The Television Technical Director (TD)
The definition of technical director (TD) varies between production houses. In general, there are two different types of TD, although both roles are often combined.
(1) Operating vision control and/or switching equipment
This is an operational role in which the TD is part of the production crew. The TD takes the position of vision switcher or CCU controller.
In addition, the TD monitors the technical aspects of all video sources — gain levels, chroma phase, synch timing, etc. It is the TD's job to ensure all vision sources are maintained at "broadcast quality" (however this is defined by the production house).
(2) Technical/engineering management and support
In this situation the TD oversees the technical aspects of a production. Duties can include:
- Planning the technical aspects of a production, ensuring equipment is ready and technical checks are completed before production begins.
- Assisting with camera settings, lens choices, etc.
- Assisting with equipment changes and modification.
- Responding to equipment failure, fixing problems or finding work-arounds.
- Train staff on equipment use, safety, etc.
Engineering positions usually require formal training in electronics.