…But also because (you may have noticed in earlier blogs) I’m a great fan of small and medium businesses, and those run by families especially. They are the bedrock of our economies, and are not celebrated enough.
The US-based Family Firm Institute suggests that up to 90% of global GDP is produced by such companies.
They would say that, I suppose, but it sounds fairly credible to me…
On the one hand you remember how SMEs or Mittelstand are what made Germany great, and on the other hand (here in South East Asia) you seem to pass nothing but family firms, working hard, on scales great and small, as you pass though the countryside and urban centres - truly big concerns are much fewer in number.
So, here I am - appealing for recognition for them…
I told the audience at last year’s awards ceremony in Prague, how frustrated I was at the BBC when our news agenda was captured, rather, by the diary and the torrent of ‘news’ emanating from the commercial giants - from Apple to AstraZeneca.
Well there were lots of frustrations, alongside lots of rewards, working at the Beeb.
For example I was reminded, while recording the above clip, how long filming took!
As a radio reporter, you can be in and out in a flash, recording an extended interview, link and even interesting sound effects. No reverse shots and the whole bang-shoot. Fewer cooks to spoil the broth. That was my attitude, most of the time.
Being in a TV studio was a sweltering experience for me, too - I used to have to spray my head with anti-perspirant, would you believe it? Now it’s much cooler - the 4kw electric fires (sorry, lights) hanging above have been replaced with LED clusters.
Yes, things have got simpler, in some ways.
I first went out as a TV reporter with a camera operator, sound recordist and a “spark” - a lighting electrician. The above clip was created by just me, my superb partner and an Iphone.
But that doesn’t necessarily make things easier - hence this final train of thought about filming for TV.
The weather’s bad here in SE Asia at the moment, disappointing tourists since the middle of December! The mornings have been best. Cloud and torrential downpours (this is meant to be the dry season) set in from lunchtime, and stick around until the next day.
A 6am start is good, too, because things look pretty, and there are fewer crowds around. But, without lights or a reflector, you want to face the sun. It means your shadows will be right behind you - very long at that time of day - hard to keep out of shot, while keeping something interesting in the background. The light will change quickly, so you’ll adjust between takes. And then the fishermen will fire up their loud engines, and the joggers will emerge. And - (you know how hot-headed I get!) the sunshine and humidity will have you wiping down every minute!
So a “piece to camera” which you could have finished inside two minutes is a two-hour shoot for TV. And that has me wishing for a proper crew to help with even the simplest links - and not nostalgic for my full-time TV reporting days!