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Roger Singleton-Turner

This chapter contains information about camera scripts (studio shooting scripts). It also tells how to create a professional-looking script with MS Word Tables, whilst assuming very little or no experience of working with tables. The camera script is the 'bible' of a multi-camera production. It is like the orchestral score in a concert performance: it's also the primary source of information in the studio giving instructions for each moment of a rehearsal or recording session and is relevant for each member of the crew and cast (or presenting team and guests). Each camera will need a set of camera cards giving shot information for that particular camera. Companies like Granada and the BBC developed their own softwares for creating camera scripts.

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Communication
Roger Singleton-Turner

The traditional sequence for scripted sequences would be as follows: blocking, stagger, run or run-through, dress run, and recording or transmission. Even on dramas, there was not always time for steps 3 and 4. Blocking, staggering and a final or dress run were usually adequate. When it comes to run-throughs, all scripted pieces and links should be played out in full. As directed sections can be played through with real guests, proper introductions and dummy questions, or with stand-ins. The Director needs to make it quite clear when it is time for a take. In the first few year of the twenty first century, the commonest recording media for students' recordings were DV and mini-DV. It is surprising, though, how often a project has developed unnecessary complications because 'common sense' disappeared in the heat of the moment. Making TV content really does depend on good communication and teamwork.

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An introduction
Roger Singleton-Turner

Lighting Directors are highly skilled people and highly paid. This chapter presents a very basic introduction for the non-specialist. In order to record a pleasing picture, the readers will have to manipulate even ambient light to use it creatively. Sometimes, the best way of disguising a small, moving boom shadow might be to create a larger, static shadow, as though there is a building or tree just out of shot. The chapter relates mainly to locations and is relevant to multi-camera working when the readers are on location with an outside broadcast unit. To a camera that has been white-balanced in daylight, tungsten light tends to look orange; if the camera is balanced for tungsten, daylight tends to look blue. Some understanding of the term 'colour temperature' is essential to anyone dealing with lighting for cameras.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

This chapter is an introduction to sound in television. All microphones convert sound waves into electrical signals. There are many models of microphone in TV studios. Each has its uses but this is not the best place for a full analysis. Although there are others, the kinds the readers are likely to come across fall into one of three types: condenser, dynamic and ribbon. Booms are good where the readers wish to avoid seeing mikes in shot. They are good where radio mikes would look out of place and where they cannot be concealed: in a drama. If the original is the better choice, it is sometimes possible to remove the offending sound from that take without affecting the dialogue but leaving a very noticeable hole in the soundtrack. An atmos track happily fills the gap. The absolute silence of 'no signal' is very obvious and will always need attention.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

This chapter shows in detail how to prepare and shoot some as-directed set-ups. They are based on notes for some of the practical classes the author teach and on the classical methods taught for decades at the BBC and elsewhere. The chapter includes at least one exercise using a camera script, that are the basis of many real programmes. The chapter presents as-directed exercises, though building a structured script as an introduction for each would be perfectly straightforward. If used as a practical exercise, the work would fall into the four parts described in this chapter: research, preparation, rehearsal and recording. The chapter provides general points applying to any kind of interview, discussion or chat on any topic for any kind of show, formal or informal. The BBC used to teach that an interview should start with a mid-shot on the Presenter, and then show mid-shots of the guests.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

This chapter is intended to help cover two forms of studio demonstration: presenter plus guest demonstrator and demonstrations with a single presenter and no guest. Underlying them are the general principles for covering any kind of shooting of detail. Whatever the item and whichever method of staging the demonstration, the object is generally to show the audience how to do something that they are presumed to know little of. Clarity of thought, speech and shooting is essential. The safety shot does not have to be on the same camera all the time; the director will have seen the demonstration and should be able to make a good guess as to which camera will be most interesting at any given moment. In addition to the challenge offered by speakers reacting unpredictably, the studio team must work out how best to cover each contestant's movement across the set.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

The development of a real project might go something like this: have the idea, turn it into a proposal, turn the proposal into a treatment, develop interactive elements, work out a budget, get a commission, work out the finance, make and distribute the show, and cash in on merchandising. Professionally, it is necessary to organise each step of production and post-production carefully with schedules and timetables because so many steps depend on earlier steps having been completed. A practical video module is not, perhaps, the place to go into a lot of detail about writing a script; there are other books and courses that cover this area most effectively. However, the success of any project or programme revolves around its script or format. If these are right, then the performers, be they hosts, actors, comedians, or members of the public, will, simply, perform better.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

This chapter bridges more advanced student work and some challenges of the professional world. The reformatting, including re-editing, and conversion of original content is the province of specialists. By 2009, it appeared to be a growing sector in television production. It is not necessary for everyone to understand the fine detail, but professional production teams should allow for multimedia outputs as they plan their content. 360-degree television (3DTV) gives an image perceived in three dimensions. Early 3D rigs were two HD cameras bolted together; this was problematic because differences within the stereoscopic image are more obvious than small differences between consecutive 2D images. 3DTV can produce headaches and nausea in the viewer. Its techniques work best when used subtly.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

Having worked out what the readers need to do to create their project, the next stage, once it has been commissioned, is to plan it. This takes into account the available budget and the time. A useful planning tool for any kind of project in almost any walk of life is critical path analysis. Before starting shooting on location, there should be a planning meeting. This covered all the technical and logistical details for that week and outlined what would be happening in the first studio recordings, including the special studio day we had to record the science-fiction fantasy sequences. Even a straightforward magazine show takes some planning if the readers are going to use expensive studio time efficiently; that is, to get the best out of it. 'Rehearse-record' could be the best use of available resources and the best use of time.

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Roger Singleton-Turner

Multi-camera studio drama provides some of the most popular programming on British broadcast television, judging by the figures in the weekly Broadcast magazine. This chapter begins with a brief history of British studio drama to show what has been achieved and what could be achieved. Scripts are the foundation stones of any form of drama. The writer's intentions should be fully respected and scripts should not be changed without consultation, but the writer also has to respect the artistry and craft of the actors and crew. The chapter looks at children, puppets and animals as actors. There seems to be a perception that, for students, they can offer effective and, even, easy solutions to the challenge of finding material for projects. In terms of multi-camera drama, the Director writes a camera script for the whole recording, which will allow for the generation of camera cards.

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