Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Television Production Classes: In the Field

Monday and Tuesday saw me in the classroom and out in the field, well downtown Fresno, CA.

Why?    Because this was the week of the Field Production class, at CMAC studios.

My classmates and I all enjoyed getting to grips with the Sony video cameras used at CMAC.


William Elliott stands beside tripod on location shoot in downtown Fresno as part of the Field class at CMAC. Photo taken by Kevin Hobson
Holding the Camera on location Photo: Kevin Hobson


Though you might consider having very low vision might be an obstacle to camera work, I am having a great deal of fun behind the camera. In fact I think my low vision actually gives me an idea about light and the basic tool of photography in all forms is an understanding of light.

As my vision changes dramatically as I move from light to shadow, or exterior to interior, I can I believe think more like a camera operator. I think in terms of aperture, source of light, brightness and contrast.

I don't know if I am right in this. But we will certainly see in the future.


Knowing what will be in the picture is important for the camera operator. Here William Elliott uses the view finder to frame a few shots while on location photo shoot in downtown Fresno CA. Photo Kevin Hobson.
William Elliott Checking the view finder on Location shoot. Photo Kevin Hobson
During the two day course we  learned that filming out of the studio is no easy thing. For instance all of us found the low late Fall sun was more an hinderance when lining up our shots. As so often the sun was just in the line of shots, causing our cameras to blow out the shot of the road signs and buildings which we were supposed to capture as our field training videos.

Of course only a bad camera operator can blame the sun for ALL their bad shots.






Also as part of the class we learned about interior lighting for those times when we will need to take out a camera and lighting rig for location interviews.

Playing with lighting can be very productive. For instance do you want to make an interviewee look good then light them from the front and side. If you want them to look villainous light them from the side alone in order to create shadow on their face.  To make someone look older, light them from below this causes wrinkles to pop out of the face.

Also during the class I got to talk to the station about my ideas for production.

I need to work on items such as timings, the amount of time devoted to interview in a programme. I also need to work on finding content. My initial idea is a series of possibly monthly, maybe bi-weekly magazine programmes. Shows will contain ideas on health, causes of blindness, maybe a skit or comedy sketch to relieve the perceived heavy subject and a news or technology tutorial section.

The program name is not decided as yet but having asked a few people then "Blind Side of  Fresno" seems pretty popular.

As for airtime, that is uncertain at the moment but I am thinking Early Spring 2016, possibly as early as March.

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To see the first post of this series go to  My Week in the Television Studio

Or take a look at my new Photography Store on Amazon.com  Fresno Camera and Video