Video Production

Putting theory into practice

by Steve Dawkins and Ian Wynd

Magazine production roles

Back to production roles and responsibilities
Director
You are in charge. In Industry, the Director would direct the show and would therefore only work in the production stage, but as this is a group assignment and not part of a series of programmes we have allocated important pre-production work to the Director

Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Manage the production team through all stages of pre-production
  • Manage the project overall; from concept, development through to rehearsals
  • Call and chair all pre-production meetings
  • Work closely with the Producer and researchers
  • Ensure all your team understand their roles and prepare them for production by practicing and rehearsing sufficiently
  • Audition, select and rehearse the presenters
  • Organise rehearsals and technical rehearsals prior to actual recording
  • Provide technical and creative feedback to the entire crew on the above
Production
You will need to:
  • Take charge of the Gallery and the programme throughout the entire live recording
  • Communicate to the Camera Operators on the studio floor via talkback
  • Communicate to the floor manager via talkback
  • Communicate to presents either via earpeice or through the floor manager
  • View all the feeds and the ‘mix’ (what is going out for output, on a bank of monitors and call out which of the feeds the Vision Mixer, should choose for output
  • Select the shots to use during recording from all of the different sources or ‘feeds’
  • Decide upon the transition that the Vision Mixer will use to move from one shot to another: for example, by using a dissolve or straight cut
  • Make very quick and accurate decisions when dealing with any emergencies such as a guest turning up late or part of the set collapsing

Producer
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Assist the Director in managing the production team through all stages of pre-production
  • Develop and organise the programme content
  • Organise and delegate work to researchers and the PA
  • Work with the Set Designer, Art Director, Lighting Designer and Director to ensure the set and studio reflect the initial concept for the programme
  • Work with the Director to audition and select presenters
  • Support the Director in running rehearsals and subsequent feedback to the crew
Production
You will need to:
  • Support the Director in the Gallery by carefully following and adjusting the programmes running order to ensure the programme runs to order and to time
  • Alter timings for each article according to the timing changes in the programme overall eg if an article runs over, you will need to trim that time off other articles
  • Adjust the order of articles and reschedule them with correct timings if necessary and communicate changes to the crews
  • Communicate on behalf of the Director, via talkback to the Floor Manager, Camera Operators and Presenters in the studio
  • Take any instruction from the Director and carry it out quickly and efficiently

Production Assistant (PA)
Pre-production
You will need to assist the:
  • Director and Producer in planning programme format
  • Director and Producer in essential research including contacting individuals to check availability of people and items
  • Director and Producer in organising and minuting meetings
  • Director and Producer with any other administrative tasks such as compiling the overall programme’s production folder and distributing essential materials such as schedules to appropriate team members
Production
You will need to:
  • Work from the Gallery and use the details contained within the Running Order to audibly count-down all the different sources, or feeds, of the programme ready for the Vision Mixer or anyone else to use. You become an audible warning to everyone within the Gallery of what is coming next and how long it will be before it will need to be used, hence the count down.
  • Assist the Director and Producer as required; you essentially become another pair of hands or eyes for them, including communicating to the studio floor when necessary.

Vision Mixer
Production
You will need to:
  • Work in the Gallery and receive instruction from the Director on which cameras or other sources to mix from and to. This would include the live feeds from the cameras, pre-recorded material such as interviews or graphics.

Video Tape Operator (VT Operator)
Production
You will need to:
  • Work in the Gallery and receive instruction from the Director and PA on when to cue and play pre-recorded video material such as articles, interviews or items previously filmed and edited for the programme.
  • Ensure that all the video material is stored correctly, on tape, DVD or on hard drive, and is ready for use.

Graphics operator
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director and Producer to develop and produce the agreed on screen graphics such as titles and credits
Production
You will need to:
  • Work within the Gallery and provide the graphics cued by the Director and PA and mixed into the programme by the vision mixer. This is frequently referred to as squirting them over to the vision mixer.
  • Ensure that all the graphics are stored correctly, on tape, DVD or on hard drive, and are ready for use.

Floor Manager
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the entire studio crew to ensure that the studio, cameras and other essential equipment are ready for use.
  • Work with the Director and Producer to ensure safe and effective studio rehearsals
Production
You will need to:
  • Ensure that the studio is ready for the live recording
  • Ensure that the studio is safe for the live recording
  • Manage the whole studio for the entire production taking instructions from the Director and Producer in the Gallery via the talkback system.
  • Function as the Directors’ or Producer’s representative on the studio floor, signaling instructions to the crew and presenter(s) using hand signals. Gerald Millerson details twenty-five of the most useful (1997:482)
  • Take full responsibility for the effective and safe running of the studio floor.

