You never really think about how television works when you’re watching your favorite show. Put on How to Get Away with Murder or Power, and I’m completely immersed into the show. I don’t really consider the production behind the shows. Which is a good thing. TV shows should completely captivate the viewer so production is only positively noticeable. Bad production is what catches our attention otherwise the show seems the way shows are supposed to be produced.
Visiting Georgia Public Broadcasting was an experience I’ll never forget. The average person hasn’t been inside a TV station before, so having the ability to see how the shows I watch get produced down to every detail was exciting. We saw studios of all sizes and cameras that literally cost over $150,000…yeah like, seriously. That’s a whole house! These special cameras are standard industry grade, so it puts things into a better perspective when industry professionals say TV production is intense. Every switch, lens and button has a distinct purpose.
Another part of the tour that took me by surprise was the detailed process behind having perfect lighting during a show. One particular LED light we saw had the capacity to stay on for 20 years straight if it was never turned off! I never even thought there were lights with those abilities. Lighting directors have to make sure each actor or actress is receiving the perfect amount of lighting throughout the entire show.
The control room staff does just that – control. They are bringing all elements together so the right content goes on-air. Every cameraperson has a headset that helps direct their shots from the control room. During live shows this becomes even more intense so, yeah you better stick with the plan and get it right! We saw a science lab setup in a studio that is used for a educational chemistry show. The “scientist” in the show isn’t even a real scientist! She’s an actress that does a damn good job at being a “scientist.” That’s the whole point of TV though. No matter what, make the viewer’s believe the story you are telling.
GPB was an awesome visit! I encourage you to take a tour of a TV station at some point in life. It showed me that even when you aren’t even thinking about certain things, there’s usually always someone that contributed somehow.