The Chain of Command

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The Chain of Command

welcome to intro the studio media my name is Chuck lions and today we’re going to go over a lesson called chain of command and we’re going to talk about who basically answers to who who the bosses are what job responsibilities are for all the different positions in the TV studio we’re basically just going to be talking about the positions that we use for the television production studio here in green high school there’s a lot of different job descriptions and different positions that we won’t be talking about today that actually take place into some bigger studios but let’s start off talking about the chain of command will be working with our PowerPoint here so hopefully this will give you some information that you’ll be able to take notes on this particular section the production team we want to first to talk about a production team I have for the studio production and also really with any type of production and who makes up the production team first of all there are three phases to TV production we have pre-production we have production we have post-production pre means before post means after and then production is when we actually do it when we actually have the cameras out when we’re actually doing some taping out of the three of these as I have mentioned in some of the other classes the absolute most important part is the pre-production that means that’s where you sit down that’s where you do your planning you sit down with pencil and paper write out everything talk about what’s going to happen because you have to have a blueprint you have to have a roadmap in order to do a good production if you do good pre-production it’s going to make your production goes so much smoother the better your production goes that means that you’re not going to have to spend as much time in post-production which usually is not a lot of fun you can really wrap up a lot of hours in post-production so we really want to pay attention to spell Ashley to sitting down talking about it getting out the pencil and paper and planning our production so pre-production is the most important part if we talk about our production team or production team really they sent down to develop an idea for the video what’s our video going to be about if we’re working in the studio what are we going to be doing in the studio we want to plan the production from start to finish how are we going to trance make this transition from the idea that we have into the did the video itself a lot of times you have ideas up here but how are you going to convey that message you know what are people going to see on the TV set what are they going to hear you have to plan out all those things and the original idea for the show it might come from really anybody you have a group sitting around brainstorming and maybe the idea of somebody in the community told you about something that they would like to see on TV so it could be an idea from a citizen it could be an idea from somebody as part of your production crew and so you want to brainstorm and come up with a real good idea that’s going to make a big difference in the production in our production team we have lots of people involved you cannot do it by yourself or it’s extremely hard to do a big production and especially a studio production you just can’t do a studio production by yourself lots of people involved your aunt producers and directors and seen directors and technical directors and camera people and talent so there’s going to be just lots and lots and lots of people you know involved in the production I want to start down through basically referring to our studio productions right now want to talk about the the top dog and first of all we want to start out by the person that’s in charge of a production and that’s the executive producer if you can remember the word executive that’s going to help you on the test and the executive producer is responsible for all aspects of the production they are the big boss of the production just think about a TV show maybe NCIS you would have an executive producer for the entire NCIS TV show now there might be 10 episodes 15 episodes each of those episodes might even have a different director but usually there’s one person that’s in charge of the production for NCIS and that’s going to be the executive producer and he’s the big boss and everything stops right with him and that we talked about the buck stops here that means he can’t blame

anybody else he just has to take full responsibility for the production if it’s great he takes all the accolades if there’s a problem with it and then he gets blamed for things and I guarantee you he will pass them down the line but he’s the one that’s responsible for everything about a production we have our underneath our executive producer we have a producer / director in a big production you might have a another producer you might have a separate person as a director but for a lot of the productions and things that we’re doing we generally combine them together the producer director is really responsible for a particular production maybe they have to NCIS shows that they’re doing but they are responsible for a particular production they report to the executive producer executive producer is their boss and all of the talent technicians are going to answer to the producer director and they are the ones that they’re going to really run the show in the studio they’re going to be working with everybody and they’re going to produce the show and they have to know every aspect about the show and what’s going to happen so the producer director really they’re responsible for a particular show and their big boss is the executive producer and I want to talk briefly about it we’re not going to go into a lot of detail but in any production you have writers they’re the ones that basically write the scripts very very very important people we’re not going to be dealing with this as much right was this that much right now but writers they either make a show or they you know it will fail if you do not have good writer for show that’s why a lot of times TV shows they after maybe two or three years the show kind