Lights, Camera, Prompter

As promised in my previous post, this week I will be discussing what it is like to work during the midday news broadcast. Unlike The Hampton Roads Show, the midday news can change at any moment. Stories can be cut, or as the producers refer to it “dead,” during the middle of the broadcast, so everybody has to be prepared if anything changes. During the past couple weeks I have been working for the midday news I have learned how to operate the cameras and run teleprompter.

Let’s start with what goes into running teleprompter. First off, the teleprompter is what is located on each of the cameras. It contains the scripts for the show that the anchors read off of. The controller for the teleprompter is located in the control room. It is essentially a knob, so depending on the direction you turn the knob it controls how fast or slow the script runs. As the anchors are reading the script you have to make sure that you keep at the same pace that they are reading. Running teleprompter might seem like one of the more easy jobs, but if things do not go smoothly with the teleprompter it can ruin the whole broadcast. Not only do the anchors rely on the teleprompter, so does the director because he follows the script to know when to roll a certain package or animation.

Running cameras is a little more exciting. As I stated in my previous post, the cameras used for the news broadcasts are all remote controlled. When running cameras in the news set there is a computer positioned behind the cameras that controls all of their movements. There are several different camera shots used during the broadcast. Some of the main shots include a 2 SHOT, which is a shot of the two anchors together; MCU shots, which are solo shots of the anchors; and BAM shots, which are shots with the anchors standing at the big monitors. There is a program that saves all the camera shots needed for the show, so when you need to move camera one to a BAM shot you just select that shot, press cut, and the camera will move to that position. Therefore, during the show you have to pay attention to the rundown to know what shots are coming up next and make sure you have the right camera in the correct place when the director needs to take that shot.  And that covers what it is like to work the midday news broadcast.

Till next time – Jacqueline Lloyd

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