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.


turdpolisher said...

Well said. I was an admirer as well.

Kenneth said...

Now he can interview God and pay him 50 cents.

Ray blessed us all by sharing his talents. He was by far the most interesting part of the workshop and I use something from his tool box everytime I turn on the camera.

Thank you Ray for being a part of this photojournalists career.

Kenneth "Colonel" Corn

Anonymous said...

About 8 years ago a scabby Chief Photog named Joe handed me a dusty ol VHS tape. The labels, peeling at the corners, only had one word written on them: Farkas. He said take it home, watch, and learn. I did...and it literally changed my life. My eyes opened, and my skills as a photog/editor/journalist changed forever.

Kenny . said...

Mr P

OT but have you seen this blog yet?

Anonymous said...

A great man who I had the pleasure of meeting in Oklahoma a long time ago. His stuff just made you go "wow" why didn't somebody think that up before.

RIP Mr. Farkas

jeff amernick

thom4 said...

Mr. Farkas spoke at the NPPA Oklahoma workshop I attended a few years ago. I give him credit for single handedly changing the way I frame talking heads. He energized me at a time when I was pretty burned out and ready to hang it up. I had just never seen interviews shot and framed like the ones he directed. It blew me away and I still get out my DVD's from the workshop and plot to steal one of his shots when the opportunity presents itself. I'm very sad tonight. What a great man.

thom moynahan
orlando, FL news photog