Amy Bowers TV Talk
"When I Am Queen"
When I am Queen, TV news will be much better,
and more fun.
Nobody will do a story because Somebody
is making an Announcement somewhere, and we donít have anything else in
We will tell the truth. We will use both
sides of our brains, and our stories will carry emotional depth and informational
If youíre curious about a place you havenít
been, I will encourage you to go there, and report on it, when I am Queen.
If your conscience is shocked by something,
you may tell it.
If you have a story idea, but canít support
it with an article from the paper, I will admire your originality. I will
not insist on seeing your idea in the Washington Post before I put
it on the air.
We will cover it, even if it isnít about
middle-class white people.
I will not allow you to put your name on
hand-outs that you cannot verify or confirm.
I will continue to outlaw the vertical
frame, the jump cut, and the stacking of medium shots.
I may even start watching television again,
when I am Queen.
A reporter whose market is beyond my sovereignty
wrote the following to Shoptalk, a widely read newsletter for TV news personnel.
His reference to the NPPA is the National Press Photographer's Association.
>From: Rusty Surette
>KETK NBC- Tyler, TX
>RE: Flash-Fast Pace Photography
>Dear Shoptalk Readers:
>I'm a big fan of KPRC "News 2 Houston"
because of their photography
>techniques. So, I was wondering....what
other stations do the
>Flash/Fast Pace/MTV Style shooting? In
other words: ANTI - NPPA.
>Email me at Mercury4@aol.com if anybody
knows of any other stations
>that dare to be different. THANKS!!!!
As the future Queen, it was my duty to
>From: Amy Bowers
>freelance field producer
>and former NPPA-style network news shooter
>To Rusty Surette,
>I don't think that NPPA style shooting
has to do with the pace of the
>finished news story. NPPA shooters are
conscious of camera movement.
>If you don't want a building to wiggle,
or you want a rock-steady
>interview, you use a tripod. This does
not mean that all camera
>movement and quick cutting is "anti-NPPA."
It just means that
>UNINTENTIONAL or THOUGHTLESS camera movement
>Same with editing. The NPPA-trained photog
shoots sequences. When you
>cut away from the interview to the supporting
b-roll footage, you can
>choose wides, tights, close-ups, or reverses
to build your description
>of the subject. You are not stuck flashing
to one cut-away, and
>flashing back to interview, due to a
lack of variety in the shots. But
>even MTV style works best when the images
tell a story.
>If you like a camera that tilts and moves,
you can certainly do that
>with intention. Same with dramatic camera
angles and composition.
>I haven't seen News2 Houston, so it may
be that they are using shots
>that are unintentionally out of focus,
poorly lit, under/over exposed,
>or shaking for no real reason. Maybe
they are using footage taken with
>no natural sound. If that is the case,
they are anti-NPPA.
>NPPA-style means clean, creative and
descriptive. As far as I know
>it's the best way to tell a TV story.
I believe it includes a range of
>style from "classic documentary" to "TV
magazine" to "gonzo."
>Rusty, when you "dare to be different"
in your work, do you commit to
>photographing your vision? Or are
you getting negative feedback
>because you don't know what "screen direction"
is, and you refuse to
>learn the basics?