Being the Production Intern, I get to see first-hand what goes into making sure a news broadcast goes smoothly day after day from behind the scenes. The director and producer have to work together as an unit in order to accomplish getting the broadcast off without a hitch. The producer constructs the scripts and places everything in the rundown for the show so that it can be appealing to the ear while the director is responsible for synchronizing camera shots and the coding for the show, essentially making sure it’s visually appealing.
I work every Tuesday and Thursday night from 9:30pm until 12:00am, to help conduct the 10 and 11 o’clock news broadcasts. The director will key in camera numbers and shots for each second of each story. Following that they have to code the shot so that the computer knows when to take a preset shot. The director is responsible for the displaying of animations, tags, supers, etc. which all have to be coded before each show. The producer has a never ending job of constantly keeping the show relevant. They have to know when to kill a story if needed which could happen for various reason one being a time issue. Producers have to be able to work quickly in high paced and pressure environment.
As everything in life, news is constantly changing so different things happen during the show that a director and producer has to always be prepared for. They should always have a rundown in front of them ready to modify any changes that need to be altered during the show. Where do all the behind the scenes staffers work during a broadcast? In the control room that isn’t just occupied by the director and producer. Also you have someone operating the TelePrompTer, which is displaying the scripts for the anchors to read and you have someone who is also operating the cameras out in the studio to make sure the pending shots are aligned with the rundown, both of which are usually production assistants.