Tips for TDing my first big show?

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Kevin Stiller

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Tips for TDing my first big show?

PostMon Oct 30, 2017 3:52 am

Greetings all,

I'll be the TD on a live multicam shoot next weekend and looking for general tips / knowledge / lingo that maybe you wish you would have known on your first big gig. Just to preface, I have worked on live content in the past, but this is on a much bigger scale with a live audience, lighting director, sound designer, and in a theatre (which I scouted ahead of time). We'll be running 6 cameras and one computer feed into an ME 1 4K out to wirecast to a paywall. I am in charge of running the feed & switching.

Thanks everyone!
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Asgeir Hustad

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Re: Tips for TDing my first big show?

PostWed Nov 01, 2017 8:46 am

I suggest you have a talk with your director before the first camera rehearsal (you are having a rehearsal, right?), and ask him how he prefers to work. Is he a finger snapper for timing? Or does he shout "ready FIVE, ....... TAKE"?

Of course, you generally learn this within the first few minutes of a production, but it still is important to talk to each other.

One of the other things which is generally a good thing to know is whether or not you'll be the one who actually brings graphics and stuff on-air. Sometimes the CG operator does it on his own, other times you need to put the keyer on air each time before the CG is run - depending on skill and gear. That's one more keyword to listen for.

Get to know the control surface you're working on. The more you play with it, the more ability you have to fix stuff whenever some weird setup breaks during a show (AUXes, audio inputs, AFV, keyer setup and what have you).

If you have commenters, reporters, show hosts etc, you should spend some time to get the transitions from host to stage and vice versa work smooth. This goes even if this is a concert without a typical camera rehearsal.

Speaking of, I prefer to do a camera rehearsal if at all possible (I've never worked on a show where we had time for more than one, though). Do a regular rehearsal where you do your production blindly, record it (either program or multiview) and sit down and have a look at it. Which camera angles worked for each segment? Did any camera men get captured live? Where should the cameras be placed for the instrument solos? Is there any special moments that you missed that you need to correct?

Sidenote: Seriously, EVERYONE misses guitar solos live - now is your chance to make it look good. I've seen people film the wrong guitarist, film the bassist, film only the face and not the instrument... through an entire 30 second solo. Or only get there when the solo is practically done.

But first and foremost - HAVE FUN! There is nothing quite like the rush of a well-oiled live production :D
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Howard Roll

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Re: Tips for TDing my first big show?

PostThu Nov 09, 2017 8:21 am

verse, chorus
verse, chorus
solo
bridge
chorus
refrain
FTB

Sad but true.

P.S. Any knucklehead that doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a guitar has no business shooting music.

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