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T356 Budget & Remote Exercise

30 points. Due Wednesday, April 22.

Objective: The purpose of this assignment is to provide students with an opportunity to plan a remote multi-camera shoot. This includes: finding a suitable location, carrying out a site survey, planning the production, and working with a budget.

Note: You will need a Radio TV Services Rate card in order to carry out this assignment: http://www.indiana.edu/~radiotv/rateCard.pdf

Here's a link to a good one and another that was done with a different budget and rate card.

Scenario: You have been hired by WGBH to produce and produce and direct a Profiles in Music with a well-known solo performing artist. (You get to pick the artist.) The hour-long program will feature an interview with the artist interspersed with his or her performance of several songs. They are flying Milton Chase, the show's host, out to Bloomington for the taping. There can be a small studio audience (10-30 people) if needed or if appropriate for the production. The show will be shot in HD.

Location: The show's executive producer (Rosemary Parker) wants you to find an indoor location in Bloomington, that looks nice, is quiet, has plenty of room for cameras, and at least 20 feet of headroom for lights and the jib. She really doesn't like using performance halls, and prefers using large, unique interior spaces. She really likes jib shots and uses them in all of her Profiles in Music.

You need to find a real world location that could actually work for this shoot and perform a site survey. You do NOT have to be concerned with the cost of renting the space.

Crew/Equipment: You can hire IU's RTV services for this project. You'll need 8 people to setup lights and equipment for this remote production. Your 8 people will consist of:

  • 4 camera operators (who can also help set lights)
  • a technical director
  • an audio engineer
  • a video engineer/tape operator
  • a production assistant (Go get us some lattes, OK?)

You'll need lighting equipment, audio gear, and four cameras, three of which can be either hand-held or mounted on a tripod, the 4th will be mounted on the jib. IU RTS crews need adequate time and room to set audio, cameras, lighting, and their portable switcher.

Timing/Schedule: The show's executive producer wants you to roll tape Saturday, May 9th at 1:00 PM. She wants you to record anout one hour of interview footage and one hour of performance. You do not need to edit the show or be concerned with post-production. (WGBH's editing crew will cut it into a 1-hour program and supply the standard program graphics, credits, etc.) With setup and teardown, the production should just fit into an 8-hour day. Consider the time it takes to set the jib (about 2 hours), set lights and audio, as you will need to submit a schedule.

Your job: As producer/director, you'll carry out all of the pre-production work including a site survey, preparing location sketches, creating a production plan and schedule/timeline for the day of the shoot, and coming up with an itemized estimate. You'll send a copy to the show's producer Rosemary, who will be curious as to what location you chose, why you chose it and your production strategy. She is also going to be concerned about the host and guest having comfortable facilities to freshen up before going on-camera.

Itemized Estimate: In addition to the stipend for the performing artist, the $1,000 they're paying you, WGBH, (a not-for-profit PBS affiliate based in Boston), has a $7,000 budget for the production. Rosemary wants an itemized estimate to see how her money is being spent. With an RTS rate card in hand (along with the information provided here) you should be able to estimate the cost of the the production. Note: Do not worry about rental costs of the venue. This comes from a separate budget line.

IU RTS Rate Card: In order to figure out how much everything will cost and keep it inside the $7,000 limit, you'll need an IU RTS rate card. Even though you'll direct the live cameras, they will each be ISO recorded, in order to keep options open for editing. (This means all 4 cameras will be recording to individual decks).

Keep in mind that:

  • RTS has a package price for 4 cameras & XDcam recorders, with studio controls, CCUs, a switcher, mics and videotape recorders.
  • The XDcam decks can record about 100 minutes of HD content on a dual layer disc. (recording at 50 Mbps/4:2:2). Remember that you'll need enough media to record on all 4 XDcam decks for two hours + during the sound check. So you'll likely need at least 8 dual layer XDcam optical discs.
  • The sound man and two TV engineers get paid $40/hour, the same wage as the mini-cam operators (see rate card)
  • The PA gets paid $20/hr
  • You'll need the cargo van for the full day.
  • You need to rent lights
  • You need a wireless microphone for both the host and guest(s).
  • The crew needs to travel together and expects coffee/snacks throughout the day along with lunch.
  • You should also make sure that the host and guest(s) get a nice lunch. (The crew can eat Mickie D's)
  • Do not concern yourself about paying rental charges for the venue.
  • Your salary ($1,000) is not part of the $7,000 budget you have to work with.

You should turn in a professional-looking production packet that includes:

    • Title page: production name, artist, location & date
    • Production strategy (Describe your approach with the camera & jib setup, audio & lighting, etc.).
    • Schedule for the day of production
    • Site survey info which should include:
      • A) Photos of the venue
      • B) Bird's-eye site overview: should show parking, hookups, dressing/makeup areas, bathrooms, placement of video and audio control, etc.
      • C) Detailed floor plan & lighting plot: should accurately show the production area with important set elements, lighting, and positions for jib, cameras, talent, switcher, audio etc.
    • Itemized Estimate *


* An extremely condensed example of an itemized budget might look something like:



Price per unit


Hitachi 3CCD camcorder

8 hours

$ 80

$ 640.00

Extra light kit

8 hours

$ 10

$ 80.00

30 minute Beta SP tape


$ 20

$ 40.00

Personnel Expense




Production Assistant

8 hours

$ 15

$ 120.00

Miscellaneous Expenses







$ 30.00

Case of bottled water



$ 5.00




$ 915.00



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