of goes downhill and it’s jerilee because the writers ran out of ideas you have to have good writers in order to be successful they prepare the script they interpret the message and they write down everything about what they want people to see and hear and they determine you know what the format of the show is going to be is it going to be a documentary is going to be an instructional it’s going to be reality TV and what you know type of style what type of quality the writer just really has a lot to do with the show we’re going to jump down I’m going to skip over a couple of different areas for some of the bigger shows you have art directors and and you have different different people that work in trying to put the show together but I want to just kind of cover the people that we’re going to be working with here in the studio we also have what’s called the these people fall under the line of above the line personnel and below the line personnel if we if we mentioned above the line personnel these are your non-technical people think of it as the people that really they sit down they work with pens papers computers these are the ideas people these are the people that organized put everything together they’re not the people punching buttons and running cables and getting the camera set these are the non-technical people and they can be everything from your executive producer to your producer director writer talent art directors musical directors choreographers production assistants floor managers people for makeup for costumes these are all above the line personnel and once again they are non-technical people and they’re the one that basically create the show and then we have the blow the line people and this is basically your technical crew these people can include your technical director your TD for your lighting tech CG for computer graphics teleprompter operator audio tech video tech audio playback technician cameraman’s engineers grips basically anybody that has anything to do with any piece of equipment and they’re doing something with their hands they’re pushing buttons or running cables or running cameras these are your technical people and they basically called them to blow the line personnel so you have above the line if you want to think of that as some people that work with pencils and papers and and talk through ideas and put the show together and then the people that actually make it happen are going to be your below the line personnel and that’s going to be all of your technical crew let’s go on to talking about some of the people that we’re going to have here in

the studio we talked about the executive producer then we talked about we have our producer / director right below them now we’re going to get to the below the line personnel first of all we’re going to have the technical director the technical director is the person who is generally the one that controls the shots that we see we’re going to be working with three cameras so the technical director would be sitting at the board what we call the switcher they’ll be able to take a look on little monitors and they can pick from camera one camera two camera three they can pick out whatever shot this is to be used now they might be advised by the producer director who generally stands behind them a producer director might like to actually call the shots but the one that actually punches the buttons up so we can use camera one or used to or maybe go to camera three next that’s going to be the technical director and that they operate what’s called doesn’t switcher video switcher and they just switch back and forth to different cameras or they can switch two different inputs such as a computer whatever it might be all of the technical staff they’re going to be taking directions from the technical director so in our case the technical director will be the one that we see at the switcher they will have the intercom system on and they’ll be able to talk to our cameramen and our floor director in the studio but the producer dry the technical director and that their direct boss is the producer director now let’s talk about the studio in the studio we have cameramen we have cameraman camera women they just usually refer to them as the cameramen they are basically responsible for the operation of the camera and the tripod their job is to make sure that the camera and the controls are working properly and everything you know is in order if there is an issue if there’s a problem that they can’t figure out they need to report that to their boss which is the technical director they could say I’m having I’m having trouble on camera three there’s an issue over here and we need to know that before production starts so that’s why you need to get to your cameras you need to get the cameras booted up turned on all the things that you need to do with setting the white balance and setting the exposure if you’re having any issues make sure you communicate that ought to the technical director because before the show starts they will be asking you they’ll say camera one are you ready to go and you got to say I’m ready do you know how to pan the camera do you know where that word locks down that are you familiar with that tripod do you know how to pedal stole a camera if they ask you to do that so you’re responsible for the operation of the camera all the camera controls and also for the tripod so you can pan tilt and also pedestal so you need to be familiar with those things you are also responsible to keep the shot in focus now most of the cameras we’re going to be using here or auto focus cameras but in a regular studio with big studio cameras and then you have to focus the camera your job is to keep it in focus and also for desired composition you should know what the technical director wants whether they want to bust shot close-up shot medium shot whatever it might be you need to know the different types of shots and you’re responsible to give them on the desired composition that they want so you need to take that advice from the technical director now you will give them that composition however the final call that we use the word call which means decision the final decision whether to use your shot or not and rest strictly with the technical director if you give them a lousy shot the technical director should be able to see that and say camera one that looks terrible you need to zoom in tilt down whatever it might be and the technical director does not have to call up your camera they still have two other camera shots that they can work with so actually the final decision on whether they’re going to use the shot that you’re giving them that rests with the technical director if you give them the shot that they want and they don’t have you change and it’s the responsibility and that they’re the ones that have a chance to actually see the image before it’s actually recorded that’s our technical director and let’s go let’s talk about our lighting technician in our situation it’s very simple we have a series of light switches that you need to turn on I have

