How to Make a TV Show NMTV Intro Course Eric Houston - Instructor

How to Make a TV Show
NMT V Intro Course
Eric Houston - Instructor
[email protected]
Table of Contents
Welcome to NMTV
Our Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Getting Started. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Where, When, What, and Who. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Tripod
The Camera
Shot Composition
Rule of Thirds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Shots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Microphones
Wireless Microphones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Shotgun MIcrophones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Hand Microphones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Internal Camera MIcrophones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Mic Channel Selection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Adjusting Sound Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Studio B
Three Camera Shooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Studio Positions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
The Tricaster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Recording Video from the Tricaster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
iv | Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Using the Head Sets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Studio Lights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Recording Sound in the Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Studio Lights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Interviewing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
B Roll Shooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Post Production
Editing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
B Roll Shooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Submitting Your Program to NMTV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Finding Your Show on the Schedule. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Your Future at NMTV
Suplemental Material
Appearance Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Location Release. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Call Sheet (Example) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Call Sheet (Blank). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Statement of Compliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Welcome to North Metro TV
Welcome to North Metro TV Public Access, where
we are proud to offer television production training and professional studios and equipment to anyone who lives or works in Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Ham Lake, Lexington, Lino Lakes, and
Spring Lake Park. We are a free public service and
our goal is to help our members create and air their
own, original television programs.
The process begins with this class. Here you will begin to learn just how a TV show is put together, from
basic concept to air. You will also learn the basics
of utilizing our cameras and studio facilities so you
will soon be able to hit the ground running and start
making your own shows.
My name is Eric Houston and I’ll be your instructor. I am also the
NMTV Studio Manager
and am solely in charge of
the Public Access department at North Metro TV.
You can come to me any
time you have any questions at all about how to
use the equipment or what the best way might be
to make a particular show or even shoot a particular
scene. My job is to be here for you and to help you in
any way that you need.
Before coming to NMTV, I attended film school at
the University of Notre Dame, where I was awarded
the O’Toole Award for Excellence in Film and Television and where I co-wrote and co-directed three
short films. From there, I took a job at Edelman
Productions in Minneapolis (the company founded
by Good Company’s Steve Edelman), where I worked
on a number of different television series for HGTV
and The DIY Network, including Kitchen Renovations, Bathroom Renovations, Free Style, Landscape
Smart, Curb Appeal, and Decorating Cents. These
days, I use everything I’ve learned in my eight years
in television production to help you make your own
shows and I couldn’t be happier.
I would also like to introduce you
to Michele Silvester. Michele is in
charge of scheduling and programming. Once you’ve completed your
program, you will give a copy to Michele who will fit it into our channel
14 schedule. If you have any questions about when your program will air, you can
call her at 763-231-2806 or e-mail her at [email protected]
The rest of our staff includes:
Heidi Arnson - NMTV’s Executive Director and my
boss. If you ever have any
praise or complaints about me or about the station,
you can send them to [email protected]
| Welcome to North Metro TV
Rose Valez
Kenton Kipp and Matt Waldron
Rose is our IT person and is in
charge of the care and maintenance of our computers. If you
ever have a problem with one of
our editing computers or hard
drives, let me know and I’ll ask
her to take a look at it.
Rick Kocinski
Rick is our station engineer and
handles the maintenance for our
equipment and studio facilities.
If something breaks, I’ll take it
to him to fix.
Damian Kussian
Damian handles promotions
and advertising here at NMTV.
Although advertising is not allowed on our public access channel, our staff channel does carry
some commercials and Damian is the person who
creates them. If you or someone you know is interested in having Damian create a commercial for your
business, you can contact Damian at [email protected]
Danika Klyve and Ben Hayle
Danika and Ben are our
news production staff and
are the hosts and producers of NMTV’s weekly news
show, NMTV News, which airs alongside other staff
produced programming on channel 15. If you are
interested in volunteering to help out during their
weekly studio productions or other news shoots, you
can contact them at [email protected] and
[email protected]
Kenton and Matt head up
the sports team at NMTV
and produce a weekly
sports program called
Sports Den. They also routinely cover area high
school sporting events, both live and taped, thanks
to our production truck. If you would like to volunteer to help them, you can contact them at [email protected] and [email protected]
TJ Tronson
TJ handles most of the school,
government, and special event
coverage at NMTV, including city and county meetings, programs about police,
fire departments, concerts, dances, and other cultural
events. Write TJ at [email protected] if
you’d be interested in helping him.
North Metro TV members can produce programs
about anything and everything they like. Religion,
politics, opinions, and even your own hobbies are all
fair game for your shows. NMTV volunteers produce a wide variety of shows about a wide variety of
subjects, including:
Positive Investigations – a monthly magazine series focusing on the interesting people and places all around
Local Edition – a studio chat show featuring fully produced and intricately edited packages designed to
convey a youth opinion about politics and current
Love Power – a long running Christian talk show
focusing on spiritual music, works, and ministry at
home and abroad
Anoka County Eagle – a political discussion program
produced by local DFLers
Neighborhood Cook Off – a local cooking competition
MN Hot Rod TV – a celebration of local cars and customizers
Art Beat – a showcase of area art, artists, and musicians
So the first question you have to ask yourself is what
show do you want to make? Maybe you’d like to do
a show about your church or a club you belong to,
or maybe you’d like to do a show about pets, model
building, home improvement, cooking, or anything
else. And, hey, maybe you don’t even want to make
your own show, you just want to help out on someone
else’s. That’s cool, too. But, for those of you looking
to produce your very own show, all you need at the
start is an idea. That’s it, just an idea.
Another term for this idea is the High Concept,
which is one short, simple big idea that describes
your project. High concepts can usually be expressed
in a single sentence. A good example is to think of
your favorite sitcom, since most sitcom plots are easily expressed as high concepts.
Cheers – a show about barflies set in a local Boston bar
I Love Lucy – a crazy redhead aggravates her Cuban
husband with her antics
ALF – wacky alien moves in with an average, middleAmerican family
Family Ties – hippie parents have rebellious, conservative children
Get Smart – the adventures of a bumbling spy
Green Acres – well-to-do city dwellers move to a country farm
Look at the list of public access shows and notice
that most of them can be described in the same, simple way. Now, try to do the same thing with our idea.
Expressing your idea this way can help you and, even
more importantly, others better understand it.
Now isn’t the time to worry about a title or theme
music or anything like that. That will all come later.
Right now, we just want to worry about that one idea.
Once you have that, you’ll have started the very first
stage of television production: pre-production.
| Pre-production
Pre-production, production, and post-production are
the three basic phases of any television production.
Pre-production is, of course, the first and deals with
all of the planning that goes into making a TV show
before the cameras roll.
For this class, we are actually going to produce an
episode of a television show called In Focus. I created In Focus in late 2010 and, like you will have to
someday, I began by sitting down and trying to think
of an idea for a TV show. At first, I came up with
two ideas: first, that I’d like to do a show that went
behind the scenes of our various NMTV public access shows; second, we should have a show that our
intro class students would actually get to produce so
they could get some hands on experience working on
a TV show as well as have a practical example of how
a TV show gets made.
From there, I realized that, instead of two shows,
both of those ideas could merge into one show that
might be described by the high concept “a show,
produced by NMTV students, that goes behind the
scenes of established public access shows.” Thus In
Focus was born.
From there, I had to ask the same sort of questions
that you’ll have to ask, questions designed to help me
figure out exactly what I wanted the show to be.
Would there be a host? If so, who?
Who are the guests? Should I even have guests?
Would there be interviews?
Should I use clips from the featured shows?
Where is the show set? Is it a studio show or a field
This last question is particularly important because it
has such a large impact on how you will proceed. A
studio show is, simply, a show shot in a studio, like
the studios we have here at NMTV. Field shows,
meanwhile, are shows that take place in the field,
away from the studio. In a show shot in the field,
you would go to your guests instead of having your
guests come to you. Positive Investigations is an excellent example of this. Think of the clips we saw in
class. Instead of filming her show in a studio, Fran
routinely takes a camera to places like horse stables,
lakes, and even winter resorts to shoot her show.
In Focus, meanwhile, is a studio show and, as you saw,
it and Positive Investigations have very different feels.
ting your ducks in a row regarding the people, places, and equipment you’ll need to shoot your show.
You should always start by choosing and then
scheduling your guests, if you intend to have any.
Remember, often your guests will have no particular ties to your show and might even be strangers. More often then not, they’re giving you their
time and expecting little or nothing in return, so
you want to make them as comfortable as possible.
NMTV Studio B - all set for an In Focus taping.
To give you an even greater idea about how important these questions are and how useful they are, let’s
imagine a completely different version of In Focus.
For example, I easily could have done the show without an on camera host and instead have just a voice
over accompanying clips and photographs. This version of the show could also have had talking head
style interviews, where shots of the guest are occasionally cut in to offer very brief insights into their
show. It also could have had no interviews at all,
relying only on clips and narration. This would be
an equally valid way to do the show and even a way
some might prefer, but it wasn’t the show I wanted
to do.
But, again, that’s the whole point of these questions:
to help you decide what sort of show you want to
do. Once you’ve decided that, you’re ready to move
Establishing your idea is only the very first step of
pre-production. As we said before, pre-production
encompasses every bit of planning you need to do
before rolling camera. Mostly this involves get-
When lining up a guest for your show, start by locating someone who is an expert in the field you want
to discuss. For In Focus, that’s pretty easy. All I have
to do is find someone who produces a public access
show. For you, the ease of finding a guest will have
a lot to do with what your subject is and how close
you are to it. To use another access producer as an
example, Rick Bostrom produces a show called Exploring Aviation, which is about amateur aviation.