Lighting Director (assisted by technician)
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director, Producer and Art Director to ensure their concept of the programme is realised effectively through studio lighting.
  • Ensure that the studio lights are safely and appropriately rigged and focused for the magazine studio set.
  • Work with the Director, Producer and Floor Manager to ensure safe and effective studio rehearsals
  • Make any alterations or adjustments to the lighting as appropriate
Production
You will need to:
  • Ensure that the studio lighting is ready for the live recording
  • Ensure that the studio lighting is safe for the live recording
  • Work from the Gallery and using the lighting desk operate the lamps for the studio

Camera Operators
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Floor Manager to ensure that the cameras are ready for use.
  • Work with the Director and Floor Manager to ensure safe and effective studio rehearsals
Production
You will need to:
  • Ensure that the studio cameras are ready for the live recording
  • Ensure that the studio cameras are safe to use for the live recording
  • Operate the cameras and associated equipment such as the camera peds as agreed during rehearsals
  • Receive and act upon instructions given by the Director in the Gallery via your headset.
  • Compose and prepare for appropriate shots
  • Frame and focus shots

Sound Recordist
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director and Producer to acquire a full understanding of what type of sound will be needed for the programme
  • Work with the Floor Manager to ensure that the mics are in place are ready for use. This would also include the communication links between the Gallery and the Studio Floor known as talkback
  • Work with the Director and Floor Manager to ensure safe and effective studio rehearsals
Production
You will need to:
  • Ensure that the microphones and talkback are ready for the live recording eg batteries are fully charged.
  • Ensure that the mics and talkback are safe to use for the live recording
  • From within the Gallery, monitor and control, via the sound mixing desk, all sound sources, following the programme’s running order and instructions from the gallery when necessary.
  • Conduct final sound checks on the mics worn by guests prior to entering the studio so that they are balanced with the mics worn by the presenters
  • Ensure mics are made live when needed and faded out when not needed. For example, when a guest has had a sound check with their wireless tie clip mic, their mic will remain off whilst they wait in the Green Room and only be made live when they return to the studio.
  • Receive and act upon instructions given by the Director or Producer
  • Ensure that the overall sound mix eg the sound that is outgoing with the visuals is balanced and consistent in quality.

Researcher
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work as part of a research team
  • Work under the instruction of the Producer
  • Research information on potential articles, contributors and concepts or ideas
  • Source items or objects to be used within articles

Runner
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Support the work of the research team
  • Work under the instruction of the Producer
Production
You will need to:
  • Work with and for all members of the production team
  • Meet and greet guests and look after them prior to going into the studio
  • Run errands for other team members
  • Cater for crew and guests by making hot drinks and providing sustenance
  • Move people eg collect guests from the railway station and props
  • Provide any form of help or support which assists in the smooth running of the programme such as ensuring guests have signed release forms.

Scriptwriter
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director and Producer to provide outline scripts for the agreed stories, items or articles
  • Review and develop scripts
  • Produce working scripts for the presenters which follow the programme’s running order
  • Review and adjust the script in conjunction with changes implemented by the Producer
  • Ensure scripts are complete, updated and ready for use for rehearsals and the live recording

Art Director
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director, Producer, Set Designer and Lighting Designer to ensure that the overall look for the
    programme mirrors the vision of the Director and Producer
  • Ensure the sourcing and acquisition of appropriate props, dressings and costumes
  • Adhere to Health and Safety regulations within the studio
  • Ensure safe handling and storage of all props, dressings and costumes
  • Dress the set in the studio and adjust if necessary in preparation for rehearsals and live recording

Set Designer
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Work with the Director, Producer, Art Director and Lighting Designer to produce set designs for the programme
  • Produce finished set designs and set model for approval
  • Ensure the set is constructed according to the agreed plans within time for dressing, lighting and for rehearsals
  • Adhere to Health and Safety regulations when constructing and erecting the studio set
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the constructed set as required

Hair and Makeup
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Understand with the running order and guests list in order to appreciate who will need hair and makeup
  • Attend rehearsals
Production
You will need to:
  • Work on guests and presenters outside the studio (space will need to be allocated for you)
  • Be on hand to work on guests and presenters in the studio

Presenters
Pre-production
You will need to:
  • Understand the overall style of the programme and work with it
  • Familiarise yourself with the script and running order
  • Make minor alterations to the script as agreed with the Producer
  • Prepare yourself for guests and articles or items by familiarising yourself with information provided by the research team
  • Prepare questions and comments based on the above research
  • Attend all rehearsals prior to recording
Production
You will need to:
  • Feel comfortable with the set, your role, the script and the overall running order of the programme
  • Take instruction from either the director or Producer
  • Think on your feet and really listen to what guests are telling you
  • Be flexible and prepared to alter the running order if necessary
  • Stay within the agreed timings for items but be prepared to go over time or under when necessary
  • Always remain calm and in control
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