What happens in the studio. . .

Posted on February 9, 2010



Still growing. . .


 Last Monday was one of THOSE Monday’s.  Everything that could go wrong in TV Production went wrong, and then some.  First step – script read through.  I’d forgotten my laptop at home, so we all had to crowd around an older desktop.  We managed, then went to print it out.  NO conversation between the computer and the printer.  So the students suggested we print to the office printer.  No communication there, either.

“The laptop cart!”  several of the students suggested.  “We’ll read the news off the laptops!”  Two of them ran to the cart and carefully unhooked a pair of laptops.  They returned with them to the studio and connected to the internet.  Yet when they tried to log in to the document, permission was denied.  

In the meantime,  the camera had been used outside of the studio and needed to be hooked up.  One of the students expertly took care of the problem.  No picture over the distribution system.  We started checking cables.

The two anchors ran back to the desktop computer and started jotting down quick notes for the script.  They finished just as time was up.  They were so disappointed in themselves.  Yet I was so proud of them, and told them so.  “Why?”  they asked.  “We didn’t make it on the air.”  

“Yes,” I replied, “But you never gave up.  The only thing that actually stopped you was the time factor.  That was out of your control.  You worked together and troubleshooted the problems and came up with new strategies in a very stressful environment.  You did a great job, guys!”

The following week I remembered the laptop, got the script printed out, and went to hook up the camera again.  Of course, the cleat which attaches the camera to the tripod was missing.  One of the girls, who was the camera person that day, managed to hold it in place by hand.  

When we did the quick check before going on air, no signal was going out again.  I started checking the cables again, with another student assisting.  Two more came in to report the lack of signal in the library.  I was completely frustrated.  Then I heard another student say, “I got it.”  She’d fixed the problem.  This was the student who couldn’t even remember the name of the equipment at the beginning of the year.  Now she’d checked the cables and found a loose cord.  Voila!  We were ready to go on air.

The same student switched for the first time during the broadcast, going from the live studio feed to a dvd and back to the studio, with no problems.  Broadcast complete.

They were proud, but I was even prouder.  They demonstrated not only their troubleshooting skills, but also their teamwork and ability to think outside of the box.  And I can’t leave out grace under pressure.  They were brilliant.   We always say, “What happens in the studio STAYS in the studio”.  Perhaps we should change that to “What happens in the studio happens in real life.”

From Wikimedia commons.  “Never Give Up” By Zumke.  In the public domain.

Posted in: Lesson Plans