Day two of visiting this new world of broadcast media was swell! You can look back at day one here. I already miss it. But I know it’ll be right there for me when I get another opportunity.
Only my final day as a shadow, I practiced making a script for the anchors to read.
This is actually really easy for me. I’m a writer, it’s my job to be precise in my writing. Essentially, the producer (someone who writes the scripts) will look up a script from another broadcast and reword it. From there, the producer can shorten/lengthen the story to fit in the time frame of that story.
A producer also assigns, drops and adds stories for their portion of the broadcast.
After I learned a little of that, I worked the teleprompter. Which is just a screen the anchors read off of and add their own touch to the broadcast. They make every other word stand out and catch attention to their viewers. I had to keep up with one of the anchors who talks kind of fast in some parts and slower in others.
To work this magical screen, there is a wheel that you turn right to run the words as you read and you manually adjust the speed by turning left to slow down the words. It’s a bit touchy the first couple of times, but after that I think I got it down. Which is pretty cool!
There was some down time for me after the lesson. I just talked with the crew who where in the newsroom. There weren’t very many, but just enough for conversation about anything and everything.
I got to do a mock weather report and there were about 4 TV screens which were broadcasting me. I didn’t know where to look. I got distracted by seeing myself in HD. I learned how to point at the temperatures and where to stand. There is also a mini green screen that is used to cover the weather anchor. I disappeared for 30 seconds, which is pretty cool. Looking at the teleprompter and working the screen was kind of difficult even once I figured out where to stand. Weather is definitely my weak spot. It took me a little while to get into the arm motion.
For the most interesting part, I got to watch TV for a mini job. Well, just the commercials and the times they were aired. It seems easy until you realize you can’t mark times during the commercial break. You marked them when whatever show came back on. There was a special monitor that counted down how much time until commercial break so that kept me on a track for a little bit. When the slot aired, the same program saved the time in 24 hour form. It was my job to write down the time on the physical form in 12 hour form.
I also got to see how the commercials are transferred (by just a few button clicks) over from a basic file, to the server and then viewed on a $13,000 screen that tests out the quality of the commercial. Everything is closely looked at, reviewed and finalized before the actual broadcast. I didn’t realize there was so much there.
Sports was a fun spot! Meeting with the sports anchor was so cool. He offered me to do some job shadow work in the fall and I might just ask to come down for that. I’d love to be on assignment, even as just a shadow, at a football game. It’s pretty sweet to know I might just go back to this really home like staff and do more stuff.
I was also given contact information for just needing help/advice on what I should do about anything in the field. There was even a reference offer from one of the producers (which I shall use for sure!)
In about a month and a half I’ll be in college. I’m going to try to apply for more job shadows, internships and freelancing to help me prepare for the industry. Broadcasting and print will be a lot of fun! The goal is still ESPN; however, as long as I’m doing something I love, I’m perfectly fine with wherever I land in the industry.