An amateur pilot himself, Rick rarely has trouble
finding other plane aficionados to talk to at the local air strip. Fran, meanwhile, as you heard, features
a variety of subjects on Positive Investigations, most
of which are completely new to her. As such, if she’s
producing a show about, say, curling, she has to go
out and find local curlers or a local curling club and
start asking around to find someone who is not only
willing to be interviewed, but who is also good for
television. After all, if someone is very camera shy or
is not very
talkative, they
might not be
a good guest
for your show,
even if they
are an expert
in their field.
Positive Investigations host Terry Sorensen interviewing guest waterskiier Jim McCann
| Pre-production
Once you’ve found your guest, work with them to
find a couple of dates and times that will work out
for both of you. You will want to pick two or three
so that you have back up dates in case you have trouble securing crew, equipment, or shooting space. If
you have a host or any other on air talent, now is a
good time to make sure those dates will work well
for them, too.
With your guest secured, your next job will be to
find someplace to shoot. If you’re going to shoot in
the field, you will need to contact the person who
owns the space to make sure it’s okay to shoot there.
If the space belongs to your guest, your job is easy,
but, if you want to shoot somewhere else, like an ice
rink that hosts a curling night, you’ll need to find
the rink manager and clear it with them, otherwise
you’ll risk being kicked out when taping your show.
Again, a property manager is someone who is donating time and space to help you make your show, so be
sure to make them as comfortable as possible.
If you’re shooting in the studio, all you’ll need to do
is call me and reserve the space. Remember that our
studios are in high demand and that you should try
to book space as soon as you can. This is one reason
why agreeing on a few filming dates with your guest
is important. If the studio is already booked for one
of the dates you want, you can try for another right
If you’re shooting in the field, you will also want to
A shot from an episode of Positive Investigations shot at the Velodrome in Blaine. The Velodrome is an excellent example of a shooting location
that would require a location release.
reserve all of your production equipment, like cameras and microphones. Be sure to reserve all of the
equipment you think you’ll need, including which
specific microphones you want (we’ll talk more about
the different types of cameras and microphones we
have here later on). To help you keep track of all of
the equipment we have and all of the equipment you
might need, I have provided an equipment checklist
on page X of this text.
Additionally, you may need a crew. Whether or not
you need one and how many crew members you
might need depends a lot on the complexity of your
shoot. Fran rarely employs a crew, while In Focus
typically has a crew of four to six people. If you do
decide you need a crew, contact some friends or coordinate with me to send out a crew call to your fellow
volunteers. A crew call is a notice, usually sent by
e-mail, of the nature of the shoot, along with a date
and time and the number and sort of crew members
you are looking for.
Finally, there are a few pieces of paperwork you may
want to take care of, namely appearance releases, location releases, and call sheets. An appearance release
is a document that you can have your guests sign that
gives you legal permission to use their image in your
show. I recommend having a signed appearance release for every person who appears on camera during
your show (you do not need to worry about people
who walk through the background, just those who
speak on camera). A location release is a document
that gives you legal permission to shoot in a given
space and to use footage of that space in your show.
Location releases should be signed by a building’s
owner or manager. Location releases are not needed
for public spaces like parks, but are needed for any
private space like a store, a home, a mall, or a theme
park. Both the location release and appearance release are legal documents designed to prevent an
interview subject or property owner from changing
their mind later on about having their image appear
on your show. Without these releases, they could demand to be removed or even sue you for using their
image without permission. Location releases and
appearance releases are not required by NMTV, but
they are strongly recommended. You can find an appearance release on page 52 of this text. A location
release appears on page 53.
A Call Sheet, meanwhile, is a document that you can
send to your crew members and guests that lets them
know who all is involved in the shoot, what their responsibilities are, and when and where they are expected to show up and when they can expect to leave.
An example call sheet can be found on page 54of this
text, with a blank call sheet on the next page.
A crew includes anyone who helps you make your show and can include
camera operators, sound technicians, directors, lighting engineers, and
more. They typical NMTV public access show uses no more than one or
two crew people (and often none at all), but some productions involve
as many as eight to ten. The bigger the shoot, the bigger the crew.
Once all of this is done, pre-production is complete
and you are ready to shoot. Of course, for many of
you, this will be your first time producing a show and,
so, there is one more thing we need to talk about before you can shoot, namely the equipment.
| The Tripod
The Tripod
Whether this is your first show or your 100th, it is
good practice to review your equipment before you
arrive at the shoot to make sure that you remember
how everything works. Since this is the first time
for many of you, we will now take some time to look
at the basic operations of some standard production
equipment, beginning with the tripod.
When pulled from the bag, the tripod will look like
The tripod is a sort of stand for the camera. The tripod provides a safe place to put the camera when it’s
not in use and also creates a nice, stable shot. After
all, if you want a clean, professional looking show, the
last thing you will want is a shaky image.
Note: It is okay to shoot without a tripod if you are
trying to achieve the shaky, hand-held look seen
on television programs like Cops and in movies like
The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. Remember,
though, that this style of shooting is not the norm.
Most TV shows favor firm, stable shots, so, if you
decide not to use a tripod, make sure that it’s for a
The tripod you will be using is a Manfrotto tripod
with a 503, ball-jointed head, which affords a high
degree of camera movement.
Begin setting up the tripod by extending the pan
arm, so that it is out of the way of the tripod’s legs.
Move the pan arm, by loosening the knuckle on the
right side of the tripod head:
Swing the arm out and tighten the knuckle.
The next step is to extend the tripod legs. Release
the bottom clamp on each leg and extend the risers to the necessary length. If the tripod is still too
short after fully extending the first set of risers, release the second clamp and extend the second set of
risers. When each leg is at the desired length, lock
each clamp back down.
Alright, we’ve got the tripod standing. Now, we’ll
level the head. Even though the tripod might be
stable and on flat ground, the head itself might not
be level. To see if the head is level, check the level
bubble located on the back of the tripod head:
If the bubble is centered inside the little black circle,
your tripod is level.
If not, you will need to adjust it by first loosening the
knob at the end of the post in the center of the three
tripod legs.
Riser clamps locked
Riser clamps open
Now, spread the legs and stand the tripod.
10 | The Tripod
The tripod head will now move freely and you will
be able to level it by simply moving it around with
your hand.
When the head is level, retighten the center post
Before we place the camera on the tripod, we should
discuss the two basic movements of the tripod head:
panning and tilting. Panning is the term for moving
the camera (and tripod head) left and right. Tilting
refers to moving the camera up and down.
To tilt the camera, you will first need to loosen the
tripod head’s tilt lever:
Re-tighten the lever when you have the camera in
the desired position. Again, do not attempt to pan
while this control is locked down or you will damage
the tripod.
Now, let’s put the camera on the tripod. Each camera should already have a mounting plate attached
underneath. The mounting plate looks like this:
With the lever loosened, you will be able to tilt the
head, and thus the camera, freely. When you have
the camera in the position you want, tighten the lever. Note: do not attempt to tilt the camera and tripod head without first loosening the tilt lever. Tilting with the tilt lever locked will strip out the tripod
head’s gears, ruining the head.
Panning the camera is pretty much the same operation. Begin by loosening the pan lever, which is located on the back of the tripod head, next to the level.
It is very important that the mounting plate be firmly
attached to the camera, otherwise the camera may
shake, defeating the whole purpose of the tripod.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to wiggle the mounting plate to make sure that it’s on nice and tight.
If the plate is loose, use a coin to tighten the silver
screw in the center of the plate.
The plate then slides onto the tripod head like this:
Note: you do not need to, nor should you, remove the
mounting plate from the camera before mounting it
to the tripod. The above picture is simply for demonstration purposes. That said, slide the plate onto the
head. You should hear a small click. Once the plate
is in place, tighten the mounting screw.
Keep your hand on the camera the entire time you
are mounting it onto the tripod. The last thing you
want is to drop the camera while you are trying to
put it on the tripod. Once you think everything is
nice and tight, give the camera a little wiggle to make
sure that everything is secure. Once you are positive
that the camera is securely mounted to the tripod,
you can take your hand off the camera.
To remove the camera from the tripod, loosen the
mounting screw again. Then press the red button
on the left side of the tripod head while sliding the
camera back.
Again, keep a good grip on the camera the entire
Collapsing the tripod is pretty easy to do – just do all
of the above steps backwards! Take the camera off,
fold the legs back in, retract the risers, and put the
pan arm back in the down position.
12 | The Camera
The Camera
Next, we will explore the basic uses of the camera.
By basic, I mean we will examine the use of the camera with fully automatic settings, so that the camera
does most of the work for you. This is an ideal way
for a beginning camera operator to use the camera
as it will result in good images, while allowing you
to focus more intently on the other elements of your
production, such as interviews and good shot composition, which we will discuss later. Additionally,
by using the automatic functions, the camera is, essentially, ready to go. All you need to do is turn it on,
put in a tape, and press record.
These cameras, Panasonic DVX 100Bs, can also be
used with manual controls, which give a camera operator a much higher degree of control over the image
and can change good video to excellent. I definitely
recommend learning the camera’s manual functions
once you have become comfortable with its basic use.
