TELEVISION STUDIO: THE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCERS
Depending on how critical you may be, you may have noticed a great work of media productions that we see in TV. You may also have noticed some mistakes in the productions. How much does a television director work for the success of these productions? What does each of the producers in the television studio do? We took a stroll through some of the productions with Michael Ochola to show you just how much the media has to work for their audience.
In single camera productions,like movies,the productions are said to be discontinuous. This is to mean that the director has to work on getting several shots and takes to be edited into a continuous production during post production. The director thus uses a script breakdown. This is a guide for the director on the shots and sequences they are to follow in a particular scene. The script break down is more detailed that the filming script.
The director is also responsible for production continuity. This is where they ensure that the different shots flow in such a manner that they do not appear as different shots in TV but as a single continuous scene. The director is however cautious not to fatigue the camera crew and the talent with too many takes.
During the directing of live shows, the director asks for the dry run to acquit the talent with the ambiance of the studio. They then signal all the crew precisely. The talent is not cued too far in advance during the dry run to avoid bamboozling during the live shot. The director keeps glancing at the preview monitor to know which camera is on air; they do not cue one camera and ask for the take of another. The talent is called by name and the camera crew by the camera number. While one camera is on air, the others should be instructed on what to do next.
Should there be a technical breakdown, the director calls for a cut and informs the line manager.
TYPES OF PRODUCERS
1. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Supervises one or more producers as they perform their duties for one or more producers. He is the overall head of the project. Usually at least one, but not necessarily, Executive Producer is the “Chief Executive” in charge of everything related to the production of the show. While in the film industry an Executive Producer is usually in charge of financing the project, in television the entire weight of the production rests with the Executive Producer, who is also known as the show runner. In live TV or “as-live”, an Executive Producer seldom has any operational control of the show. His/her job is to stand back from the operational aspects and judge the show as an ordinary viewer might. In film or video productions, the Executive Producer is almost always given an opportunity to comment on a raw copy but the amount of attention paid to his/her comments is highly dependent on the overall personnel structure of the production.
2. CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
This is the second in seniority to Executive Producer. Often in television, the title of Co-Executive Producer is also given to a Writer who has written full-time on the show for many years.
3. ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Usually the associate producer has worked through all three stages of the production, from pre-production to post-production. Sometimes the associate producer title is given as a courtesy title to a key backer of the film who does not have a major role in producing the film.
4. ASSISTANT PRODUCER
Works on tasks assigned by the associate producer. Sources contributors and stories for the program.
Shares producer responsibilities as a team or group with other producers. One producer may take on creative responsibilities while another handles business functions.
6. SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Supervises the creative process in the writing room, and often aids in script re-writes. Oversees one or more producers as they perform some or all of their duties. The supervising producer may take the place of an executive producer or work for the executive producer.
7. COORDINATING PRODUCER
Coordinates the work of several producers to create a unified end result. This Producer manages the show’s schedule and arranges the staff into teams. Coordinating producers are valuable when a studio produces several related films.
8. LINE PRODUCER
Handles the physical aspects of a movie’s production and usually is not involved in decision-making regarding creative issues. This is the person who oversees the budget and day-to-day activities during filming. In addition to making sure the movie stays on budget and on target, the line producer handles any crises that may occur. Manages current staff, and finds staff to hire for the production.
A writer on the show who may not have written the episode, but contributed significantly through table reads or revisions.
10. CONSULTING PRODUCER
These Producers are former Executive or possibly Co-Executive Producers, or in rare cases directors, who no longer work on the show that much. They are called upon to assist the writers, sometimes specializing in a particular subject.
11. CHASE PRODUCER:
For news and talk show production, locates and schedules (or “chases”) guests for interviews.
12. SEGMENT PRODUCER
Writes one segment of a program.
13. FIELD PRODUCER
Selects areas to film outside of a studio and coordinates stories for a production in the field. They also form a trusting relationship with the cast/participants in order to get interviews while in the field. They may fill a number of different roles, including production manager/coordinator,videographer and also production assistant.
14. EDIT PRODUCER
Oversees the creative and editorial aspects of the program when it is being edited.
15. POST PRODUCER
Supervises the overall post production process, including editing, dubbing and grading.
16. WRITER AS “PRODUCER”
Under the guidelines of the Writers Guild of America, script writers in television also tend to be credited as “Producers,” even though they may not engage in the responsibilities generally associated with that title.
In several media institutions, one producer may carry several roles of all the other producers.
Source: Writers Guild of America