Final day. The greatest lesson I have learned in TV can all be summed up on one word: Flexibility. In order to survive in this business you have be willing to get your foot in the door and keep moving. Never settle and never stop learning. The minute you stop learning you are dead. I have enjoyed every minute of working for WLTZ! Next stop … JOB !! See you in the stars !
So this is one of my final weeks as a production intern and I have really enjoyed it. One of the final things I am learning is how to have an “on air presence” while filming the news.
Some of the greatest news casters of all time like Peter Jennings, Larry King, Dan Rather, Oprah, etc, always made the listener feel like they were one with current event. How did they capture this ?
One of the first things you learn is voice inflections. You can say “Robber guns down super market owner” in a very monotone voice and it has no emotion. Or you can say it with a pause in between Robber and guns like this, “Robber-guns down super market owner”
The second thing you learn is facial expressions. If I look directly at the camera and show no emotion while saying the robber phrase, it will seem as if I am uninterested. However, raising my eyebrows, dropping my shoulder, or leaning on the desk is also effective. Nonverbal communication is key.
The last thing I am learning is about pacing. Rushing while you are speaking confuses the listener and gives off the tone like you don’t care. Proper pacing, tone, and inflections are the key to having a great on-air presence.
What I have learned from watching Dee Armstrong and also observing the industry is that working in T.V. is a tough job and probably one of the most demanding industries you will ever work in. Appearance, personal opinion, and competition are all “perks of the job.” You have to have very tough skin to work in this business and I have seen first hand how it can take a toll on people’s’ personal lives.
One thing that is rewarding about T.V. is that you have the power of influence. Influence is probably one of the most powerful agents T.V. has to offer. I am looking forward to having the power of influence, and understanding its power means being responsible for what I say and do. One that you need in all industries is balance and a great team.
So being a production assistant has many perks. First, we get to have hands on experience with the same technology that is used in major network stations. NBC Universal would be using the same formats for all their broadcasts that I am learning here locally. This will look great on a resume when I exit college. The second great perk of the job is all the current and local events that you get to keep track of because you work at a news station. When Hurricane Sandy rolled into the East Coast, I was at the news station watching at the Master Control Operator captured the news feed for the “Breaking News” segments that would come in from NBC Universal.
Also, there are always exciting guests that stop by and generally everyday we get to have someone on the show who is a guest in our ‘Cooking Corner.’ This by far has to be the best perk of the job; getting to eat for free everyday! We also get in beauty experts that show you how to do makeup tips, experts on health and fitness, and many more topics.
Beside the average college student wanting the experience of a real T.V. station, I also get to work under some great people who are teaching me all the latest technology and skills I will need to make me competitive in the work force. Learning how to work programs such as Final Cut Pro X, Avid, After Effects etc are industry standards that I have to learn. It can be an exciting, but daunting process, however when you know this industry is for you, the sky is the limit.
Lights ! Camera ! Action !
A camera person has been one of my job descriptions since last December for the Dee Show. Working behind the camera during the live Dee Armstrong show can be a very scary experience, but it is also very rewarding! There are times when I glance over at the shots I am taking and realize that I have moved the camera during live T.V. ! It also is very fun when we get to have cooking segments and get to see all the yummy food up close and personal.
I have to remember to white balance, check the focus, and frame the shots correctly. I was taught all of this within the first week of working inside the station. Take a look at some of the pictures of me at the Dee Show.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned while working in a T.V. station is to be flexible. Learning how to do everyone’s job and knowing that everything in a T.V. station is interrelated is key to survival. So far while working here I have learned how to edit news stories from CNN on Final Cut and send them to the Dee Show, work the promoter during live T.V. and the news, make Youtube and photos appear during the live show, keep track of the time during a show, work the camera’s during the show, and also update our viewers via social media outlet Facebook.
One of the skills I wish to learn is how to direct a live show inside the production room. The show director has probably the biggest job out of them all because they are in control of what you see on T.V. I was at first intimidated by all the glowing buttons and controls in the room, but now since I get to see how it is done first hand I know I can master it.
Greetings from The Dee Armstrong Show!
So, last time we talked I spoke about how I would walk everyone through how we book guests, and set a theme for the show. Ok, first we have to brainstorm about what would be appealing to our demographic. For the Dee Show it is women between the ages of 25-60+. So we have to make sure we pick topics for that group of women that would make for good T.V. Second, we have to ask ourselves, what is current in the news and culture of this time? So, with it being fall in the south, one of the obvious choices is … Football! But, how do we make football appealing to women? This season we have started a theme called, “Coaches Wives,” where we tell a story of the coaches wives from local colleges and football teams, all the while they are sharing their favorite recipe with Dee on air. This is just one of many examples of how we set a theme for the show based on the times and season. The next thing to tackle is actually booking guests to come onto the show. One would think that most people would jump at opportunities to be on T.V and tell their stories, but this is not always true. We have to call a lot of people and make ourselves personable over the phone when we explain to them what we do on the show, so they won’t be intimidated by being on T.V. There are some people however that are polar opposites, and sprint at the chance of being on the show. We also have people who have great companies is the area who buy air time from our sales department.
These are all ways that people come to the Dee Show, but the number one thing that we look for is an interesting story in our community. One of the best things about working at a T.V show is that you stay up up-to-date on the voice and pace of our community.