To learn about these manual functions and more tips
and tricks for using this camera, enroll in our Intermediate Digital Video Shooting Class, which is held
every other month.
For now, though, let’s take a look at the camera and
its automatic settings.
The first thing you’ll need to do is put the battery
on the camera. The battery fits onto the back of the
camera, here:
Look at the bottom of the battery port, you will notice it has a series of teeth:
Now, look
on the back
of the battery.
should see a
similar set of
Place the battery in the battery port so that the teeth
line up. Then, slide the battery down and into place.
You will hear a small click.
To insert a tape in the camera, find the blue eject button on the top right of the camera:
Press the blue button forward to open the door on
the right side of the camera. The silver metal tape
carriage inside should open automatically. If it
doesn’t, just use your finger to open the black plastic
exterior door a little further. Insert your tape into
the interior carriage. You will need to use a miniDV
tape. We also ask that you use a Panasonic miniDV
tape because they are made with a self evaporating
lubricant that won’t gunk up our cameras.
A Panasonic miniDV tape looks like this:
Once the battery is in place,
you can turn on
the camera. The
power switch is
located to the
right of the battery at the rear
of the camera.
Press in the small white button and move the switch
to the on position.
With the tape in place, you may now want to open
the LCD screen on the left side of the camera so you
can see what you’re doing.
14 | The Camera
The LCD screen will flip open after you press the
gray release. When opened, the LCD display should
look like this:
It will disappear once you insert a tape. The symbol
appears in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
This symbol indicates
battery life:
This symbol is found in the lower right hand corner
of the screen. So long as there are white bars inside
the picture of the battery, your camera has power.
Meanwhile, the upper right hand corner of the screen
is where you will find the Z number.
Now, you will see the same image if you choose to
look in the eye piece instead.
Note: before we continue, I would like to point out
that your camera is ready to record. Once your camera is on and your tape is in, you can press the red
button next to the power switch to begin recording.
The following information is not strictly necessary
for recording, but is offered to give you a better understanding of the camera.
Let’s talk about a few of the symbols you see on the
screen. Note that these symbols will not record to
tape, but are simply there to aid you as you shoot.
This symbol simply
means that there is no
tape in the camera:
This is the zoom number and it shows how far the
camera is zoomed in or zoomed out. It ranges from
Z00 (completely zoomed out) to Z99 (maximum
The zoom control for the camera is this toggle switch,
located above the tape carriage. Press the toggle forward to zoom in and back to zoom out.
The lower left hand portion of the screen displays the
camera’s sound meter. When active, the sound meter
looks like this:
The sound meter can be used to help the camera operator adjust the volume of the sound coming into
the camera from the microphones. We’ll talk more
about how to use the sound meter later on, when we
discuss the mics.
ularly well is if there is a lot of extraneous motion in
the background of your shot, for example if you are
shooting something at the state fair, where there will
be plenty of people moving around. This is because
the auto focus decides what it should focus on based
on movement. If you plan on shooting something
like a state fair example, you will want to use manual
focus. If you would like to know more about manual
focus, please see Eric or plan on attending the bimonthly Intermediate Digital Video Shooting class.
Again, though, if you are shooting a single person, or
even two, with little motion in the background, auto
focus will work just fine.
The remaining items on the right hand side of the
screen pertain to the focus and exposure of the image.
Along with white balance, focus and exposure make
up three of the most important components of your
video image. You can remember all three by using
the acronym
Focus – Exposure – White balance
Focus is the term we use for discussing how sharp
or blurry an image is. An image or an item in the
image is considered to be “in focus” if it is nice and
sharp. In this basic camera setup, which utilizes the
camera’s automated functions, we will be using the
auto focus, which will allow the camera to focus our
image for us.
Automatic focus will work very well for the sort of
show we are doing with the In Focus TV series. Since
this is a relatively simple, studio show with only two
subjects, the auto focus will be able to function fine.
The only time the auto focus will not work partic-
Positive Investigations host Terry Sorensen in a shot perfect for auto
focus. Eventhough he’s outside, the lack of much movement in the
background should allow the auto focus to work well.
Focus is displayed on the right hand side of your
screen with the AF number (AF standing for Auto
Focus). The AF number may change rapidly, typically within five units, when shooting with auto focus.
That is perfectly normal.
16 | The Camera
If the screen reads MF instead of AF, someone has
switched the camera to manual focus. Normally, Eric
will preset the camera to fully automatic before any
of our beginning users check it out. If, however, he
forgot and the camera is set to manual focus, you can
switch it back with this switch, located on the left
side of the camera near the lens:
To switch to auto focus, simply move the switch “A.”
Below the Focus Number you may see the word
Macro, as appears in the example. This merely means
that an object is very close to the camera lens.
Below this, you should see a display that reads ATW.
This is the Auto Tracking White Balance.
White balance has to do with how colors are represented in the camera. If you see that ATW display,
then Auto White is on. If not, the manual white
balance is on. To switch to ATW, move the white
balance switch, located here, on the left side of the
camera, to “A.”
Beneath the ATW is a display that looks like this:
This is the F Stop and it
relates to exposure. Note:
instead of an F number,
this may say Open or
Closed. Exposure is how
bright or dark your image is. The exposure is
adjusted by the iris, which
is a little metal door inside
the camera lens that opens and closes to let more or
less light in. With auto iris on, your camera will automatically adjust for available light all by itself. If
you want to make sure that the auto iris is on, simply
press this iris button, located to the left of your LCD
screen until the words Auto Iris appear on the screen.
Note: the words Auto Iris should disappear within a
few seconds.
The auto iris will function fine so long as the lighting
in your location doesn’t get too bright or too dark for
the camera.
If the light gets too bright, simply switch on the ND
filter, which is located here, to the left of the LCD
The ND, or Neutral Density filter, will filter out
more intense light, like sunlight, and allow the
camera to expose properly. Because of this, it’s a
lot like putting sunglasses on the camera. Begin by
trying the 1/8 selection. If it is still too bright, switch
to 1/64. And remember to switch off the ND filter if
you go inside or if the lighting darkens.
If, however, the location you are shooting in is too
dark, such as a darkened room or outside during the
evening, you can try switching on the camera’s gain,
which will artificially brighten the image. The gain
control is located to the left of the white balance
switch and can be set to M (medium) or H (high).
Note: Activating the gain will reduce picture quality,
so be sure to use it sparingly.
And that’s it! You’re all set to use the camera. If you
have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And, again,
if you would like to learn more about this camera and
gain a deeper understanding of how it and even our
HD Cams work, sign up for our Intermediate Digital Video Shooting class, offered every other month.
18 | Shot Composition
Shot Composition
Now that we’ve discussed how to use the camera, we
will discuss basic shot composition. Shot composition is just a term for how you fill your screen, also
called the frame, when shooting video. It has a lot to
do with who stands where in the shot and how you
place that person or thing in the camera frame.
Ideally, you want a nice balanced image that fills the
frame in a pleasing manner. One easy tool you can
use to help you balance out your frame and create
good shot composition is the Rule of Thirds.
The Rule of Thirds suggests dividing the screen into
a grid of nine in your imagination and using that grid
to balance out your image. Like in this shot of the
actress Rosiland Russel from the movie His Girl Friday.
In a medium close-up shot like this (which is a pretty common shot, especially in dialog scenes and talk
shows), you will want to frame your subject in the
left or right two-thirds side of the screen making
sure to leave one third of the screen open to suggest
the presence of the person they’re talking to. If that
person is sitting to the right of your subject, keep the
right third empty. If they’re sitting to the left, keep
the left third empty. You will also want to place the
subject’s eyes along the top horizontal line, where it
crosses with one of the vertical lines. You will almost
always want to position your point of interest at one
of these intersections and the eyes are almost always
the point of interest on a person.
This idea will also help you avoid giving your subject
too much head room. If, for example, we position
Rosiland’s eyes lower, we would get an image that
looks like this:
As you can tell, we have way too much headroom,
leaving a large, empty, uninteresting space at the top
of the screen and making our star look like they’re
sitting in a hole.
The Rule of Thirds is also handy for composing an
image containing several people, as we can see in this
still from The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Of course, in our first example, Ms. Russel is speaking to someone directly off screen, but what if you
want to frame a single person, like a show’s host, who
is speaking directly to the audience? Well, that host
could still be framed to one side, as in this example
from Positive Investigations.
Framing like this, from a Positive Investigations episode taped at a
horse farm, allows a better view of the background. Look closely and
you’ll see a horse in the upper right.
Your host could also be framed in the center of the
screen, like this shot, which is more common for
news programs and other single host shows.
Your humble teacher hamming it up in a shot from 2010’s Letters
to Santa Christmas special. Centering your host like this makes the
viewer feel like the host is talking right to them.
Note that the character Rob is positioned in the left
third of the screen and that Laura is positioned in
the right third. Laura’s eyes are right at an intersection and, while Rob’s are not, that is only because he
is taller than Laura, forcing the director to make a
perfectly acceptable exception to the rule.
An interesting point is that a director may want a
tighter composition for a shot like this, placing both
characters along the vertical lines. In this shot, however, Rob and Laura are arguing, making the large
space between them both appropriate and dramatic.
Before moving on, I’d like to take a look at one more
shot, this one containing three characters:
20 | Shot Composition
Note how each character is placed in their own third
of the screen, creating a nice, balanced image.
Now let’s look at a two person shot from In Focus.