those all mark basically what they star the studio was not set up properly when it was built the light should never be on off on switches they should actually run back to a room they should be on a fader control where each light is capable of being dimmed when you can set this light at fifty percent power this one is 75 turned this one on off whatever it might be unfortunately we do not have that so it’s going to be very simple we’re just going to actually not have a lighting technician we’re just going to have the cameramen when you come in what you need to do is go over and turn the light switch is on they’re all marked with a star but the lighting tech is responsible for the light on the set that means the area that’s being filmed if it’s too dark and they need to turn on more light now they report to the technical director technical director would say hey the back corner on the left side looks dark could you put another light their fourth so they are responsible for the lighting on the set now we’ll talk about audio we have our audio technician the audio tech they are responsible for all of the sound or the audio in the production all of the sound whether it be music whether it’s voices whether it’s sound effects whether it’s coming from the computer whatever it might be it goes into our audio mixer and the audio technician has control over the sound what they are going to do is they are going to monitor the level or the game the consumer word for that you might think of as volume but don’t really like to use the word volume but they monitor the level or the game of each channel we have a channel for each microphone if we have five people seated up here and that we will have five microphones and they will have control over each of those mics their job is to make sure that it is recorded at the proper level it’s not too strong and distorted it’s not too weak too soft you’ll get a very thin weak sound we want to just right and they’re going to have a chance to monitor that by viewing the vu meters and we’ll talk about that later when we cover the audio board but they are responsible for the sound if you can hear somebody well that’s the audio tech that’s a problem with them and that they need to know what’s going to happen and what needs to be heard not seeing all they’re dealing with is strictly the audio they’re also responsible for the operation of placement of the microphones on the set you know like I said if we have five people up there we bring you five guests in they need to go over they need to get each person hooked up with the microphone make sure it’s at the proper location make sure that each microphone is turned on so any microphones that are used on the set they are also responsible for that since they are technical they’re going to report to the technical director we also have what’s called the audio playback technician audio playback technician is responsible for playing back any type of audio that could be a CD player with music that could be an mp3 player maybe you have your phone with your mp3 player in it and you’re going to play a song off of that you are responsible for having that song that sound effect whatever it might be you need to have it cued up that means it’s going to play song three if that’s what the producer wanted you want to make sure that that song is correctly cued up so when they asked for that music to be played on the countdown 54321 on zero when you press the play button we’re going to hear music that is your job just to make sure everything is the right song the right sound effect whatever it might be audio wise have it cued up and ready to play at the precise moment now you can’t control the level of that that’s not your job your job is strictly to have the correct song up there the audio tech will take care of the proper game so the audio playback technician is responsible for having the correct audio cued up they might operate a CD player mp3 player a computer that you’re playing music off of a hard drive it could be even audio that you’re pulling off of an old videotape a VHS tape maybe a cassette tape whatever the source is you’re responsible to know how to use that let’s move on to our next one going to talk about the video playback technician video playback tech like audio they are responsible for the operation

of different pieces of equipment it could be what we call the VTR video tape recorder even though we’re not using video tape too much anymore they still talk about the video tape recorder they shorten that down to usually they say the word vitter VTR vitter play vitter to that basically means that they’re going to be playing back video on video tape player number two a lot of times now since things are being played back off the hard drive of computer in a situation they still might talk about that and call it Vitter basically it’s going to be playing back video the video could come from a DVD could come from a computer video tape record or whatever it might be your job once again is to make sure the correct video is cued up that could be a feature story think about the six o’clock news they might have six seven eight packages or little feature stories that’s going to be running they need to be able to take a look at the script that they have have each of those stories in the correct order because when the news anchors call up a story and they go to videotape you