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T356 Spring 2015 - Week 12

Announcements / Reality Check

  • Dramatic scenes this week and next.
  • Final Project pitches in lab this week.
  • PSAs: This week you have to finish up the follow-through work with your PSAs. This includes:
    • A 1-page (minimum) critique, which decsribes your experience and success (or lack thereof).
    • Get a copy of the PSA off of the Summit video server. (follow this link for instructions on how to do this)
    • Bring into your favorite editor (Premiere, Avid, etc.)
    • Clean up (trim off slate, excess black, etc.) and make any needed changes
    • Output an HD version (same as source/sequence)
    • Create an IUBox folder called T356/PSA and make me, Jessica and your client collaborators.
    • Send a followup email to your client organization (copied to both your AI & instructor) with a link to the video clip on IUBox. You should also thank them for the opportunity to produce something for them.
  • The Budget/Remote assignment is due in two weeks (Monday, April 20). Please take a look at the assignment and bring any questions to next week's lecture.
  • The Spring 2015 Final Exam is scheduled for 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Friday, May 8th.


  • Review Ratings & Shares
  • ENG, EFP & Big Remotes
  • Budget/Remote Exercise


Review Audience Ratings: Calculating Ratings and Shares.

Remember that for the same show, a share will always be bigger than a rating. This is because the share is taken out of HUT not the total TV households.

  • Let's assume that there are 500 TV households in Mill Valley.
  • Let's also assume that there are 200 households actually watching TV.
  • And finally let's say that there are 100 people watching Dancing with the Stars.

Rating: The percentage of TV households tuned in to your station divided by the total number of TV households. The value is displayed in points with no decimal point.

100 households tuned in
__________________ = .20 or 20 rating points
500 total TV households

(In other words 100 / 500 = .20)

Share: The percentage of TV households tuned in to your station divided by the total number of households using TV (HUT). This value is displayed in points with no decimal point.

100 households tuned in
____________________________ = .50 or a 50 share
200 all households using TV (HUT)

(100 / 200 = .50)

ENG, EFP & Big Remotes (Zettl Chapter 20.1)

ENG vs EFP: Know the differences!

ENG: Electronic News Gathering. Usually quick and unplanned production. There is no time for pre-production. Equipment is flexible and can be quickly deployed.

  • SNG: Satellite News Gathering
  • SNV: Satellite News Vehicle

EFP: Electronic Field Production. Uses much of the same equipment from ENG but is carefully planned much like a studio production. There are various tasks that need to be carried out in the pre-production, production and post-production phases.

Big Remotes: (see Zettl) A large multi-camera production occuring outside the studio. Usually a scheduled event like a ballgame, concert, etc. There is no rehearsal! You do everything as on an EFP and ten times more. While many big remotes use over a hundred people (typical for a big ball game).

EFP/Big Remote Steps------------------------------------


Location / Site survey (Always make a sketch). Note power outlets, length of cable runs, acoustics (distracting noise?), communications, Internet, windows that might pose lighting challenges. Don’t forget shooting permits, parking, food etc.

Jim's KSB site survey excerpts:

Be thorough! Bring your key production and technical people. I always bring a tape measure and DSLR. They should get answers to key questions. (Zettl p 504-506) One thing you will have at the end is a good location sketch. Remember: A good location sketch aid the director in a number of ways: deciding camera positions, focal lengths of lenses, lighting, audio & communication systems and cable runs.

Put a compass rose on your sketch (Students should be aware of the key things you would want to find out during a site survey)

Initial Production Meeting: usually held at least a day before a big shoot, all the key production people are present (P.A.s, lighting directors, floor directors etc.)

Timeline/schedule: Just like a studio shoot, you make a timeline. This is one of the most important elements of a production involving large amounts of gear and personnel. It will include everything from morning meeting (with coffee & bagels) to make-up appointments, audio checks, and shooting and strike times.

Production timelines cover weeks, months and sometimes years. These specify checkpoints for major elements

Production schedules cover days. These specify who shows up where and when.

Call sheets are sent out to cast and crew. They have a list of contacts, and specify who is supposed to show up where and when.


Equipment checklist (varies depending on the size of the project). Consider:

  • Cameras
  • Cell phones / radios for key crew
  • CCUs
  • VTRs
  • SEG
  • Tripods/pedestals
  • Jibs/dollies/track
  • Microphones / wireless with extra batteries
  • Audio mixer
  • Audio & video monitors
  • Tapes
  • batteries / AC power supply
  • headphones
  • Cables
  • Paper & markers
  • Lights
  • Extension cords / power strips
  • Gaffing tape
  • Model & location releases
  • Etc..

Production setup. Have a plan (based on your location sketch). Make sure logistics work- that the light won’t set the drapes on fire; the talent has enough cable to move around (or a wireless mic); that the tripod won’t scratch someone’s wood floor, etc.

Walk-through & rehearsal. Do these things just like for a studio production.

Record - Note scene & take numbers

Strike: make sure everything is put back. Pick up after yourself.


Pre-production for Big Remotes must be even more extensive and thorough than for EFP. It requires very detailed site surveys.

Everything is usually controlled from a remote truck. A remote truck usually contains:

  • Program control center (switcher, monitors, intercom)
  • Audio control center
  • Video recording center (playback too)
  • Technical center (camera controls, generators, transmission equipment

Contact person. Often in the public-relations department, the contact person will be familiar with the facilities (or can refer you to someone who is) and should know the details of the event. Make sure you know their name, phone number, e-mail, pager etc. These people often can help in emergencies, so treat them well.

Production setup. All are different

As soon as the remote truck is in place conduct a technical walk-through. Figure out the actual field of view from the cameras.

Be decisive and precise

While the technical crew is setting up, hold a production meeting with your AD, Floor Director, talent, camera and discuss how you will be covering the event

Make sure the communication systems work

Check with your recording engineer to make sure they have enough media.

Walk through the site again and visualize the event from the camera’s perspective. Are they in optimum locations? On one side of the principal vector (180* rule) Where is the sun? Are there other lighting hazards or obstructions in shots? (competitors sign)

Remember the big picture. You are a guest in the facility. Treat everyone well and you can do it again.

Directing the Big Remote:

  • Speak loudly & clearly
  • Listen to the floor manager & camera positions
  • Watch the monitors. Report the event as truthfully as possible.
  • Listen to the audio
  • If/when things go wrong stay calm. It’s not what happens- it’s how you respond to them.
  • Exercise good taste. Don’t try to capitalize on accidents or embarrass people

Instant replay (for large sporting events). This is a complicated production procedure. Usually there is a station (and a producer or AD) dedicated to recording & playing back. This is often paired with a special CG operator and is independent from the actual program feed. ISO cameras are recorded individually for immediate playback.

Post-show activities

Always thank everyone- no matter how bad it went. Thank contact person, police, food gopher etc. It’s how you behave towards other people that often determines your success. Not just how skilled you are.

Make sure all the equipment gets stored properly.

Timeline, schedules and timing (Zettl chapter 19.1)

For live broadcasts and live studio productions timelines are very precise- down to the second.

Clock time is known as schedule time. This is the actual time that a program airs.

Running time is the length of the show or segment.

Timing: Front & Back Timing.

Back timing is working backwards from the end of a show or segment.

Assume that a live show has to end precisely at 1:00 PM. Given that:

  • the closing credits take 15 seconds
  • the taped (next week promo) segment that runs before the credits is 30 seconds
  • the host thanking the guests and wrapping the show takes 30 seconds
  • (total: 1 minute 15 seconds)

When would you give the wrap signal to tell the host to start thanking the guests?



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