Well, puppies. As the four tiny Springer Spaniels bounced around the green room, I must admit I didn’t really feel like I was ‘at work’. I must admit, it was a strangely satisfying feeling, seeing the little ribbons which I had spent several hours searching for the day before tied around their collars live on national television. It once again underscored what I have slowly come to realise as I gain more experience in the industry – the sheer scale of effort that goes into making even the simplest piece of media. The puppies that people saw on TV for a no more than a minute were the product of hours of preparation and rehearsal by a whole team of professionals, as well as my personal contribution of the little bows.
It made me wonder how many of those satisfying little moments happen for different people in everything we watch. A prop they’d spent hours finding, a camera-movement timed just right, a line they’d drafted again and again until it rang true. I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to come to more fully appreciate the craftsmanship in such an integral part of the modern world.
Speaking of craftsmanship, I had the opportunity to watch Richard direct in the gallery today. For those of you that haven’t seen the inside of a broadcasting gallery, it’s not dissimilar to some kind of alien spacecraft (or the set of a JJ Abrams movie), filled with large boards of lights and buttons and manned by a small team of highly skilled professionals. I’d try to go into more detail, but I think with the number of Star Trek references I’d make this blog would be shut down for copyright. Anyways, manning this futuristic pod is the director, who (in very basic terms) tells the team what camera/footage to cut to whilst live on air.
It was like watching a conductor. From the wall of screens in front of him known as ‘the stack’, shot-by-shot he pulled the show together, the next command flying out of his mouth before I’d had a chance to process the prior. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that the key was to give everyone in the studio enough information to be able to get through the frantic moments. Seriously cool stuff.