Establishing shots
are used to set the
scene. In this case,
we have the exterior of the Seinfeld
diner. This shot
precedes scenes set at
the diner. Shots like this one can be found in most
sitcoms. The bar from Cheers is another good example.
Notice that, here, the shot is framed up more like
our three person example from The Dick Van Dyke
Show, with Fran and I each in our own third and
our heads somewhat removed from the intersection point. Framing like this, while not following
the rule of thirds to the letter, allows for a wider shot,
showing both Fran and myself in full and also creates
a little extra space that, in this case, makes the interview seem a little more comfortable. Also notice
that we added an interesting center piece to keep the
center of the screen from looking dull.
Again, this is a good example of a modified use of
the Rule of Thirds and bending the rule like this is
certainly allowable. After all, this “rule” isn’t hard and
fast. If we wanted to stick closer to the rule, all we’d
have to do is position Fran and myself a little closer
to each other and zoom in the cameras a bit. Maybe
we’ll try that next time.
Wide shots help establish where the characters exist
in relation to each other. Even wider shots, wider
than this one from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,
can stand in for establishing shots.
Now that we understand the basic idea of shot composition, let’s look at a couple of examples of some
common types of shots you may want to use when
making your show.
The American Shot frames a figure from the knees
up. It got its name from French film critics who noticed its prevalence in American westerns. This type
of shot was so commonly used because it allowed the
viewer to see a character’s holster during shoot outs.
This sort of shot focuses in a certain part of the subject’s face, usually the eyes.
A shot framed from the waist up.
As seen in this shot from Citizen Kane, a medium
close up frames the subject from the chest up.
Basically, a tight head shot
The top image here, Orson Welles in
Citizen Kane,
is an example
of a low angle
shot. Here, the
camera is positioned low to
the ground and
tilted up, making the subject
look imposing
larger than life.
image is also
time from The Lady from Shanghai. In this high angle
shot the camera is set high and tilted down, making
the subject look small.
When setting up your camera, remember that high
angle and low angle shots say things about the person on the screen, so be sure to think about whether
or not you want to depict them in that light. More
often than not, especial in an interview situation, you
will want your angle to be straight on.
22 | Shot Composition
I sometimes like to think of this as the Batman Angle,
because it was used so often to show the villains in the
old Batman TV show. A canted angle is achieved by
tilting the camera off to one side.
Canted angles are usually used to show tension or
some sort of psychological trouble, for example the
villiany of Batman’s rogues.
This sort of shot gets its name from the amount of
actors in the shot. At a certain point, however, you
would stop referring to it as, say, an eight shot and just
call it a group shot.
The Microphones
Here at North Metro TV, we have four basic microphones that you can use to record sound for
your projects: the wireless microphone, the shotgun
microphone, the hand microphone, and the internal camera microphone. Each microphone has its
advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to think
about which one will serve your project best. After all, sound is one of the most important aspects of
any television program and well recorded sound can
greatly improve the quality of your overall project.
The wireless microphone, also called a lapel mic or a
lavelier is perfect for interviews or recording dialog.
These microphones easily clip onto a person’s lapel
and are designed to record their voice with a minimum of background noise. Further, because they are
wireless, the microphones can be clipped inconspicuously to your subject without the need to run the long
cables that are necessary for some of our wired mics.
Wireless mics come in two pieces: the transmitter,
which is worn by the subject, and the receiver, which
attaches to the camera.
you’ve noticed that,
and the receiver look
So, to tell
them apart,
try looking
at the top of each. The transmitter will have a mic/
line jack and a mute button.
That mic/line jack is where you will attach the microphone cable. Simply plug the mic cable in and twist
the knob to hold it in place.
The top of the microphone transmitter (above left), complete with
mute switch and mic/line jack. The microphone cable plugs into the
mic/line jack (above right).
24 | The Microphones
The receiver, meanwhile has a jack labeled AF out.
You will want to plug your XLR cable into this jack.
An XLR cable is a professional audio cable with a
three pin connection. XLR cables are used to connect
most of the microphones we have here at NMTV to
our cameras and sound boards.
The small jack
plugs into the receiver, while the
three pin XLR
connector at the
other end plugs
into either camera
The wireless microphone comes with a small cable with one XLR end
and one 1/8” headphone end.
The DVX 100 camera features two input jacks on its
right side, between the tape carriage and the camera
lens. The wireless microphone can plug into either.
You can also find a silver metal plate atop the camera
Loosen the nut on the receiver mounting plate and
then slide the plate into place inside the silver metal
bracket and retighten the nut.
The wireless mic can be plugged into either input.
We will discuss why that is later on in the section on
mic inputs.
Before plugging the XLR cable in, though, you may
want to mount the
receiver to the camera. You will find
a large mount attached to the back
of the receiver.
Now go ahead and plug in the XLR cable.
The transmitter, meanwhile, can be clipped to the
subject’s belt or waistband and the microphone run
up their shirt.
You can turn on the transmitter and receiver by opening the small door on the front of the pack.
Now, simply press
and hold the on/off
Once the microphone is turned on,
the screen will display, among other
things, the battery
power read out. If
the read out shows
three bars, everything’s fine. If there
are two or fewer bars you may want to replace the
two AA batteries found inside the battery case (two
bars on the power read out means that you only have
approximately a half hour of power left).
shotgun microphone to the
circular clamp
on the side of
the camera handle:
Simply loosen the screw to open the clamp and then
tighten it back down when the microphone is in
place. Try to place the microphone so that the silver
metal microphone grid rests at the edge of the clamp.
If you place it out any further, as in this next picture,
the end of the mic may appear in your shot.
The shotgun microphone is ideal for recording ambient sound, such as the sound of a forest or the sound
of traffic. The shotgun mic can also be used in interview situations when you are interviewing a large
number of people and would not have the time to put
a wireless microphone on each one of them.
Like the wireless microphone, the shotgun microphone can be plugged into either one of the input
jacks on the right side of the camera with an XLR
cable. The shotgun microphone comes with a one
foot long XLR cable. Cables in lengths of 25, 50,
and 100 feet are also available if you need to place the
shotgun mic (or any other mic) further away from
the camera.
The shotgun microphone.
The shotgun mic can also be used, along with one of
these long XLR cords, in conjuntion with the boom
pole. We also have several windscreens that can be
checked out with these mics to filter out noise on
windy or rainy days.
26 | The Microphones
Again, though, it’s a perfectly good backup to have if
you run out of battery power or if one of your other
microphones stops working.
A hand microphone is just what it sounds like, an
old fashioend looking microphone that can be held
in the hand.
The internal camera microphone is located at the
front of the handle on top of the camera.
Hand mics attach to the camera inputs via an XLR
cable and, like the shotgun mic, are excellent for situations where you may want to interview a large number of people seperately, without wanting to worry
about placing a wireless mic on each of them. A
show shot at the state fair would be a good example
of this.
Now, to be honest with you, this isn’t the greatest
microphone in the world, but it will do the trick in
a pinch. As such, consider it a backup. The internal camera mic is a low quality microphone to begin
with. Add to that the fact that, unlike the shotgun or
hand microphone, it cannot be moved away from the
camera, and you will begin to see its disadvantages.
When you check out the camera on basic settings,
the internal microphone will not be activated. Instead, I will have activated input one and input two.
To activate the internal microphone yourself, locate
the audio controls on the panel that was previously
covered by the LCD screen.
The two left hand switches are labeled CH1 and
CH2, which stands for channel one and channel two.
These two controls and the two inputs on the camera indicate that this camera can record two separate
audio tracks without mixing them. That means that
you can record sound from one wireless microphone
and one other microphone (perhaps a shotgun mic
or another wireless mic) simultaneously, without the
audio from the two sources mixing together. Recording two separate and distinct audio tracks like
this will allow you greater control over adjusting the
volumes on the different mics as well as allowing
greater control in editing.
to turn them on, but we still need to talk a little bit
more about how to use them. You see, it isn’t enough
to just turn on the microphone and start recording.
If you do that, you may be recording sound that is
too quiet to use or, worse yet, too loud. While we can
adjust sound somewhat in editing, sound that is initially recorded too low will have a lot of background
noise when amplified. Sound that is recorded too
loud, meanwhile, will have distortions, like crackling,
which cannot be removed. Because of this, it is very
important to record your sound at the proper level.
To set your sound level, set up the camera and microphone like normal.
Now, have the subject count as high as they can in
their normal speaking voice. As they speak, use the
two audio control dials on the bottom left side of the
camera. This is called a mic check.
The microphone channels set to Input 1 (channel one) and the internal
microphone (chennal two).
To activate the internal mic, switch one of these
switches to INT. Be sure to leave the other switch
set to the camera input you are still using (for example: if you intend to use the shotgun mic and the
internal mic and you have the shotgun plugged into
input one, leave one switch set to input one).
Now you know how to mount the microphones, how
The audio levels themselves are visible at the bottom
of the LCD view screen:
As you see, there are read outs for Channel 1 and
Channel 2, just as there are dials for Channel 1 and
Channel 2. As the subject talks, you will see the
small white and red squares move, starting white
and turning red as the subject gets louder. What you
28 | The Microphones
want to do is use the dials to set the sound levels
so that you see white squares with maybe the occasional red square or two. What you don’t want is to
see only a couple of white squares - too low - or to
consistently see several red squares - too loud. Again,
one or two red squares every so often is perfectly fine
One more simple way to improve your sound quality
is to monitor the sound with headphones, which can
also be checked out at NMTV. That way you can
make sure that you are recording what you think you
are recording and that you aren’t picking up any feedback or stray radio signals (which can happen with
the wireless mics). You will find a headphone jack at
the rear of the camera, next to the battery compartment, and hidden behind a black rubber panel (see
the images to the right).
