Of Moving Pictures, Talking Heads and Community TV

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By Art Tibaldo

Consumer Atbp.

Monday, March 31, 2014


A TEAM composed of seven high school students from the Pines City National High School accompanied by two of their teachers went to the Baguio Cinematheque to see me for some helpful guides and tips on television broadcasting. Below the silver screen of the seventy five seat community movie house, I said to the students seated in front row that television is very much unlike movies that once moviegoers gets inside the movie house, they become captive audiences for ninety minutes or so. Television is very much different because the audience or viewer holds a small device called a remote control and they are free to switch from one channel to another depending on their likes and what interests them while in front of the boob tube or flat screen.

I emphasized however that both media format captivates audiences in consideration of the visual appeal, sounds and total impact or what I call the VASTI combined citing the importance of defining moving pictures, clear sound and good direction of all elements presented. The actor’s and actresses’ faces are shown in great detail when projected "bigger-than-life" at the silver screen therefore they should look credible enough to convince the viewers of the role they play. On the other hand, TV broadcasts are measured by its varied contents from news reports, soaps, reality shows, and even weather reports and commercials.

TV programs are most often shown on smaller screens and that is the reason why producers, directors and editors compress as many visuals or tight shots in every segment because every viewer wants to see more at different angles. Television shows provide the viewers with wide shots to establish the setting, medium shots as well as close ups of personalities that orchestrate the program. In television, the program director takes control over flow of the show from technical matters to the presentation whether it is for news or noon time shows. Cameramen were trained to capture and focus captivating scenes in every live or canned production that’s why their eyes are not always glued at the viewfinders but they are always on the lookout to what’s happening around them. In production sets that has multi camera units with monitors, the technical director or editor uses a mixer to switch from one camera take to the other and feeds the video output to the live feed or media recorder.

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For live productions for example, the actual implementation of a television program can be pegged to just 10 to 15 percent of the whole effort as there are other work elements such as; production design, reservation for the chosen venue, casting, script writing, set designs, props and costume preparations, catering, sound, camera and lights preparation, talent booking, crew orientation, transportation even hotel reservation on. Even nationally aired productions such as the yearly State of the Nation Address by Philippine Presidents commands a no-nonsense preparation that does not only require the technical expertise of the Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM) people but also the whole gamut of the Philippine bureaucracy for the packaging of the Presidential speech which is more or less a compilation of administrative reports and plans of action.

What is great with community television programs is that it gives an alternative to Manila based national broadcasts that shows local talents and features local issues and concerns. Since 1993, barely two months after my training in Japan on Video Production, the Cordillera News Agency together with Nuvue Cablevision initiated the first ever community television show in Baguio after workshop conducted at the University of the Philippine-Baguio. With broadcast executive Jing Magsaysay, writers Baboo Mondonedo, Rolly Fernandez, Laida Lim Perez, Peppot Ilagan, Helen Tibaldo of the Philippine Information Agency and Prof. Patricio Lazaro of UP as among the convenors, we started the first and longest running community TV program in Baguio, the “This is Baguio TV Show” which still runs up to now. We did a live coverage during the 1995 local elections with Peppot Ilagan, Domecio Cimatu, Miel Laoyan, Lilian Oliva, Carlota Leung and students from the Baguio Colleges Foundation, Saint Louis University and UP-Baguio and that started the regular community news programming by Skycable-Baguio with Andrew Pinero and Jojo La Maria as among the newscasters. A 1994 link up between the Philippine Information Agency, DZEQ Radyo ng Bayan-Baguio, Skycable Baguio and the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club with the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives (CARE) as the main sponsor gave birth to the regular “Hours with CARE”- Kapihan Sa Baguio with my wife Helen as the main host. With community television, Baguio Community soon had other local public affairs programs from VIACOM and Mountainview cables.

What is great with such community programs is that it can go on even if the expected guests failed to show up. In such instances, the hosts can always fill the gap as we did recently with veteran radio broadcaster Jimmy Luzano who now shares his time with me every 3rd and 4th Thursday at Cordillera Skyline aired over Skycable-12.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 01, 2014.

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