This week we are at my nephew's graduation from Washington University in St. Louis.
It's graduation time all over the country, and thousands of parents and families now have the rare priviledge of sitting in a big room for four hours while 890 people get up and have their names read one by one... by one....by one..
This was so much fun that when we go back to New York I am going to ask Lisa to start each day with a 3-hour reading of the Manhattan telephone directory.
In any event, they are nice kids and they're off to start their careers.
My nephew Adam is going to work for HSBC, the Chinese banking giant.
Soon I will be asking him for money.
But last night we had dinner with a few of his friends.
One of them wants to go into the local TV news business.
Better he should go to a bank, but I asked him how it was going.
He had, in fact, graduated a year ago and had taken a job with the local NBC affiliate in St. Louis.
For the past year he has been working here as a PA, a production assistant.
He is hoping to be a 'producer' one day. One day.
In the meantime, he is being paid $9.35 an hour and is limited to 30 hours of work a week.
At that rate it will take him 15 years to make back the $200,000 in tuition that his parents dropped to get him an education (assuming he does not eat and sleeps on the street).
I asked him what he was doing in his job.
Research and 'helping' out.
He asked for advice.
I had two pieces of advice for him and anyone who wants to make a career in TV or video:
Learn to shoot
Learn to edit.
The demands for high quality video are enormous and growing exponentially. Between 1000+ cable channels, iPads, iPhones and the web, we have built a massive machine that virtually eats video 24 hours a day.
Working as a PA in a local TV news station is not going to teach you how to fill that void.
We talked a lot at dinner and before it was over he told me that he had an idea for a reality show.
I told him: go shoot and cut a killer 2 minutes.
That's how you get started.
But first, learn Final Cut Pro.
Then I told him to sign up for NYVS.