Studio B
Studio B is the smaller of our two studios here at
North Metro TV. It includes three DVX 100B cameras, a green screen, studio lights, and a Tricaster
master control system. Studio B is also where we
will be shooting In Focus during the third week of
our class.
Part of the reason we will be using Studio B is that
its controls and equipment are streamlined, making
them much easier for beginners and smaller crews
to manage.
In general, television studios are designed to give
producers complete control over their environment.
By working in a studio, you can eliminate unwanted
lights, sounds, and distractions (like passing police
cars or crowds of on lookers). Studios are frequently
used in the production of everything from the nightly news, late night talk shows, most popular sitcoms,
and even many NMTV Public Access TV Shows.
given scene to film a series of separate angles. This
forces the filmmakers to stage the scene over and
over again, once for each of the different angles. This
also means that the actors have to perform the same
scene over and over again. Shooting with three cameras, however, eliminates the need for all of this as
it allows for any scene to be covered by a variety of
angles all at once. This saves producers a lot of time
both shooting and editing.
Shooting like this is also very advantageous to live
programs, like most television talk shows. Much of
what is entertaining about a talk show comes from
the spontenaity of the participants. When a guest
tells a funny story on Late Night with David Letterman, much of the humor comes from Dave and the
audience’s reaction. Now, imagine if that same story
had to be repeated three times for each of three different camera angles. The live show would to start to
lose some of its zing.
Typically, television programs shot solely within a
studio are shot using the three camera system and In
Focus is no different.
Three Camera Shooting is a method of television
production that employs three cameras shooting simultaneously. You see, most feature films and TV
shows use only a single camera, which has to be
moved multiple times during the shooting of any
A diagram of a three camera shoot for a standard talk show.
30 | Studio B
Let’s say the diagram represents our show, In Focus,
with Fran sitting on the left and Eric sitting on the
Camera 3 is dedicated to the figure on the left, in this
case the guest. Like Camera 1, this will tend to be a
medium close-up.
Camera 1 is devoted to the figure on the right side
of the stage, even though the camera is on the left
side. In our example, camera one will be reserved for
close-ups of Eric, like this:
Here’s another diagram for reference.
Camera 2, meanwhile, is generally a more or less
stationary camera, used to tape a wide shot of both
subjects on the stage at the same time.
The reason the cameras are arranged like this is to
keep them in the subjects’ sight line. Meaning the
subject is looking in the direction of the camera. That
way, it looks a bit like the subject is looking through
the television at the viewer, making the viewer feel
like they are a part of the conversation. Alternately,
imagine what it would be like if camera one were
pointed at Fran, showing you her profile instead of
her face. The result would certainly be a little off putting.
Now that we’ve discussed three camera shooting, let’s
take a look at the different positions that make up a
studio crew.
The director is in charge
of the entire shoot. In a
studio setting, the director
sits in the control room
running (in the case of
Studio B) the Tricaster.
The director uses the Tricaster to select which shot
to use from the three studio cameras. He also coordinates with the camera crew via headset, helping to
keep the shots consistent between the three cameras.
monitors and maintains
the sound levels from the
studio microphones. He
runs a sound board inside
the studio and usually sits
next to the producer/director. The sound engineer is
also in charge of running a microphone check before
the shoot begins, making sure that everyone’s microphones are working properly. If they are not, he will
work with the floor director to fix them.
The actors on stage are called the talent. On In Focus,
Fran and Eric are the talent.
The floor director relates commands from the control room to the personnel in the studio. During
actual shooting, the floor director uses his hands,
giving non-verbal signals to the talent on stage. For
example, the floor director will give a countdown to
the beginning of actual shooting. When cued by the
director, he will say, “Five… Four… Three…” then he
will flash the numbers two and one with his fingers,
before pointing to the talent, indicating that shooting has begun. Note: if there are not enough people
in the crew for a separate floor director, one of the
cameramen can double as the floor director.
The camera operators of
course run all three of
the cameras. It’s their job
to set the camras up and
frame their subject. Camera operators also receive
orders from the director who will let them know if
he/she would like the shot to change (if they’d like
the camera operator to move from a medium close
up to a close up, for example).
In Studio B, the Tricaster is our computer control
board. It allows the director to switch between shots,
control fades and other effects, and add prepared
video and overlay elements to the finished product.
In this class, we will look at some basic uses of the
Tricaster, but the system is capable of more complicated uses, including inserting still pictures or videos
into live productions and creating green screen background effects. We recommend becoming comfortable with the Tricaster’s basic functions first, before
moving up to some of these more complicated ideas.
When you are ready to find out more about what
the Tricaster can do, just tell Eric and he’ll be glad
to show you.
32 | Studio B
The Tricaster main screen
(above). Detail for the first
three windows of the Tricaster screen (at left). These three
windows are the most importnat and commonly used,
so familiarity with them is
Lets start by looking at the first three windows in the
upper left corner of the Tricaster screen. They are
labeled Camera 1, Camera 2, and Camera 3.
These windows show you what each of their respective cameras is seeing. For this class, we will only
concern ourselves with these three windows along
with the large Live window on the right hand side
of the screen.
That said, let’s quickly review the rest of the windows,
just so you know what they are used for. The second row of windows consists of VCR, Picture, Color
Background, and Black. The VCR window displays
any prerecorded segments you may wish to add to
your production. In our example, it is the opening
credits for In Focus. Note: while we could run the
credits for In Focus in the studio, we will instead add
them later on in editing to keep things uncomplicated.
The picture window displays still images, in this case
a sunrise, and can be used to add them to a production.
The color background is designed for chroma keying purposes and allows the producer to insert a solid
color background in place of a blue or green screen.
clicking them with your mouse. When you click one
of those buttons, the Tricaster will cut directly from
one image to the other, without fading or using any
other transition. In addition to clicking these buttons with your mouse, you can also activate them
with the Function keys on your keyboard, which is,
frankly, much easier.
F1 – Camera 1
F2 – Camera 2
F3 – Camera 3
F4 – VGA
Black is just that, a pure black slate that the producer
can cut or fade to or from when necessary.
F5 – VCR
The large window on the right displays the image
that is currently “live.” “Live” refers to the image
currently being recorded. In our example, the producer is currently running the opening credits from
his VCR window. Another way to tell which image
is live is to look for the window with the red border.
You’ll notice that, in the picture, the VCR window
has a red border.
F7 – Color Background
Now, let’s look at the buttons below those windows.
You will notice that the top row of buttons is labeled
F6 – Picture
F8 – Black
The second row of buttons is labeled “Next.” These
buttons allow you to choose which window will be
seen “live” next, after the one currently on screen.
You can tell which window is set to be next by the
green border around the window. You can see that
the number 3 button is selected as next and that there
is a green border around the window for Camera 3.
The next buttons can be operated either by clicking
them with your mouse or by using the number keys
on your keyboard:
1 – Camera 1
2 – Camera 2
3 – Camera 3
4 – VGA
5 – VCR
These buttons allow you to decide which of the above
windows will be “live.” Notice that the VCR button
is currently chosen. These buttons can be operated by
6 – Picture
7 – Color Background
8 – Black
34 | Studio B
The next commands are mostly used to create transitions like fading from one camera to another. When
you are ready to transition from your “live” image (in
our example, VCR) to the next image (Camera 3),
you can either cut to the next image with the function keys or you can fade from the “live” image to
the next image by pressing the space bar on your
keyboard or by using your mouse to lower the lever
to the right of the buttons. I recommend using the
space bar.
So, basically, to run the Tricaster, all you need are
seven keyboard keys: F1-F3, 1-3, and Space Bar.
When shooting in the studio, video footage is recorded to a single VCR, or record deck, inside the
control room. This means that, instead of placing a
tape in each of the three studio cameras, all you need
to do is place a single tape in the record deck.
In Studio B, the record deck is located on top of the
monitor to the left of the Tricaster.
To record to the deck, simply insert a tape and press
record and play at the same time.
You will know you are recording when these numbers
begin moving. If the numbers are not moving, something is wrong and you should alert me.
Finally, be sure to start recording several seconds
before action begins in the studio and do not stop
recording until several seconds after the action has
ended. That way you can be sure to have all of the
footage you need when you finish your program in
Recording is the responsibility of the director. The
director can also turn on the monitor beneath the
record deck to monitor the recording. This monitor will show you excatly what is being recorded to
the tape and, as such, should match the image in the
Tricaster live window exactly. If it doesn’t, there is a
The director, camera operators, and floor director
communicate with eachother through headsets. In
the control room, the headset is located next to the
record deck and monitor. In the studio, the headsets
are already attached to the cameras.
Begin by turning the board on with the switch on its
back. Then bring up the Master Fader, which will
allow the lights to turn on.
The headset control box (seen above) can be removed
from the camera and placed on your belt or waistband if desired. To turn the headset on, press the
power button on the control box and make sure that
channel A is selected.
Now, let’s take a look at the studio lights, also the
responsibility of the director.
The lights are controlled by this board:
The light board has a few standard lighting scenarios
already programmed into it. You will find a note on
the board telling you which buttons will activate the
preset lights.
36 | Studio B
Pressing the M1 button, which is located directly underneath the note, will bring up the front lights, used
for illuminating the talent.
