The Television Director
The role of television director comes in many different varieties. Directing a drama in the studio is very different to directing a reality TV show in the field, or a sporting event in an outside broadcast. Television directors tend to specialize in one area of directing.
Television vs Film Directing
Film directors usually have most of the creative control, but in television this control tends to be more in the hands of the producer. Although this is not always the case, the television director can be thought of more as someone who molds the show into the package requested by the producer, as opposed to someone who stamps their own feel on the production.
Television series usually have many different directors throughout the course of a season. Often a director will only be employed for a single episode.
Live TV & OBs
Live television shows and outside broadcasts require a style of directing in which a constant stream of instructions is given by the director as the show progresses. These directions can include:
- Telling camera operators where to go and what shots to provide.
- Telling the sound operator which audio feeds to bring into the mix.
- Calling for various pre-recorded shots to be played in at the appropriate time.
- Cueing presenters and providing them with information.
- Liasing with the floor manager to ensure that everything flows smoothly in the presentation area.
Larger productions have a producer who ensures that the wider goals of the show are being met, commercial breaks are played, the show is meeting time targets, etc. In smaller productions the director will take on these responsibilities.