Saturday, January 05, 2008
Farkas the Remarkable
Anyone who’s ever framed up another human should lower their lens tonight, for a master of the craft has passed. Ray Farkas, known far and wide for his generous nature and languid storytelling style, succumbed to colon cancer late Friday. His death marks the end of a brilliant career, one spent adding to the palette of TV news and inspiring everyone around him in the process. He produced an abundance of coverage on matters large and small; he seemed able to create gripping television out of thin air. A pioneer user of the wireless microphone, he redefined the sit-down interview with obscure camera placement, abundant cutaways and a fly on the wall feel. His very name denotes the approach, making him one of the few producers to expand the lexicon of TV News. But the Ray Farkas school of thought transcended the soundbite. When he contracted a sever form of Parkinson’s Disease, he documented much of his treatment, including one session in which he narrated his own brain surgery … live! Enthusiastic, innovative and affable, Farkas was a favorite among his many brethren at NPPA. Those of us lucky enough to rub shoulders with him in at the Norman workshop were among the legion of shooters who sought and received his tutelage. Ray Farkas the man may no longer be with us, but Farkas - the broadcast term will be used and revered for as long as TV cameras roam the Earth. His legacy will only grow - every time a television photojournalist pulls w-a-y back from the subject at hand and dares to stare at it differently.