The six types of TIFF reporters

The six types of TIFF reporters

The foreign press descends on to Toronto today, specifically the TIFF press office on the second floor of Sutton Place, creating a United Nations of sorts with the common goal of snapping a photo of George Clooney. The real frenzy starts this evening at the opening gala so for now we’re knocking back free sandwiches at the press lounge and noticing that reporters, showing off their photo IDs hanging from green lanyards and toting a TIFF gift bag (which contains a Metropass!), all fall within six categories:

The Broadcaster
Attire: They are impeccably dressed at 9 a.m. For women, it’s flower-printed sundresses and blister-inducing espadrilles. For men, it’s the slightly more comfortable blazer and jeans combo. Attachés: BlackBerry, small shoulder bag or purse. Behaviour: Constant texting and phone calls to segment producer. Posse: Middle-aged camera crew carrying all the heavy stuff. Celebrity goal: An encounter with camera-friendly George Clooney so that five-second, self-congratulating clip can be replayed over and over again in promo clips until TIFF 2010.

The Photographer
Attire: Safari vest, faded polo, cargo pants, Geox sneakers. Attachés: Two canvas camera bags containing a giant flash diffuser; occasionally a tripod is carried over the shoulders. Behaviour: Typically noshing on something or smoking in an alleyway. Posse: Other photographers they worked with on previous publications or met at TIFFs of yore. Celebrity goal: A classic shot of Michael Caine as a throwback to old Hollywood. Failing that, celebrities without makeup!

The Seasoned TIFF Writer
Attire: For women, practical pantsuits with orthopedic shoes. For men, suits without ties and dressy loafers. Attachés: Their trusty notebook and BlackBerry for filing stories Behaviour: Nonchalant, been there, done that attitude and eye rolls at stupid questions asked at press conferences. Playing hookie at a café. Posse: Publicists across the city sending invites to their parties. Celebrity goal: The seasoned and somewhat jaded reporter doesn’t have anyone to fawn over. Didn’t you know? It’s unprofessional for a reporter to fawn over an interview subject.

The Overwhelmed Intern
Attire: Jeans, sneakers, unironed shirt. Attachés: Backpack, point-and-shoot camera. Behaviour: Flustered and hesitant to ask anyone for help. Often seen pacing back and forth from TIFF’s media headquarters to Yorkville. Posse: Typically alone or latching on to a more experienced reporter for leads. Celebrity goal: An interview with George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Megan Fox, Matt Damon and/or Demi Moore in hopes it’ll translate to a full-time job.

The Blogger
Attire: For men, thick-rimmed glasses from constant computer usage, comfortable T-shirt under a cord blazer, boat shoes or loafers without socks. For women, thick-rimmed glasses from constant computer usage, comfortable T-shirt under a cardigan, ballet flats. Attachés: Laptop with unusually long battery life. Starbucks paper cup close by.
Behaviour: Bent over laptop on the edges of a free Wi-Fi zone. Posse: Alone. Celebrity goal: Local talent is the key to differentiating themselves from the mass media, with targets set on Michael Cera, Atom Egoyan, Kristen Booth and Reginald Harkema.

The Internationalist
Attire: Business casual attire that’s appropriate no matter what country they’re in. Attachés: TTC map, BlackBerrys racking up the long-distance minutes.
Behaviour: Eating at restaurants and cafés locals never visit. Staking out Sassafraz from the Lettieri across the street. Posse: Three or four fellow TIFFers from the same publication. Celebrity goal: Talent from their home countries in addition to George Clooney and Colin Farrell, who have worldwide appeal.


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