Buttons M2 and M3 both activate the back lights,
which light the background and provide side and
back lighting for your subject. The M2 lighting
scheme adds red and blue colored lights to the background curtain. M3 uses only regular, uncolored
These preset lighting conditions are desgined to work
well for most types of shows, particularly those that
have one to two people on the stage.
Inside the studio itself, you will find a few tape marks
on the floor. These show you where to have your talent stand to get the most benefit from the light. If
your program only has a single person on screen, like
a lecturer or a preacher, they should stand on the X in
the middle of the floor.
Tape marks on the floor of Studio B (lower left) and the carpet placed
inside those marks for the next In Focus (above).
Do not be afraid to experiment (or have me help you)
with the lights themselves as well as where you position your hosts. The preset lighting conditions will
work great for most, but you may find an original
lighting plan that works better for you and your show.
There are also a number of other marks on the floor
that show where the carpet used for the In Focus set
goes and where to position chair legs for a two person show.
Sound inn the studio is traditionally recorded with
wireless mics. Using wireless mics helps keep the
studio from getting cluttered with long cables, while
providing nice clean sound from a source very near
the talent’s mouths.
Unlike shooting in the field, sound is not recorded
onto the cameras, but is instead routed into the studio via a microphone snake, which is a box of microhpone inputs. You can find a picture of the mic
snake on the top of the next page. Note that this
snake has 14 free inputs (the last two are used for
the headsets). This means that this studio can record
sound from 14 separate microphones. Unlike on the
cameras, though, the sound from these mics will mix
Activate the receiver and place it into one of the inputs in the mic snake. If you are using two mics, try
placing the two receivers into two consecutive inputs
(inputs 3 and 4, for example). Plug the receiver for
the guest sitting on the left side of the screen into the
left input (input 3 in our example) and the receiver
for the guest sitting on the right into the right hand
input (input 4). This will make it easier for the sound
engineer to keep the two microphones straight.
Speaking of the sound engineer, he sits in the control
room with the director and runs the sound board.
Studio B microphone snake.
together, meaning its even more important to record
good sound in the studio. You can only do a limited
amount of manipulation to the sound in editing.
You can find two wireless microphones reserved exclusively for the studio in the cabinet, located in the
studio B control room.
Begin by raising the master fader, located on the lower right of the board, to U.
The microphones are located in a white box on the
top shelf. If you need more than two microphones,
you can request them from me. If you anticipate
needing more than two mics, please remember to reserve them in advance.
Now, locate the sound level readout, a series of small
lights, located about six inches above the master
38 | Studio B
Keep your eyes on this
readout when you begin
adjusting the sound for
the individual mics. The
lights are green, yellow,
and red. If your sound
enters the yellow or red
lights, it is being recorded too loud and will
destort beyond a point
that we can fix later. In
the picture at left, the
sound is recording too
loud. Instead, what you
want is to have the lights
top out at about zero. If
they occassionally hit a
These lights show what level the little above zero, but still
sound is recording at.
in the green, it is fine,
but again, be sure never to hit the red or yellow lights.
With that in mind, let’s begin adjusting the individual mics. First, find the fader whose number matches
the mic input you placed your receiver in. For example, let’s say you have placed your mic receiver in
input 3 on the mic snake, as in the picture below. To
adjust the sound for this mic, you will need to use
fader 3 on the sound board (seen at right).
Bring this fader up to U, as you did with the master
fader. Now, find the trim nob for this imput, located
at the top of the board, above the fader.
While your host performs a mic check
(counting from, say, one
to 50), begin dialing in
the trim knob until the
lights on the mic level
readout reach zero.
Now, have the first guest
remain silent while you
perform the same task
with the next guest.
As the show begins taping, the sound engineer
should keep his/her eyes
on the level readout, using the individual faders
to make adjustments to
the sound levels if the
guests get too loud or
too quiet. If the sound
consistantly distorts or
if there is some other
problem that cannot be
quickly or easily fixed, it
is the sound engineer’s
duty to alert the director and stop the shoot.
(At left) Fader 3 and Trim 3.
(Above) Trim 3.
And there you go. We have completed our review of
the pre-production process and you now know everything you need to know to begin shooting your
own shows in the field or in the studio, not to mention knowing enough to act as the crew for the next
episode of In Focus.
Of course, pre-production is only the first step. We
still have production and post production to go.
Production consists of the actual shooting of your
show and begins when you arrive on location on the
first day of shooting and concludes when you have
wrapped up all of the shooting you need to do. In
many cases, that will consist of a couple of hours (we
will complete taping of In Focus inside of an hour),
but it can also take several days.
The main key to a successful production, though, is
all the planning you have done in pre-production. If
you put together a thorough plan in pre-production,
then all there is to production is following that plan.
Post production, which we will begin talking about
momentarily, will consist of taking all of the footage you shot in production and putting it together
(and even combining it with other elements) in the
best way possible to tell your story. There are a lot
of amazing things that we can do in post production, including fixing and polishing mistakes made
in production, but post production is not infalible,.
There is a limit to what we can change and fix. Audio
recorded too loud, for example, is often permanently
corrupted. So be sure to do the best job you can during production, leaving nothing to chance, and your
post-production will be a breeze.
That said, let’s take a little time to discuss interviews
and b roll shooting, two things most people have to
do while shooting their shows.
Most of the shows produced for NMTV feature an
interview at some time or another. After all, In Focus
is based around interviews and Positive Investigations
features them heavily.
So how do you do an interview? Well, we’ve already
talked about securing your guests and a good guest
is incredibly important to creating a good interview.
You want your interview subject to be both knowledgable about the subject and outgoing and interesting to watch on camera. From there, a good interview depends largely on the questions you ask. To
some degree, this is something you will have to learn
on your own and you will really only begin to learn
how to ask the right questions through experience.
The questions you ask are incredibly important, so
take some time to come up with a list of questions
before you actually interview the person. Think
about what it is you want to learn from them and
gear your questions toward that. For example, when
I interviewed Fran, I wanted to know about the history of her show and how she goes about making
it, so I geared my questions toward that and made
sure not to include questions that didn’t pertain to
the topic. For instance, I didn’t ask her about her dog
or her history as a substitute teacher.
40 | Interviewing
Be sure to take that list of questions with you on
the shoot day and refer to them whenever you need
to. You can even transfer them to index cards if you
think that would look more appealing on camera,
which is something I do for a show we make here
called Wednesdays with Barbie.
And don’t be afraid to do something called a preinterview. A pre-interview involves calling up your
guest before you shoot and asking them some of
the questions you are planning on. This way, you
get some idea of what their answers will be, what
questions generate good answers, which ones don’t,
and where there might be some areas for interesting discussion beyond your original questions. Preinterviews are very common and they help talk show
hosts like Dave Letterman and Jay Leno know which
topics their guests might have funny or interesting
stories about.
You should also be prepared to be flexible. Often
times, interviews won’t go the way you plan, so be
ready to ask questions that occur to you off the top
of your head (sometimes these get the best results).
Be prepared to deviate from the order you originally
wrote your questions in if the conversation heads in
that direction, and don’t be afraid to stop and start
again or to let your guest start giving their answer
from the beginning if they feel like they’ve tripped
up. Similarly, don’t fret over bad answers or topics
that don’t go anywhere. Those can always be removed in editing. There is nothing that says you have
to present the entirety of the interview exactly as it
A final piece of advice is that you should think about
where you do your interview as an interesting location can make a huge difference between a good
interview and a great one. Since In Focus is a studio show, we are pretty much restricted to the one
location, but field shows can go anywhere. If you
are interviewing someone about their hobby or about
their job, consider interviewing them at their job.
Iit’s even a good idea to interview them while they’re
actually doing whatever it is you’re interviewing
them about.
Take for example a short documentary called The
Alchemy of Glass, which was produced by a group of
our public access volunteers. This program was about
local glassblowers, all of whom were interviewed at
the glass blowing studio, many of them while actually
blowing glass.
Keeping your subject active like that can add a great
deal of visual interest to your program. If, however,
you cannot get your subject to do what it is you’re
interviewing them about, for whatever reason, you
should still try to shoot them somewhere interesting and, if at all possible, doing something. A good
example of what we’re talking about here is a memorable interview from Penelope Spheeris’ 1988 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II:
The Metal Years.
Here, heavy metal rock and roller Ozzy Osbourne
talks about his heavy metal career while making a
simple breakfast. The result is interesting looking
and has a lot of activity. It is also pretty funny, since
it offers a humorous counterpoint to Ozzy’s image
and to the debauchery he is discussing. The result is
the best remembered part of the entire film.
The point to all of this, to Ozzy and the glass blowers, is simply that you should think about where you
shoot your interview and that you should have a reason for shooting it where you do. Spend even just a
little bit of time thinking about it and your interview
will be that much better.
More of Penelope Spheeris’ creative interview settings from The
Metal Years. Alice Cooper (above), Lemmy (top right), a heavy metal
groupie and her son (center right), and Paul Stanley (bottom right).
42 | B Roll Shooting
To get an even better idea of how creative, visually
stimulating backgrounds can enhance your program,
take a look at these stills, all with identical, bland
backgrounds from one of the bonus features from the
DVD of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Ozzy Osbourne spills some orange juice in this B Roll shot from The
Metal Years.
a place, an object, or event that your subject may be
talking about.
Compare these stills with those from The Metal Years
and ask yourself which look would work best for you
and your show.
