WV Flood Relief Telethon

If it's about broadcasting, radio, TV, satellite, cable, this is where to talk about it.

Moderators: The People's DJ, Arp2, Hoosier Daddy

Post Reply
User avatar
Hoss
Member
Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:14 pm
Location: Charleston

WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Hoss » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:24 am

The WV Flood Relief Telethon, while laudable in its effort and purpose, certainly showed how local broadcasters have slipped in the ability to execute entertainment programming. This was a joint effort of all stations sanctioned by the WV Broadcasters Assn. and should have been spectacular with the pool of talent available. I now speak about production video content and leave the audio and news content alone. Also I will not comment on community involvement which was obvious.
Apparently there are no studio cameras around here capable of zooming or performing a dolly to get a tight shot. It is customary when talent is performing to show shots of various happenings surrounding the performance in the studio and of course by the different performers providing the featured entertainment. What were all the volunteers doing during this, whatever it was would add interest. These shot could be accompanied by video manipulation such as dissolves, split screens, dollies, trucks, rack focus and others as your switcher allows. Of course it takes a trained and experienced director/producer to know what will work to compliment performances and their ability to do advance planning. We were treated to mostly wide shots.
Yes directors need to gain that kind of experience and maybe that's the problem, when your focus is news programming it leaves little time for exploring the techniques available for other than the “get it on the air now” that drives breaking news. There will always be a place for “the seat of your pants” director so this is not a slam on Newscast directors and their need for that kind of flexibility.
Why not pull a couple of those old guys out and put their experience to work? Yes they are still around. Rod Morrison has the tenure with entertainment programs to take any endeavor and make it shine to its best potential. Of course there are others still around the business in this area, Jack Deakin also comes to mind. Just a thought as I think it would of enhanced the product with an experienced director/producer to pick up the shows pace, clean up those awkward transitions and bring a little more entertainment to the presentation. Make the viewer comfortable... after all the cause is good but let's remember our audience expects and deserves the best presentation we are capable of producing.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

User avatar
genlock
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8979
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 4:09 pm
Location: OW

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by genlock » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:49 am

To save the expense of minimum wage cameramen, most stations have installed
computer/servo controlled cameras that are script driven. I have never seen
one of these. I do not know if they have any manual controls that would be
usable in a production. The production skills for any type of thing like this
are now available only with those who work sports remotes. At least locally.
I have not seen a production switcher in years. Once a monster with hundreds
of buttons and requiring a wizard to operate, I am not sure what form the small
station switcher takes now. I will say that the video quality is exponentially better.
Costs to achieve that quality have dropped almost the same amount. Audio
still is problematic. Production values are as low as they have ever been,
but now they can be covered up by spectacular and excessive graphics.
The blonde co-host from Bluefield was a cutie.
"Everyone Should be aware that you're just a screen grab away from infamy."

User avatar
Arp2
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5213
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Arp2 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:22 pm

Is there somewhere to see some of this?

Guys like to fix things, so here's me being a guy:

Though, as far as I know, not true in West Virginia, the solution for the majority of the country is to go to the biggest churches in the area, find out if they do IMAG for their services and/or produce for an online campus, check for technical compatibility (many churches can and do up to 1080i on the video side and audio that rivals all but the best touring acts and music-featuring TV shows), and ask/pay the best-suited to produce it for you. These kinds of churches typically have multiple teams of experienced (and, sometimes, seriously talented) audio, video, and stage people who do this very kind of production a number of times every weekend of the year and are just a couple of cables from hooking up an HD stereo broadcast-quality feed to a satellite truck. How and why has this become the case?
genlock wrote:I will say that the video quality is exponentially better. Costs to achieve that quality have dropped almost the same amount.
There's yer answer. :)
"I don't know the same things you don't know."

"Yes, you do; you just won't admit it!"


"Yeeee...it looks like a 'Belt Buckle & Ball Cap' convention in here......"

User avatar
Hoss
Member
Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:14 pm
Location: Charleston

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Hoss » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:11 pm

My point exactly ARP2, an old schooled director/producer would know that the studios in the broadcast TV world had digressed to this computer/servo controlled cameras that genlock referenced and would of sought out a studio in the area that would be a better fit for entertainment production. Or as director he may of requested that the robo cameras, or a couple of them, be replaced with field cameras. Eyepiece and genlock would be the major obstacles for field cameras, switchers were timing input signals many years ago and some even genlocked them.
At any rate an old time director never feared coordinating multiple feeds from multiple sources. We have switched shows including rolling the commercial breaks loaded on 4 different machines some with slide cart tags and all with pre-rolls . Having multiple satellite and microwave feeds are just additional sources. I can see if all or many TV stations in the state were providing input the director would want an assistant director and probably a producer for traffic flow. A multi-station show would certainly have a pool of qualified staff to pull these positions from.
ARP2's suggestion of an independent place that does entertainment production may relieve some of the pressure if all talent segments could be done from that one location and may well be a solution in the future. Maybe ARP2 being a guy just fixed it for next time!
As for me... It just seems that local TV should not abandon the art of entertainment TV. Sometimes you need that touch of production glitz to add a little flair and a little distance from the hard news approach to local programs.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

User avatar
Arp2
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5213
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Arp2 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:11 pm

I've now obtained and watched the show.
My mind is blown the whole thing was done at WVVA! Two things....

1. I'm seriously impressed with that kind of set at that level.
2. There's no way I'm going to gripe a lot about such a production and noble effort being undertaken in market 160 on a set designed primarily for sitting-speaker news and chat and with only about four robotic cameras being used in ways for which they were not designed.

