Television after 1990. The nation?s chemistry
 

And then I said to myself, hey mate, it?s time to make some money for yourself! And I set up a company, which went on very well. It had its ups and downs. Afterwards, I turned myself into a mere televiewer. I used to suffer when seeing the bad quality of certain stuff and be excited by the good quality of other. Ah! I am not there! I didn?t do this? And, obviously, with my company and in order to make money, I entered this publicity, advertisement area. I had a good time making commercials. For around three years. And then, I got bored again. I think that there are very many clever guys who are wasting their time on trying to make somebody buy something. And I came back to my old love: the documentary, and I came back to television, but this time as somebody selling his product.

I was really successful with ?The Everest!? I was both the cameraman and the director. In TVR I entered the week?s ?best of? that day. A documentary doesn?t attract a general wide public. But I know that those in Arbomedia, those who do the advertising and watch the rating, placed this film on the third place. For me, the movie had been a great thing. It is only now that it comes out on DVD. After two years of drawling. Juridical drawling. I swore myself I was never going to return to a television. But it is this thing of bovine sentimentalism: when I see a nasty stuff on TV, I get mad. Who could have done it? It doesn?t matter the acronym of the television, but I would really be happy for somebody to change that stuff. I am personally offended by the bad quality of that image.

When I see something cool, I am envious. I remember the joy I used to feel when coming home to see one a good promo, mine or of one of my colleagues?, or a nice campaign? it was flattering. It?s a mirage! I have just returned to Realitatea TV, because I really liked the idea of starting all over again with a nice team, of learning new stuff. I have already experienced nice things! But it won?t last? because I don?t want the documentary thing to slip off my fingers.

Now, I came back to television because I have missed it. I have had my own production company for several years, which moves on pretty well and I left television aside. All the more that I don?t find time to do documentaries anymore, because last year I had to deal with taxes, rates and did nothing else. But now, Bose called me to come and change the promo for Realitatea TV and I landed here for a while. If the majority of the people leave television in order to have their brain washed, I came back for the same reason.

I have several of the first commercials which appeared on TV on tape. Because I was working for Channel 31, the first private TV channel. Only TVR and Channel 31 had equipment for advertising. In TVR, the guys used to do underground work, filming commercials. Yes, that was a beautiful world! In time, the agencies started looking for private entrepreneurs. That is, for us. This is how I ended up doing montage for commercials. I did the montage, the screen versions. I think I filmed and did the montage for 90% of all commercials on all TV channels. Hence the waking up when hearing a commercial. I thought I was at the mounting table and I forgot to put something in! Yes, I had a lot to do with the evolution of the commercial in Romania.

I used to be the witness of technical changes for a long time. But, this, again, is the part of television people speak very rarely about, even if it is so important. For example, even in cinematography, special effects, music and filming effects have changed the movie very much. I remember the way we worked and what mounting table we used and the trouble we had to go through. How we managed to inscribe over a commercial: ?Colgate makes your teeth turn white?, for example. We used to print the slogan on a paper, stick it on a wall, while filming with a camera. And if the guy printed something on a poor quality paper, I can?t even imagine the result. You know, there were some unimaginable, unbelievable things going on back then. You had to make I don?t know how many copies of that tape, till you got it right. If a guy from a foreign television had seen something and had come to ask you to do that stuff, you couldn?t do it? The success of a certain group of people doing montage resided precisely in this. We used the microscope for nail and the other way round, we drained a machine of all its technical capacity, making it doing things which weren?t even mentioned in the technical book? It was something crazy because you had to invent everything since we had no equipment.

I don?t know if today one can do this any longer. I came back to television two or three months ago. I know it sounds pathetic, but at the beginning of 1990, one could say that certain families were created? It was that amount of time that one was wasting within a television. I must have spent around five New Year?s Eves and Christmastides with my colleagues. We used to share and smell everything together. After 48 hours of incessantly doing the montage, certain bonds were created. I think this is very important for a team! It is like a sort of magic which keeps the group together, I don?t know what it is, but it is effective?

The girl I am visiting right now to borrow a car from used to be my colleague. We cursed each other, threw each other out, yelled at each other: give me lights or I?ll set the house on fire! This is a nice side of the problem. Only the building yard crews are like that, where people interact perfectly. Or maybe, how shall I know, the pioneer spirit of the ?90s, like in the Wild West, kept us so close? we were all in the same boat. Inventing a world!

Translated by Raluca Vîjîiac

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Martor nr 1/1996
Martor nr 2/1997
Martor nr 3/1998
Martor nr 4/1999
Martor nr 5/2000
Martor nr 6/2001
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Martor nr 8-9/2003-2004
Martor nr 10/2005
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Martor nr 12/2007
 

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