together giving the reader a look through the viewfinders of the very best television photojournalists.

As 19 experts weigh in with their candid, personal stories and photographic tips, it's as if you're over their shoulders, following their intuitions and hearing their thoughts as they shoot. The trade term for what they do is called ENG (Electronic News Gathering) and whether they're called Cameramen, Backpack Journalists, Television Photographers or any other moniker de jour, they're all paid to bring the world's events into living rooms around the world. These are the men and women who capture the bleeding edge of history - as it happens.

Written in a smooth, unique interview style, this book is a necessary read for photojournalists, videographers and tv photojournalists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rich Underwood's book is the first comprehensive study of a subject that has been shrouded in mystery for too long. I've always felt there's a real art to shooting news and documentary-style productions; finally someone has come along and proven it. Practical advice and insights from working professionals are mixed with technical information in an easily readable style. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject, even if they're only shooting home movies!" - Richard Crudo, ASC

"The best storytellers show us what we might miss, even standing next to them. These pages are filled with the best. At long last, a book that captures not only the nuts and bolts of our business, but also the adventure. Rich Underwood has created something rare—a tool that teaches both the most experienced and the beginner at the same time." - Bob Dotson, American Story with Bob Dotson, NBC News Today Show

"A lively primer in life behind the newsroom doors. If you have ever wondered what happens when the TV photographers gets the big assignment, this book will give you the details." - Bob Brandon, Freelance cameraman, author, and winner of the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award

"This advice from some of the most outstanding video photojournalists in the industry is just as useful to the hundreds of former still photographers who now are moving into the video world and posting their work online. Roll! goes way behind theory to the The micro- specifics of how the best photojournalists do their work.
If you want to know the best lights, best microphones best tripod to use—it is in there. If you want to understand depth of field, motion and shot composition—it is in there. I have been around TV news for more than 30 years and found myself scribbling the pages with my highlighter pen so I could come back to Rich Underwood's advice again and again. This book is a winner."

Al Tompkins
Author, teacher, journalist
The Poynter Institute
St Petersburg, Florida

"The book is both a celebration of top-class news-based camerawork and an excellent primer on the logistics and practicalities of shooting news stories while maintaining high production values. Overall, the book is well structured, informative, and extremely well written, capturing the emotions as well as the technicalities, both on and off-camera, involved in getting the story from camera to screen."

Dudley Darby
Guild of Television Cameramen
Spring 2008
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240808482
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/22/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Rich Underwood teaches Advanced Cinematography at San Diego State University in California. He is a working director and cinematographer. More about the author's production work can be found on

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The History of Television Photojournalism - From the Beginning
Chapter 2: John DeTarsio, A Storyteller's Story
Take 2: Storytelling
Chapter 3: Larry Hatteberg, The Chain Of Command
Chapter 4: Eric Kehe, The Photographic Department - People and Equipment
Take 2: The Language of Lenses
Chapter 5: Stephen Hooker, Camera Techniques for Spot News
Take 2: The Shot & Motion
Chapter 6: Christian Parkinson, General News - From Kings to Commoners
Chapter 7: Ray Farkas: Interviews - Talking Heads and Voyeurism
Take 2: Composition
Chapter 8: Corky Scholl, Feature Stories, B-Roll, Sequencing and Great Moments
Chapter 9: Lisa Berglund, Truth and Filmmaking, Objective and Subjective Camerawork.
Chapter 10: Ian Pearson, Legalities and Ethics - Do the Right Thing
Chapter 11: Mitchell Wagenberg, Covert Camera - The Fangs of the Fourth Estate
Chapter 12: Heidi McGuire, The One - Woman - Band
Chapter 13: Greg Stickney, Live - What TV News Does Best
Chapter 14: Sam Allen, Get Into the Game - Athletic Photography
Chapter 15: Brian Weister, Editing - A Cut Above
Chapter 16: Mike Elwell: Embed - War Coverage
Chapter 17: Bart Noonan, World Coverage - From the Top Down
Chapter 18: David Hands, Freelancing in TV News
Chapter 19: Rustin Thompson, From News to Independent Documentaries
Chapter 20: Kevin Sites, The Future of Journalism
Parting Shots
Appendix A Video Formats
Appendix B Setting Up a Video Monitor
Appendix C More on Lighting
Appendix D RCFP First Amendment Handbook (brief outline)
Appendix E RTNDA Code of Ethics
Appendix F NPPA Code of Ethics
Appendix G Sound

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