TELEVISION PRODUCTION (Community Television Production)
(This is an article in a series of articles about community television production and related topics).
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Back To Basics VIDEO BASICS
One of the best offline ways to learn about television production, regarding the video part of television production is to get this book about video basics. The author is Zettl.
Note that this book is a very, old book ,but it’s the book that I like the best. It has photographs, charts, illustrations, and complete basic details about taking and making videos. This book goes from lighting to microphones to all kinds of cameras to interactive videos. I love that there are illustrations and photographs of lighting set ups. This is totally basic and very easy for almost anyone to understand and to learn from.
How old? This book was published in 1995 The ISBN is 0-534-24786-5 and you can probably find the book either in libraries or you might find it online.
The author of the book is Herbert Zettl, and the publisher is Wadsworth Publishing Company, an International publishing company.
I’m sure that there are more modern and more updated books, however, for me this choice is kind of sentimental. This is the first book on video production that I learned from. And when I went to the studio, and took part in the classes in the city of Brooklyn, NY USA, this is the book that was required to read and take along with the classes. ‘They taught us how to operate all the studio and the field equipment and this book was quite helpful . To me, it’s so much easier having real pages to learn from -rather than just reading everything online. I still recommend this book, even though it is an old book.
VIDEO BASICS by Zettl
More Basics of Television Production
(In this section here, I am sharing some personal insights, advice and information from my own experience in volunteering in the field of television production. These below, are not from the book mentioned but from me)
- Remember that you are not indispensable, so don’t act like it. Try not to be one of those producers that act like king or queen of the production. Sure, you are in charge if you are the Executive Producer, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like you are Henry the 8th.
- Remember that people will learn better from you and from your example if you treat them with respect, dignity and with fairness. If you drop any of those three things while you are working with others, they will begin to lose trust in you, and lose trust in your ability to teach and lose trust in your ability to produce good and lasting programming. They might not say it; they might not show it, but remember that everyone is an individual, we all observe, learn and act differently in our walk on this planet. Be kind, be respectful, even if you are ‘in charge’.
- If someone treats you with disrespect, or similar, don’t repay them with the same. Try your best to remain civil, and keep on keeping on with the production. Keep focused, and you’ll do okay.
- Perhaps the guidelines above are not only just for television production, but perhaps they will serve you well in life also. You can respect and act with dignity and fairness towards all humans. Focus. You can do that.
- If you witness something in the studio or in the control room , that makes you start scratching your head, wondering if something is wrong, most likely there is something wrong. The best ways to deal with this are to be honest and open (as long as you are dealing with rational human beings), and ask a question. You doubting something, ask a question. You may or may not be surprised at the answer.
- Keep on practicing your craft. The more you tape, the more you use the equipment, the more you ‘show up’, the better for you. But that being said, do not overdo it. Commit to only that which you know you are capable of doing in the studio and in the control room. Step out of your comfort zone to learn new things, but always remember your basic rules of life when volunteering in any studio or in any control room.
- Last but never, ever least. Treat all equipment, cameras, cables and everything with care. Act as if you have to pay for it, and by the way, you do. Smiles. Just be responsible. Watch where you put your feet. Do not put them on top of the cables. And watch your head, you just never know when one of the cameras is low. Or when another piece of equipment is just ‘in the way’. I remember once, in another city, I was producing a show. I was in the control room, which is totally set aside from the actual studio room. We, the volunteers, could see through the smoky glass of the control room to where the other volunteers were in the studio room. All of a sudden, everyone heard a “THUD”!!! . We swung around to see that someone had accidentally bumped into a camera and managed to completely knock the entire thing over. Fortunately, there was no damage. But after seeing something like this, goes without saying that everyone needs to be super-careful in the studios and in the control rooms. And knowing that this has happened and always can happen, this is exactly the right point to bring up the point of “Don’t fool around in the studio, don’t mess around anywhere in the building. (The people on that production weren’t fooling around – but I figure, still, this is a good place for that kind of reminder).
- Just because you shouldn’t be fooling around, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have joy or laughter during your production. Your production is what you make of it.
- Just be extra mindful when you are around equipment. That’s all you need to do, be extra mindful, if there is any such thing as that.
Bring The Field Into The Studio
Off the topic of studio production, but still on topic, I love field shows. And one of the things that I love about field or remote shows is that you can bring the field into the studio. You can tape outdoors in the gardens, or at festivals or anywhere else and bring that tape back to the studio to air parts of it or all of it during your regular studio programming.
I love bringing the birds, the gardens and too many other things right into the studio, through previously-recorded tapes.
THIS IS THE END OF THIS ENTRY BUT NOT THE END OF THIS SERIES OF ARTICLES ABOUT TELEVISION PRODUCTION