TV Production Article Series A2
A little about “Field Production”
Even though I used the studio for my television production, when I first began, I wanted more than that. I had passed both courses – Studio and Field / Remote Production, but I didn’t have the time to be reserving the camera, and returning the camera. There’s a process and it was, back then, very time consuming. So, I had my own temporary solution to this problem.
Investing in a small field camera
I purchased a small portable video camera. This camera helped me tape many of the beginning field shows for my first field television productions. If I wanted to use the studio’s portable cameras, I was limited to a small amount of time. Now with my own portable camera, I could tape whenever I wanted to tape . And this was the advantage. Sometimes it is not important what you tape with but only that you do tape. Having a portable videocamera on hand gave me an advantage over those that had to reserve, fill out all the paperwork, pick up and return equipment (and take on the responsibility for the corporation’s equipment). I enjoyed this stress-free field taping.
Hold That Camera Steady
So, first, for the portable assignments, being steady is one of the most important things. So if you are taping in the field, no matter what camera you are using, you need to steady the camera either with a tripod or by bracing yourself against something. Holding your elbows tight to your side while taping, when you have no tripod, helps the production. This might seem like a small detail, however, it is a very important small detail.
Move That Camera Slowly
Also, when you are taping in the field, another important details is to remember that you do not want to produce with the “Blair Witch” effect. Many of the beginners that produce videos tend to move the camera (the video camera) way too fast . And the end result is an effect that makes the average viewer dizzy. Ever see those videos where you see the camera pan from side to side so fast that your eyes can not focus on the video itself without getting slightly dizzy? So, when videotaping, be very conscious of moving the camera very, very slowly as you tape.
When Borrowing The Corporation’s Camera
If you must borrow equipment from the corporation, remember these important things:
- You are fully responsible for this equipment, even if you have someone else pick up and return the equipment, you are fully responsible for keeping the equipment clean, safe, working and for the safe pick and return of all equipment. If you or any of your helping producers are clutzy, don’t borrow the equipment.
- When taping in inclement weather, always make sure you have the proper covers and bags to protect all of the equipment.
- Test all equipment before you sign it out –even if the corporation doesn’t demand that, make it your business to fully test everything before you take it out of the building. Same thing goes for when you return it. Test it out.
- Never lend that equipment to anyone when it is ‘out’ in your name.
- Treat all equipment with great care and respect.
- When you return the equipment, if you used cards or tapes with it, make sure you take that all out of the camera before you leave the building.
There you go, now you are ready to do your field taping.
Are you stuck for ideas – topics for taping? Brainstorm with someone and share ideas, or check out what is happening in your own communities. There are many people right in your own communities that are presently seeking some television air time, and you just might be the answer to their prayers.
There are lots of other bits of information that you might need to know when you are taping with portable equipment. That is for another article. Hope you enjoyed this one and hope you go on to read the rest of the series on Television Production.
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