B Roll shots can be used in a couple of ways. One
reason you might use a B Roll shot would be because
you feel it is important to show a close up of whatever
action your subject is performing. These are common
in cooking shows, craft shows, decorating shows, and
even home renovation shows, all programs where it
is important for the viewer to see a close up of what
the subject is doing with thier hands.
Another essential part of many productions is the B
roll. Think back to the Ozzy Osbourne interview we
dicussed earlier. During that interview, Ozzy memorably pours a glass of orange juice, spilling much of
the juice on the counter. The shot is a close up of
the glass and it is one of the few times we do not see
Ozzy’s face during the interview. This is a B Roll
B Roll shots are any shots that do not focus on your
subject (footage of your subject is considered A Roll),
but instead show something else. B Roll shots can
be a close up of some action the subject is performing (such as the orange juice example) or a shot of
some interesting item in the room. It can even show
This still from the cable TV show Bathroom Renovations show a B
Roll close up of the host’s hand as she makes a mark on a piece of timber.
Another reason would be to simply show what your
subject is talking about. For example, during the episode of In Focus we watched in class, we saw footage
of the velodrome when Fran talked about the velodrome, footage of the show she did about dog sledding when she talked about the production of that
show, and we saw some footage of her host Jo when
she talked about Jo.
Another great example of this particular use of B
Roll footage is the film The Thin Blue Line, a documentary about the fatal shooting of a police officer
and the man who was wrongly convicted for the
murder. Since director Errol Morris made his film
12 years after the murder, he was limited in what he
could shoot. He anchored the film with interviews
of Randall Dale Adams, who was wrongly accused
of the crime, and David Ray Harris, the man who
most likely actually committed the murder. Both
men were imprisoned during the production of the
film, meaning Morris was limited with where and
how he shot the interviews. Further, no footage of
the incident existed. As such, Morris made extensive
use of B Roll to show relevant evidence, documents,
press clippings, and even reenactments of the crime,
making the film much more visually interesting than
it would have been had it centered only on the two
interviews, stills of which can be seen below.
Four B Roll shots from The Thin Blue Line: an illustration of a gun,
a shot of a related motel, a document from the coroner’s report, and a
nnewspaper clipping. At left A roll interview shots.
44 | B Roll Shooting
that is to cover the cut with a B Roll shot. This is
almost certainly the case with the Ozzy orange juice
shot as there is no other particular reason to cut to a
shot of the subject pouring orange juice.
One more point about B Roll shooting, B Roll shots
are almost always taken at a different time than the A
Roll. That means that you don’t need to worry about
moving the camera off of your subject when interviewing them. In fact, you should keep your camera
on the subject the entire time to ensure that you get
all of the footage of them that you need. Then you
should shoot your B Roll footage a few minutes or
even a few days after you’ve shot the A Roll. This
may mean asking your subject to repeat actions
they’ve already performed, which you would have to
do in a cooking show, for instance. Ozzy’s orange
juice shot is another example of this. According to
Penelope Spheeris, that shot was definitely shot later
in the day and it wasn’t even Ozzy holding the juice.
That you think he was is part of the magic of B Roll
and editing.
The major benefit of shooting this way, though, is
that you never have to worry about not having footage of your subject saying or doing something in the
wide shot that you might need for your program.
Three more B Roll shots from The Thin Blue Line: a police car, a map
of the city the murder took place in, and a shot from a reenactment of
a police interrogation.
The other main reason you might use a B Roll shot
would be to cover a cut. Let’s say you want to remove a part of your interview. This might be a large
portion or it may be as small as a couple of lines or
words. If you only have one camera angle, this can
create a jump cut, which is a cut from one shot to
the same shot at a different time. The sudden subtle
change in the image can be very jarring for the viewer, so you will want to hide it. The easiest way to do
Post Production
Once all of your filming is completed, you are ready
to enter the final, crucial stage of making your TV
show: post production. In post production, you will
take all of the separate show elements you have created and piece them together into a finished program.
As you will see, these show elements consist of everything from the video you shot in the studio or in
the field to still images, music, and more. The process
of piecing these elements together is called editing.
At North Metro TV, we use a program called Final
Cut Pro to edit our programs. As the name implies,
Final Cut Pro is a professional editing program and
is, in fact, the second most popular editing software
in the film and television industry. In 2010, the Oscar nominated True Grit and The Social Network were
both edited on Final Cut Pro, with The Social Network
taking home the Academy Award for Best Editing.
The most popular editing program in the industry is
called Avid. The reason we do not use Avid here at
NMTV is simply because I feel that Final Cut Pro is
a much more user friendly program. True, Avid may
be just a little bit more robust, but it can really be a
pain to work with.
NMTV has two Final Cut Pro editing suites and either can be reserved during regular office hours. We
are not going to go into a lot of detail on exactly how
are not going to go into a lot of detail on exactly how
the program works here. If you would like to learn
how to use Final Cut Pro, you can sign up for our Basic Editing Tutorial. Unlike most of our classes, this
is a self taught tutorial (featuring a tape of sample
footage and a tutorial written by yours truly) and can
be scheduled at your leisure. Don’t worry, I will make
sure to be on hand in case you get stuck or have any
What we will talk about here, though, is the workflow of editing. Years ago, before programs like Final Cut Pro were popular, editing was accomplished
by placing tapes in three different VCRs. The first
two VCRs held the footage you shot in the studio
or in the field and were literally the A and B roll.
You would then record footage from these two (or
more) tapes onto a third tape. This style of editing
was called linear editing because projects had to be
put together in order. The first scene would go onto
the record tape first, then the second and third and
so on with the editor carefully placing things like B
roll along the way. If a mistake was made early in the
process, say the third scene was accidentally left out,
an editor would have to erase everything from the
second scene on and, essentially start over.
Programs like Final Cut Pro allowed for the prominence of what is known as non-linear editing. Projects no longer need to be cut in order. You can,
for example, edit the fifth scene first. Non-linear
editing also allows for a fluid and evolving editing
process as changes can be made to any part of the
46 | Editing
program at any time. If an editor today forgot to put
in the third scene, all he has to do now is click a button to fix the mistake without having to redo any of
the work he/she’d already done to that point.
Non-linear editing also allows an editor to focus on
the project step by step, allowing them to focus only
on getting shots in the right order without at the
same time worrying about things like graphics and
B roll placement.
This is largely because most non-linear editing programs use a timeline where an editor can arrange his/
her clips in whatever order they like. Rearranging is
as easy as clicking and dragging.
Still, since most people are used to working on things
start to finish non-linear editing can be tough to get
your head around. Because of that, we will now take
a little time to discuss a standard editing workflow
that will hopefully help you better manage the editing process.
The first step of editing any program has to be capturing the video. Capturing is the term for copying your
video onto the computer so it can be edited. To capture, you simply need to place your tape into a VCR
that is attached to the computer via a firewire. While
the tape plays, the computer records the footage.
Capturing is a very simple process, but it can also
be a very time consuming one. Video capturing is
a real time process, meaning if you have three hours
worth of footage, it will take the computer three
hours to capture it. There is no way to speed it up.
Once your footage has copied to the computer, you
can begin putting together your rough cut, which is
basically just a rough draft your program. At this
stage, I am only concerned about A Roll. B roll, text,
graphics, and music will all come later. Right now, I
just want to take my primary footage, cut away any
mistakes or bad takes, and arrange my clips in the
order I think I will want them for the final show.
For In Focus, this means taking our studio footage
and rearranging it, along with the “best of ” clips I
selected of Fran’s show, into the proper order in the
timeline. Remember that when we shot our episode
of In Focus, we shot the interview first and then I did
an opening and closing for the show. While recording this opening and closing I probably made several
mistakes. In the rough cut stage of editing, I will
choose the best take of that opening, trimming away
any excess, and place it at the start of the timeline.
This will be followed by the first “best of ” clip, then
the first part of the interview, another “best of ” clip,
The timeline for the final cut of In Focus: Positive Investigations. Each set of boxes comprises one clip. One blue box and two green ones make up
a set, with the blue boxes representing video and the green boxes representing audio.
the second part of the interview, a final “best of ” clip,
and then my closing remarks. At any time, I can rearrange these items in the timeline. For example, if
I want, I can easily change the order of the “best of
clips” or swap them out for different ones entirely.
Now it’s time to add in the end credits, my special In
Focus opening animation, the ID tags seen throughout
the program, which, in the industry, are called lower
thirds, and any other text, logos, or still pictures.I
A portion of the tail end of the rough cut timeline for In Focus: Positive
Investigations shows a rough cut assembly of the program.
My rough cut complete, I can now go through the
program, adding B Roll wherever I like. Sometimes,
I will need an opportune clip to cover a jump cut, but,
more often, I will choose to illustrate something that
Fran said with a clip from Positive Investigations, for
instance, the footage of the Velodrome or dog sleds
that I used when she told those particular stories.
B roll can be placed in the timelines second video
track, right above the footage I want to cover. Final
Cut Pro will automatically default to showing the
video in the top most track.
A close up of the same timeline, now with B roll shots added to the
second video track.
A shot from In Focus with a text effect added in Final Cut Pro.
Most of these text elements can be added using a
special text creation tool in Final Cut Pro. The animation is a Quicktime movie and any stills should
be brought in as JPEGs or PSDs (from Photoshop).
Like the B roll, these can all be placed in the second
or third video tracks of the timeline.
