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June 2018

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • Live and direct
    From concerts to cup finals and ceremonial occasions, live events are increasingly important to broadcasters. Tim Dams reports
  • Cutting comments
    In advance of EditFest London 2018, four editors from the worlds of live action and animation who’ve shaped films from Top Gun to Wonderwoman 
to Sweeney Todd, tell Jon Creamer what it takes to create the perfect cut
  • All the World's a stage
    …And nowhere more than the UK, where studios are coping with an unprecedented demand for studio space from TV and film productions. Pippa Considine reports
  • Let's get high
    From the shoot to final delivery, Michael Burns discovers the best route to HDR
  • Tools of the trade
    Televisual’s annual Production Technology Survey reveals the kit that producers are using to make their content – and what they think of it. Jon Creamer reports
  • Get some focus
    Major changes in the camera market have 
made lens choice more important than 
ever. Phil Rhodes runs through some of 
the best options for programme makers
From the magazine
Available to read online
  • The art of the edit
    In advance of EditFest London 2018, four editors from the worlds of live action and animation tell Jon Creamer what it takes to create the perfect cut
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The Art Of Studio Direction Back to Reports & survey Listing


The crew I work with are very familiar with my style and my convoluted notes. Getting everything to gel is such a symbiotic process that I like to jump straight in and tweak as we go. Until you actually see it you won’t really be able to realise the idea. I have open talk back to all departments, but while the show is running the main two people I talk to are the gallery producer and the floor manager – the equivalent of an AD in film.

This is the most important person for me during a live show. If things are calm then the airwaves should be pretty clear and communication between myself and the lighting director is the way most people know that things are smooth. My script supervisor and vision mixer sit right next to me and unfortunately for them have to listen to my jibber jabber for hours on end. They cannot switch me off!

Meticulous planning
I love a scripted show. Every shot in The X Factor and The Brits is pre-ordained and meticulously rehearsed. Then we make constant changes and tweaks until I think we are close to getting the best show possible. It takes a long time but being able to hit one or two beat shots in a music performance is extremely satisfying. It is a relatively analogue process: I watch a rehearsal movie and physically write the cut points on paper using a pencil, sharpener, rubber and ruler – I find this type of prep very liberating.

When things go wrong prior planning is the key. If you know what is supposed to happen, then reacting to things when they don’t go to plan is much easier. You always know the parts of your show where things could get hairy so you make mental contingencies, and always have a plan B in your back pocket.

It is your job to steer the ship through the choppy waters, so clear communication is vital. There should be one clear voice imparting instructions. Then cross your fingers and hope you’ve made the right call. I like a quiet gallery and try to remain as Zen as possible.

The occasional raised voice does happen but there is a difference between reaction and panic.

The right kit
I am extremely picky about lenses and filters. The difference between a J11 and J14 wide angle lens is massive, so I spend a lot of time with the camera supervisor choosing lenses for specific roles.

In a world of live HD I love to use Glimmer Glass #1 – it is subtle but gives you  high production values. However acrylic lenses will provide similar results. Lee Soft 1 or ¼ Black or White Pro Mist really help unflattering close ups whilst enhancing the general glow and sheen – hiding a multitude of HD sins.

I am currently at the vanguard of trying to re-introduce the liberal use of the 4 and 6 Point Star Filter into light entertainment. I consider it a personal crusade.

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