want to make sure you have the correct video playing and i’m sure that sometimes you’ve seen on TV where they have the wrong video cued up so it’s really important to make sure that whatever the package is the little feature story that you have the correct video cued up and ready to play when the technical director gives you the cue for that look at a couple other positions we have c g cg basically stands for computer graphics and we’ll talk about our CG technician and the CG tech is responsible for all the graphics that are going to be used in the production they’re also responsible for the correct spelling of names and words that are going to be used think about that a program has started and you have a news anchor sitting at the desk and we’re going to bring up a graphic down in the lower third down this area right here and you have their name spelled wrong well now that video and that graphic is embedded right into the video we just can’t miraculously go back and edit and take that out so you have to make sure that everything is spelled correctly you need to double and triple check that very very important basically graphics can be words it could be pictures it could be graphs it could be photograph on so anything along that line is going to be handled by the graphics technician and they will have a chance to sit down and even design these graphics and that can take hours and days sometimes to put together a really nice graphic package to use for a program a lot of work at it the computer trying to get those design and one of the biggest things about any type of computer graphics is really keep it simple you must be able to read the graphics the words very easily at a distance you might be sitting at the computer and you’re only maybe 20 inches away from the screen and you can read it but think about if you’re on the other side of the room and you’re looking at you know the TV set and can you really read the words that are up there if you have a tough time reading them it’s wrong you really keep it simple if you look at most major productions whether TV movies most ninety nine percent of the time the graphics are usually white with like a black drop shadow outline very simple font it’s amazing they give us thousands of fonts and the computer to work with all these crazy things and they’re too difficult to read you want to keep your font simple and you want to make sure that everyone can read your graphics if they have a tough time reading it’s not worth it and they’re a technical person just like everybody else we’ve talked about so far they’re a technical so they report to the technical director that’s who their boss is let’s talk about the teleprompter operator they are responsible for operating the teleprompter this is basically the Mon that we have out in our studio that the talent can look right back at those monitors and they can read the words that are going to be scrolling they are also responsible for loading the material into the computer so that they can scroll on the monitor and in our case we’re using a program that is very very easy to use basically all we have to do is we have to make sure that people type out their copy and word if they save it in word on a flash drive or

if they email us an attachment in word we’re able to load that in the computer we’re able to put that into our teleprompter program it will automatically adjust the font size so it’s going to be very easy for the talent to read at a distance and that you’re going to basically control the scrolling one of the things you need to do is to keep the copy that’s the words that are being read as they are scrolling we want to keep them right about the center of the monitor and that way you don’t want the words going too fast running off the screen or they’re coming out too slow because the talent sometimes they’re starving for words they want to tell the operator come on faster or slow it down and that your job is to keep the words right in the middle with the unit that we’re using you control that by the mouse if you physically move the mouse forward it speeds it up if you pull it back a little bit it slows it down so it takes a little bit of practice but you can do that so just by moving the mouse forward and backward it can scroll faster or go slower but what you want to do is to listen to the talent the talent the people that you’re going to see the people up in front who are doing the talking you follow the talent the talent doesn’t follow you it’s a talent is reading slow you go slow if they start to pick up the pace you need to pick up the pace you’ll be able to hear them back in the control room you’ll be sitting back there but you need to go at the speed now that they are reading and want to keep them in the middle now it might have some trouble at the beginning until you get the technique down and that but you’ll find by playing with the mouse moving it forward and backward and that you can get that down but that’s what the teleprompter operator does and if there’s any problems with the with the script maybe the talents looking at the script that they have they notice that something doesn’t make sense or they’d like you to change the words or maybe they don’t know how to pronounce a name and once they find out maybe they want you to phonetically type that out you need to be able to go in and make any changes in the copy in that so you’re going to be working with the producer director they’re going to be working with the talent and if you need to make changes and the copy and that you should do that remember they’re not going to be looking at the script they’re going to be looking back at the teleprompter so the only thing they’re going to see is the copy that you have put into the computer so you need to know how to go back into word and make any changes that are necessary we’re just about there a couple more to do we have our floor director our floor director is basically a person that is out on the floor of the studio and they’re cueing the talent that’s one of their big jobs that they do they’re basically letting the talent know when the program’s beginning and when it’s time to talk they provide the technical director with any last minute changes going on because they