Saturday, February 6, 2016

Back in the TV Studio

I stand beside a studio TV camera, wearing headphones to hear the control room behind me the set lit for interview.
William at the camera
This week saw me in the television studio again. I was working with a producer who had gone through the training process with me last November. It was fun to work with her, I think I must push harder to get my programs off the ground.

Her program was recording both an interview and a music spot. To be finished off in post production, that is she would use editing later to make it look like we recorded the band playing and then did a recorded interview before going back to the band. The good thing about video and such is that if you record things well enough you get to play around with time.


The whole program recording was scheduled to last about four hours. Crew call, the arranged meeting time was set for noon, the band to arrive  at about 1pm recording two songs, this became four songs and a couple of dances, then  then the last hour an interview of about fifteen minutes in length.

The hour from noon till one was spent setting up the cameras we were using  four cameras for the shoot,  it had originally been five cameras but one broke down in preparation. The breakdown was frustrating as it would have been shooting some of the close-ups of the singers in the band. Argh Technology. Don't you hate it sometimes?

So with the studio finally set up we milled around the studio, as we seem to do a lot on such occassions. Waiting for the band.

When the band arrived it was huge, drummers, trumpets, trombones and a giant Sousaphone. Eeek. The studio is only about forty feet wide and deep, then added to the musicians there were five singers. In all the band totalled twenty performers, then their manager and his  people were also in the studio. The studio filled up pretty quickly.

We then set about doing the work on audio. This means setting up microphones the sound engineer sets the volumes and balances out in the control room. For those of us on cameras it is time to set focus and plan shots. Then more waiting as everyone else gets ready.

Then at last all checks done. The director calls through the headsets to check that we cameras can hear and when we confirm we can they roll the recording, actually nothing rolls these days as a program is recorded on an SD card not video tape or film.

Cue the band.

Erm! The sound just beats into my chest. I now can no longer hear anything but the band, it is fifteen musical instruments after all, all of them playing as loudly as they can. Loud is not really the word as trumpets call out in harsh peels. I wonder if I am in a studio or in the midst of a Mexican bullfight.

I am just left blind and now deaf to any instruction. The director could be screaming in my ear for all I know. I hear nothing but the music.  I just am left hoping that no one is calling a new set of shots from me because it ain't gonna happen.

Finally the band stop.  The directors voice now rings out clear. We need another take, the band need to look more like they are enjoying the show.

"Roll Record"

The music hits me again. I Hop happily behind my camera, dancing and swaying, oblivious to my directors calls again. Embraced by the songs of Old Mexico.


To see my earlier posts on my Week in the Television Studio Experience CLICK HERE