The resurgence of LIVE TV
By Harry Kooperstein
Live television...it's seems to have been a lost art...with
the exception of a few programs like "The Academy Awards,"
"The Emmy Awards," talk shows, parades, sports, etc.
Directors in, what I call, "the post production era" have
been spoiled in as much as they are not having to worry about
the possibility of making a mistake. "We can fix it in post"
-- a great statement.
Well, guys try sitting in a control room or remote truck for
a number of hours LIVE coordinating nine to twelve cameras,
plus the extra added responsibility of rolling in prerecorded
video inserts and the ability to listen to the audio while
covering the video correctly.
Another unique skill is the art of covering a music production
like a live symphony orchestra. This is one where the director
must be in total control of his crew plus have an inherited
knowledge of music. Having a camera on the wrong instrument
or section can become a visual nightmare. You can't fix that
in post. There is a small percentage of directors skilled
in these formats.
On one occasion a director was recently approached by a cohort
who complimented him on his 9 camera, two and a half hour
production originating from the Hollywood Bowl. He then asked
the director the all important question "how many ISOs were
used?" After thanking his colleagues for "making his
year," the director then informed him that the production
was LIVE. That question had to be one of the most prestigious
compliments I have ever received.
Live television production is an art. Skilled directors and
technicians are available. The resurgence is on it's way...can't
wait...no fixing in post needed!
About the Author
HARRY KOOPERSTEIN works for KCOP TV in Los Angeles, is an
Emmy award winning Director and has been honored numerous
times for his work in the station's annual production of "Live
at the Hollywood Bowl." He is also returning for a 5th consecutive
year as the Director of the upcoming 53rd annual Los Angeles
Area Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on June