Thursday, 6 November 2008

Chen Yunlin, day three

Didn’t have to participate in the circus today. Thank goodness. As a reward for working so hard the past couple of days, we were sent on two entertainment assignments, both on different variety programs on FTV. We were gone for eight hours, moving about non-stop. It was nothing like reporting on protests, but program promotion stories always entails a ton of waiting because there are just delays after delays. We were delayed 45 minutes at the first place and two hours at the second. It’s easier when you are certain that things will be ready in two hours, because you can just take a break and come back, but when you’re standing by the whole time, its frays the nerves and takes a toll on the body too.

Honglin, my cameraman this week, would still not stop complaining about how hard he was getting worked. He was at wit’s end, and driving me to that point too. Last night at the riots in front of Ambassador Hotel, he said to call for replacement or backup because after four hours of nonstop running, clashing and filming, he was really tired. Everyone was tired. So another reporter and I called both called our assigners and told them of the situation. The chief editor then went to talk to the head of photog, who then called the cameramen in the field and asked them what’s going on. Fearing the guy that’s been with FTV since its founding and his reputation of giving you hell if you don’t agree with him, the cameramen said, “nothing, we’re OK.” So no replacements were sent, only backup because the riot was indeed getting out of hand, and the cameramen just kept complaining. But Honglin, knowing he was in trouble for asking for the impossible and angry for how unfair life is, was in a bad mood, which carried over from yesterday to today. I’m glad he’s working really hard at his Buddhism studies, because he really needs something to help control his emotions.

Most cameramen at news stations here have a bad temper and are infamous for complaining and picking on new cameramen and reporters. I’ve been through the so-called “initiation,” which included being ridiculed in very public settings and being refused requests for certain shots and cuts. So many of them are like that. I’m glad I’m finally somewhere in the organization where I don’t have to take it all the time now. I don’t pick on new people, but at least they won’t pick on me.

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