The Best Seat in the House

July 4th, 2013 at 3:02 pm by under Interns

Working in the production department this week has opened my eyes to all the hard work that goes into producing a newscast. Each person has a different job that is vital to the success of the show. On Monday, I sat in the sound booth during the 90 minute newscast. Matt, the “sound guy,” was constantly controlling the anchors’ microphone levels, cueing in music, and controlling sound in live shots. I was overwhelmed by all the buttons and switches on the sound board, and really came to admire the skill it takes to work in production. Whether it’s running the sound, switcher, or graphics – each person has to meet the director’s cues to keep the newscast on pace. One of the most important things I’ve learned about production so far is the importance of understanding your equipment. Without the production crew, the newscast would be a disaster! They really are the brains behind the operation! I have to give them props – just looking at their equipment is intimidating!

On Tuesday I shadowed the robotics operator, Meredith. All the cameras in the studio are robotic, but Meredith is in charge of telling them where to go and when. She also frames and focuses the cameras on the anchors, and well as giving the news team cues. I was able to control the cameras during the B block of each newscast. It was really nerve-racking, but fun! Controlling the cameras help me understanding the importance of keeping pace and listening to cues from the director. I really enjoyed this aspect of production because I got to sit in the studio during the newscast! I had the best seat in the house! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch the anchors perform – their talent is really admirable. Tom Schaad anchored that night and welcomed me to the “dysfunctional family” at WAVY – and I couldn’t be more glad to be a part of it.

On Wednesday I shadowed Jack Taylor, the technical director. He controls the switcher during newscasts. His job is extremely important because he controls what goes live during the show. What you see, is what Jack puts on the screen. He also has a huge control panel with fancy buttons. Although I didn’t completely understand what he was doing, it was still so neat to sit there and take it all in. I respect and admire all the work the production team puts into the newscast. I don’t think many people realize that the news wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for their hard work. Understanding how things work behind the scenes is important. Each aspect of the newsroom works together in some way. If one person doesn’t do their job, it can effect the other departments.

I’ve really enjoyed my time in production and am excited to shadow the teleprompter operator tomorrow! I know I say it every week – but time needs to slow down! How is it July already? How do I only have one month left at WAVY? Next week I start working with The Hampton Roads Show. I am SO excited to get started. Entertainment media is my passion, so I can’t wait to work with the show!

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