Once your titles and graphics are in place, take some
time to review your project, making sure that you like
the way everything looks and cuts together and making any adjustments you like along the way. Once
48 | Editing
this is done, you will have a picture lock, meaning that
you are, basically, finished with the look of your program and that you are ready to move on to the sound.
In this phase, you can add any music you want for
your show. You can bring in your own music (remember to make sure it isn’t copyrighted or, if it is,
that you have permission) or use our large library of
copyright free songs.
In Focus doesn’t have many music needs, so I’ll just
be adding music for the opening and closing credits.
This music will go in the timeline’s third and fourth
audio tracks.
The sound meter (at left) should be kept close to 12. These
pink lines( above), often referred to as “rubberbands” allow an editor to adujust sound levels.
Now it’s time to add transitions between scenes and
shots. Transitions are anything other than a hard cut
that bridges two adjoining clips. A good example of
a transition is a fade. Final Cut Pro has a large variety of built in transitions.
Once the music is added, I need to mix my sound.
Mixing means adjusting the volume of each clip and
element so that it doesn’t over modulate and that it is
balanced with the other sounds around it (i.e. making sure background music is sufficiently softer than
dialog). To do this, I will need to keep an eye on my
sound meter, which works pretty much the same way
as the meters on the cameras and the sound board. I
want to make sure that my primary sound is consistent around the 12 mark on the meter. To increase or
decrease the volume of a clip, all I need to do is raise
or lower the little pink lines in the audio tracks with
my cursor.
A transition can be applied to the seam in between
any two clips simply by dragging and dropping.
(Above left) a clean seam between two clips. (At right) a seam between a clip and end credits with a transition applied. The gray
squiggle represents a transition.
For In Focus, I primarily use simple cross dissolves, a
fancy name for a standard fade, or a dip to color dissolve, which fades to and from black.
That’s it, your project’s almost done, but, before you
start making copies to air on TV and bring home and
show your friends, you should really review the completed program. This simply means sitting down and
watching it from start to finish. This is a great way to
catch any last minute mistakes, like misspellings or
forgotten transitions.
This is a step a lot of producers skip, figuring their
program is fine, but I can’t tell you how many times
a producer has found out about some mistake they
missed and asked for their show to be pulled from
the air so they could fix it. I’m not immune to this
particular hubris myself. After failing to review a
Wednesdays with Barbie, I had to go back and fix a
couple of typos not once, but twice! Thank goodness,
Barbie decided to watch the show herself before it
went to air!
Once you’ve reviewed your project and are happy
with the results, you can start distributing the show.
Typically, this will mean making copies for yourself,
your friends, and, of course, NMTV. You can even
make copies to send to other public access stations
if you want. I keep all of the appropriate forms on
file in my office and am happy to help you distribute
to other stations around the metro or even around
the country. Distribution can also be digital and
I’m more than happy to help you put your videos on
Facebook, YouTube, or anywhere else on the Internets.
Making copies for yourself is pretty easy. Our edit
suites are outfitted with a program called DVD Studio Pro that can help you make both simple and
elaborate DVDs of your shows. It’s a fairly easy program to use and, while I don’t have a tutorial written
for it yet, I’ll be happy to show you how to use it. Just
make an appointment. Once that first DVD is made,
we can use our DVD tower to make up to five copies
at once. You are welcome to make as many copies as
you want (as long as you don’t go too crazy). You can
bring in your own discs or buy them from NMTV
for a dollar apiece. The DVD tower is also pretty easy
to use and I’ll be happy to show you how any time.
Submitting your program for air begins with either
giving us a DVD copy of your finished show or, better yet, giving us a digital copy. Making a digital copy
is a breeze and actually makes things a little easier for
us. All you need to do is export the file from Final
Cut Pro, which is something we’ll go into in detail in
the editing tutorial. Once you’ve made your digital
copy, just let me know where you’ve saved it and I’ll
move it onto one of our servers.
You’ll also need to fill out a Statement of Compliance form, which can be found on page 56 of this
text. This form is simply a way for you to assert that
you take full responsibility for the content of your
program. There is also a space on the form for you to
put the total runtime of your show. Be sure to write
down this time to the nearest second. This helps
Michele, our programmer, and the whole station immensely. If your show is 28:04 (28 minutes and 4
seconds long) and you put 30:00 on the form and
we input that information into our system, figuring
that it is right, we’ll be off the air for 1:56 and no one
wants that. If you need help figuring out the precise
50 | Finding Your Show on the Schedule
length of your show (and you probably will the first
time or two), just let me know.
Finally, take your filled out form and give it to Eric (if
you’re submitting a digital file) or place it and a DVD
copy in the basket behind the front desk.
That’s it! You’re done! You’ve made a TV show! Of
course, you’re going to want to tell your friends and
family when they can watch your show on Channel
14. To find out, just visit our website at Then, click on Channel 14 Schedule and
type your show’s title into the search box. Click on
the episode in the search results and you’ll be able to
see the schedule.
Don’t worry if the schedule information says “This
show is not currently scheduled.” Michele tries her
hardest to have the week’s schedule finalized every
Monday, but sometimes it can take a little longer
than that. “This show is not currently scheduled”
means just that. It isn’t scheduled to play right now,
but it may be soon. Just check back or shoot Michele
an e-mail at [email protected]
Your Future at NMTV
Congratulations. You now know how to make your
own TV show. Hey, you even helped make an episode of In Focus, which will air for the first time on
the first Wednesday of the month. You are now authorized to check out any of our equipment and to
use Studio B.
If you’d like, you can sign up for more classes, like
Beginning Editing and Intermediate Camera and
even volunteer for some of the productions I run
right here at the studio, like Wednesdays with Barbie.
Just keep an eye on your e-mail in box for crew calls
for that show and many other fun crew opportunities
that will pop up throughout the year.
It was my absolute pleasure having you in class and I
can’t wait to work with you again, whether that’s on
one of the volunteer opportunities I just mentioned
or by helping you make your own shows. Remember,
just because this class is over, doesn’t mean I’m going
anywhere. I’ll always be right here, ready to help you
make your own shows and put them on Channel 14.
The North Metro TV Public Accesss Productions logos and a still from
Wednesdays with Barbie, one of the shows you can volunteer on.
52 | Supplemental Material
I, the undersigned, at the request of producers,__________________________________________
__________________________________ and ________________________________________________
who are producing a program tentatively entitled_______________________________________________
do hereby, on behalf of myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns grant, deliver, assign and forever release to the
above named producers, their successors, agents, licensees, joint ventures, and assigns all of my right, title, and interest in and to
all photographs, motion pictures, negatives, prints, videotapes, magnetic and digital recordings, and other forms of technology not
presently known, and any and all reproductions of the above, now or hereafter made of me by the producers named above, to exhibit, broadcast, publish, display, copyright, reproduce, televise, use, edit, license, dispose of, exploit or use in any way whatsoever.
I further release the above producers, their agents, employees, successors, licensees, joint ventures
and assigns from any and all claims for compensation, consideration, or damages for libel, slander, invasion
of my right to privacy, violation of my right to publicity, or any other claim based on the use of this material.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto affix my hand this____________ day of____________, 20_______.
________________________________________________________________(Parent or Guardian, Print)
_____________________________________________________________(Parent or Guardian, Signature)
Date: ___________________
Name (Owner/Representative): ______________________________________________
Phone: _________________________________________________________________
Mailing Address: _________________________________________________________
Owner/Representative hereby grants to ________________________________________
(the producers) permission to enter upon and use the property and contents thereof and the appurtenances
thereto located at _____________________________ (the property) for the purpose of photographing
and recording certain scenes in conjunction with ____________________________________________
(working title) on ____________________ (the date).
After completion of the work, the above mentioned producers agree to leave the property in as good
condition as when received.
The undersigned acknowledges that the producers are photographing and recording such scenes in express
reliance upon the foregoing. The undersigned represents and warrants that the undersigned has all rights
and authority to enter into this agreement and to grand the rights granted hereunder.
The producers may at any time elect not to use the property by giving the owner written notice of such
election, in which case, neither party shall have any obligation hereunder.
This is the entire agreement. No other authorization is necessary to enable the producers to use the property for the purpose herein contemplated.
By: _________________________________________ (Signature)
Date: ________________________________________
54 | Supplemental Material
Date: March 30, 2011
Producer Phone:
Producer E-mail:
Call Time: 6:00PM
In Focus
Eric Houston
[email protected]
North Metro TV Studio B
Contact Name
Eric Houston
Phone #
Crew Member
Rick Bostrom
Patrick Biden
Robert Pajak
John Merchant
Mary Olson
Steve Caron
Janese Olson
Steve Caron
Mary Olson
Robert Pajak
John Merchant
Janese Olson
Patrick Biden
John Merchant
Janese Olson
Patrick Biden
Associate Producer
Call Time
Approx Wrap Time
Sound Engineer
Camera 1
Camera 2/Floor Director
Camera 3
Production Assistant
Sound Engineer
Camera 1
Camera 2/Floor Director
Camera 3
Production Assistant
Sound Engineer
Camera 2/Floor Director
Devry Foss
Eric Houston
Special Needs (Props, Equipment, Etc.):
Directions to Location:
Call Time
Approx Wrap Time
Call Time:
Producer Phone:
Producer E-mail:
Contact Name
Phone #
Crew Member
Call Time
Approx Wrap Time
Call Time
Approx Wrap Time
56 | Supplemental Material
How to Make a TV Show