have a headset on and they can communicate with everybody on the studio floor remember everybody else is back in the control room so any last minute changes in script or whatever might happen they can communicate very quickly with the technical director because they have also have a headset on in small operations like we have a lot of times we’ll have camera number two you’re not only are you going to run camera you’re going to be the floor director and this is where you’ll be on the floor listening to the technical director going studio countdown in five four three and pointing and later we’ll talk about it’s a silent to one because we have to have that perfectly quiet to give the audio technician enough time to bring up the microphones on the set so you never say to one you only show to one big hen comes down points to the talent that lets them know when they’re ready to begin okay the talent talent are the people that use either see on the TV set or you here and sometimes like I said we have maybe one two three maybe there would be five people sitting up here they just talked about everybody is talent that’s a generic name given for the people that you will see it might be somebody off camera talking and they would also be considered talent now this is where it changes think about it they’re not doing anything as far as with anything technical so they’re not going to report to the technical director they’re going to be working with the producer director because they’re going to be working with this what are we going to say what are we going to say once again goes back to putting the program together so they’re going to work with a producer director they a lot of times they’re responsible for the script maybe they did all the script writing maybe they get some

script they need to reduce some rewrites change some things around and they’re also responsible for correct pronunciation because if you do not know how to pronounce a word people are going to hear you and you don’t want to get partway through a production also you realize that you didn’t look at your script and you go hey I don’t know how to pronounce that that’s why you have to read your copy over and over ahead of time if you do not know how to pronounce something you need to ask your producer director if they don’t know they need to ask somebody and we want to find out correct pronunciation of the words because people are going to hear you say those names if you need to have something phonetically written out no problem all you need to do is communicate that to the producer director they will go back to the teleprompter operator and they can phonetically put that name in there to make it easier for you to read on the teleprompter but you are responsible for correct for now see a shin and you need to look presentable on camera it all depends on what the situation is if you are outside at a at a game and it’s 20 below zero you really don’t need to have a suit and tie on you would want to be dressed appropriate so you have to think about the situation the type of production that you’re going to be doing but you want to look presentable as far as your hair clothing posture so forth depending on what the production is you need to also be articulate and consistent in your voice level we don’t want you to be talking just real soft and then get real a lot again in them back soft you want to get at a level of speaking so the audio tech can monitor your voice and they can adjust accordingly instead of having to take our fader and go up and down and up and down as you raise your voices up and down so you want to try to keep at one level going through and we have our very last position for at least what we’re doing here this is our floor manager we talked about floor director director directing people this is a manager the floor manager is on the floor of the studio and they are managing set pieces that would be any kind of props desk if we act to have any background sets not a green screen but background sets that need to be moved around maybe couches chairs tables telephones lights whatever it might be any kind of props that are used the floor manager takes care of that and they move equipment around they move cables around a lot of times it’s some very back-breaking work they’re also responsible for storing set pieces a lot of times you have a storage area so you could take this desk off move it back to the storeroom bring out the couch and chairs so anything that’s going to be moved around in the studio that would be the job of the floor manager and all of these people and that are necessary in order to have a good production very very important I can’t think of one job that’s really more than important than another one you’ve got your above-the-line personnel that put the show together what’s going to happen but you still need the below the below the line personnel to execute everything making sure everything’s recorded properly good audio levels good camerawork a good lighting teleprompter whatever it might be you need the talent to deliver that material properly so every single job we have is in the studio is very very important your job is to know what your job is that day if you’re the cameramen don’t worry about audio playback don’t worry about the microphones that’s not your job your job is to operate the camera get everything set up properly and if you do that to one hundred percent that’s great you did your job everybody else needs to do their job and the main thing is to focus and that needs to concentrate if the production is 30 minutes long you need to think about nothing else just that production for 30 minutes once you lose your concentration that’s when you’re going to make a mistake you have to think about it you have to concentrate that’s going to make all the difference in the world anyway this lapse up this section on chain of command kind of talk about the different job positions and remember the top dog the guy the big boss that you’re executive producer and then we have all the different people fall underneath the executive producer but everybody is important and we’ll be back later for some more lessons but this will take care of the lesson and the importance of the chain of command