Practise Multi-Camera production

For the past few days we have been in the TV Studio at college learning how to do different roles that are involved in a multi camera production.

On the first day I was 3 roles. At first I was the visual mixer, thats when the director tells you which camera to put on as a program (the video being recorded) or as standby (the video up next). I liked doing this because all I had to do was listen to the director and wait for their instruction, however it wasn’t very challenging or fun. But, from watching a video from the BBC of the vision mixer from strictly come dancing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135766), I have realised that when you’re a professional vision mixer you have to be quick and creative to know which shot should go next, even if the director didn’t tell you to switch you should know which shot you want up next, they have as much control over the different shots as the director. I then swapped to be the role of the director, which I loved doing because I enjoyed being in charge. It was stressful when people let the camera drift, or it was out of focus, when you have a set idea in mind. I then was the camera operator (which is what i originally wanted to be, but now I’m drifting towards producer or director, something more challenging), and I actually found it quite boring because you just stand and watch what the talent are doing.

On the second day I started off being the floor manager, which I also liked because I was in charge and not being told what to do, much. I then was a camera operator again. Then we swapped, and I was the talent, which I didn’t like because I didn’t know what exactly to say and I felt pressurised. Then I did the lighting upstairs, which was good because I only had to turn one set of lights slowly up or down, and also the director at the time didn’t tell me when to do the lights so I had to do it on my own accord. I then did the sound, which was alright but I wouldn’t like to do it normally because it would be too technical and confusing for me.

On day three, I repeated two of the jobs I had done in the previous days. At first, I was talent in a quiz show that our tutor had made for us. Then I was the person who followed through with the script and scrolled down as the talent spoke, so they knew easily what to say next. Then, I was the directer again. This time, directing was easier in the aspect of I knew when someone was going to say, so I knew when to cut to what camera. However, it was harder because I braved telling the camera operator to change shots depending on what was happening downstairs. For example, when the preseneter was talking to one contesent I asked camera 2 to zoom in to just those two characters, and then asked the operator to zoom back out to the three characters, and then zoom back in to the presenter and the other contestent. Because I was messing around with the camera angles, I wasn’t really focusing much on what was happening and got quite confused.

From doing these two sessions I have changed my career path and now I want to be in charge of a group, and I would rather not being told what to do.

Final TV Studio Production

On our final TV Studio Production, I was asked to work with 5 other people; Maddy, Amie, Isaac, Tiarnan, Ellen and Corey. Firstly, we chose our roles. By doing this, (since I was on the computer, typing the roles down) I asked everyone what roles they want to do, and then they chose it. I chose floor manager because I wanted to be in charge of something, and Isaac wanted to be the director.  Then, we had to make the running order for the show and the script. We listed out a couple of things we could put in the show, and the narrowed it down specifically to estimate timings. Then, Maddy, Amie, Tiarnan and Corey started working on the script now they knew what was going to be in the show. Whilst that was happening, Isaac, Ellen and I was downloading the video tapes and shortening them down to put on the hard drive. A running order is important so that when we are filming we know how long each segment is supposed to last for, and so that we don’t go over the timings before the TV company cuts us off prematurely.

We then started to finally rehearse. They went pretty well, but not perfectly. As floor manager, it’s hard to know when to queue the talent in after a VT because you don’t know when it’s finished. Our team did work together pretty well, the director told the camera operators what to do and they did it. I also scrolled down the script for the talent to read while the show was going on, whilst queueing in the audience. There was one mistake of me not fully listening because I was trying to listen to the people downstairs whilst blocking our the director while they talked to the camera operators. I’m pretty pleased with the production, even though it didn’t go 100% perfect.

Here is our TV production, Hickmeister:

This video is actually a rehearsal, because they didn’t record the real run through. Since I was the floor manager, it look like I didn’t count the talent in after each VT, but it was actually because the director didn’t count me in after a VT which made it harder to know when to tell him to start talking again. Also, the video was sometimes shaky because the camera operators didn’t know when their camera was on live.

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