Live music is one of the hardest things to do for television, whether you're talking video or audio. That they did it in a small-market news studio is seriously commendable. The only two production matters I will complain about are things they could have been reasonably expected to handle, even in what had to be a challenging environment -- failing to change the lighting and/or shading for dark-skin / light-skin differences and proximity to the lights, themselves, and doing what amounted to jump cuts (cutting or dissolving between two similarly-composed shots) during many of the songs. Both of those are no-brainer, under-five-second changes/fixes...assuming there's someone who can get to them....

Oh, wait....there are two criticisms that simply MUST be mentioned (sorry):

1. The video contribution from WOAY -- da heck was that?? "Yep, this is a great idea that we have executed well...looks fantastic....send it out for statewide broadcast!" How in the world did that happen?
2. In appearing to throw the crew under the bus for a slightly late switch, one personality, who already seemed questionable for TV, became instantly that much more easily disliked. Though it was, in fact, unprofessional, it wasn't just that; it looked like contempt and ego. Note to on-air talents of all kinds: do your job...just get on with it...just start going and keep going! If something not in your control is going on, there's nothing you can do to fix it or make it any better, so don't give the people trying to get it done another problem by becoming one! They're freaking out about it more than you are, so just do your thing!

Okay....now, sure, ideally, this should have been done in Charleston or Huntington where, I have to think, bigger and better facilities (both physical and technical) with room for an audience would have been available, but, like I said, I find these two hours quite commendable!

And I'm now in love with Courtney Clark. Professionally-speaking, of course. At the least. :wink: It looks like she was not only the on-air host but also the wheel that made it all roll....very well done in every aspect, Courtney! But let me tell you what I would have done with that Kevin guy continuously pushing you darn near out of the shot: I would have walked right in front of him -- between him and the camera -- over to his other side, stopping close enough to center to cause him to be too close to you when he turned and naturally back up to where he, himself, had pushed you! As many times as it would have taken! I'm sure you were wanting to be nice, kind, and appreciative, but he should darn-well know better...and you could have just said you wanted the phone number on the monitor to be front-and-center visible. :)

Hey, how good is this Rick Douglas! And how likable is this Amanda Barren! (...though just a tiny bit over-the-top?)

Hat-tip to the purple-shirted singer in the Carpenter Ants, who seemingly saw a camera trying to shoot past him to the drummer and shifted his body position to enable that even though he put himself somewhat off-axis.

Great show, folks, especially in the tight quarters! Well done!


Hey, Hoss...the decent production switchers of the last decade or more generally handle timing/genlock without even a thought from a human...at least, I think they generally do....they're computers with fancy control surfaces that look like switchers, not actual it's-happening-inside-the-buttons-and-T-bar switchers of old.....just hook up any pro-sumer or above source, and you're probably good to go....though they can lose it or get it wrong and force you to take some action to get it back (as in simply power-cycling the source or toggling the channel's inputs between sources in the configuration settings).
Hoss wrote:As for me... It just seems that local TV should not abandon the art of entertainment TV. Sometimes you need that touch of production glitz to add a little flair and a little distance from the hard news approach to local programs.
Some local TV stations are heading more and more in the direction of a news-and-local-chat-for-much-of-the-day format, especially in the largest markets where there are more stations than networks to affiliate with and where there are lots of advertising dollars for live-and-local shows to get.

But what you're suggesting behind/beyond that idea is absolutely right -- producing/directing a live music or entertainment show is an ENTIRELY different beast from what local stations generally do! Requiring ENTIRELY different people to pull it off, too!

Local stations these days generally have people that fall into one or both of just two camps -- newscast producer/directors and "story"/"documentary" producer/director/editors. They can have resumes in those areas the length of your arm and leg combined, but, then, there comes THE LIVE EVENT. There comes THE LIVE EVENT, and they fail...there is no "hit the spacebar" for THE LIVE EVENT.

Whether it be a music show, a TED-type talk, a variety or magic show, or an air show....whatever it is, it's ENTIRELY different from a newscast or documentary or story...it's something that has to be imagined, anticipated, and planned in advance and, then, called and executed LIVE and in REAL-TIME. That's an ability that comes from a talent someone just has or doesn't have, a mindset that can be developed but that someone just has or doesn't have, and a skillset that can be honed but can't be created out of thin air. Thus, it's usually a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT leader that MUST come in to pull things off successfully, and those people have become few and rare at the local level. Kudos to you, Hoss, if that's been you!
"I don't know the same things you don't know."

"Yes, you do; you just won't admit it!"


"Yeeee...it looks like a 'Belt Buckle & Ball Cap' convention in here......"

User avatar
Hoss
Member
Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:14 pm
Location: Charleston

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Hoss » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:00 am

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

User avatar
Arp2
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5213
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Arp2 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:11 pm

You know, a more important question is, "How's Rock?"
"I don't know the same things you don't know."

"Yes, you do; you just won't admit it!"


"Yeeee...it looks like a 'Belt Buckle & Ball Cap' convention in here......"

User avatar
Rock
Member
Member
Posts: 2194
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2001 10:11 am
Location: The Greenbrier Valley
Contact:

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Rock » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:34 pm

8)
America is at that awkward stage.
It is too late to work within the system,
but too early to shoot the bastards.
- Claire Wolfe

User avatar
Arp2
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5213
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:58 pm

Re: WV Flood Relief Telethon

Post by Arp2 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:52 am

Rock's cool....that's good. :D
"I don't know the same things you don't know."

"Yes, you do; you just won't admit it!"


"Yeeee...it looks like a 'Belt Buckle & Ball Cap' convention in here......"

Post Reply