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Jim Krause | Classes | P356 TV Studio Production

Week 1


  • Review course & syllabus
  • Bio/Expectations exercise
  • Studio overview
  • Discuss semester's projects
  • Look at sample clips
  • Review Homework: (Critical Viewing Exercise)
  • Bring an object you can interact with for our next lab.

Lab this week:

  • Quick refresher tour of the studio
  • Equipment review
  • Camera Challenge Rotation exercise

Who wants to go to Ecuador or Prague? I'm going to Ecuador and Susan Kelly is heading to Prague. Applications are due next week.

Course Introduction

Description: The focus is mastering production in a multi-camera TV studio. You'll learn how to direct & produce multi-camera studio productions.

Make sure you know where the class website is. Bookmark the class website! That's where all of the assignments and lecture notes are.

We'll use Oncourse for turning in work and grading.

Syllabus/Schedule Review

  • Contact: Office hrs, phone email
  • Materials: PC-compatible, USB-based storage (flash drive, portable HD or SSD, etc.) to copy/record your work onto.
    • Format your drive as ExFat in order to copy large video clips.
  • Everyone should be collecting projects for their portfolio.
  • Grading
  • Assignments & schedule

You’ll be wearing lots of hats: production engineer, camera operator, director, producer, etc. Each job has specific duties. It's ok to develop a specialty or passion for a particular thing (lighting for example). Just be sure that you can do a good job carrying out the other tasks.

As you learn how to operate the equipment in this studio, think of the underlying principles and ideas. This way you will be able to go into any studio, walk up to almost any camera, audio mixer, character generator & already be familiar with it.

How this class works

Meet in Studio 5. Everyone needs to get out his or her chairs at the beginning of class & put them away at the end of class

Everyone has to help strike the studio. Don't leave until everything is put away.

Lectures will present new content and provide time to view work. Labs focus on hands-on production activities and time to discuss your project with your group.

Labs (especially on Monday) are long. We’ll find times to take breaks. If you are in the Monday lab be sure you eat lunch (or breakfast) before class.

Clothing: While there is no dress code, the appearance of the talent is often the weakest link in a production. Everyone is “talent” in the rotations. Be sure you dress appropriately for the role you are playing. (news anchor, host, portraying roles, etc.)

Chewing gum takes about 50 points off of your IQ.

What would you tell someone to wear who’ll be a guest on a late night talk show? What would you tell a research scientist on a PBS documentary?

Safety-wise, sandals & flip-flops are not appropriate for constructing sets.

Fun & Professionalism Coexist

We'll have fun in class but also need to function in professional production mode. When we have actors and musicans in or guests in for PSAs or talk shows, they need quiet and space to focus. Any chitchat at such times is distracting. If talent sees you looking at your cell phone they think you don't care about them or the production. Keep your phones tucked away out of sight- seriously!

Setting lights requires constant communication between the person at the dimmer board and the person on the ladder. Don’t hinder this. Focus and remember what needs to be done. Don't let setup time run out without setting microphones or making sure he have headphones for the jib operator or floor director.

When we're getting ready to record a show- and the director has called for a "standby," please keep it silent. We'll get started more smoothly, work more effectively, and finish sooner.

Planning and producing projects

You need to spend time thinking about and planning the projects you'll be creating well in advance of the time that they're produced. Everyone has to produce 4 projects:

  • Public Service Announcement
  • Demonstration or informational video
  • Dramatic Scene
  • Final Project

Even though you’ll be working with partners for the production, everyone will be pitching and planning these. Now is the time to get to work and start planning.

  • PSA- The production is typically straightforward. The challenge is working with an organization and developing a 30 or 60 second PSA with them. Decide what organization you’d like to help. Contact someone from the organization and start determining their specific needs.
  • Demonstration or Informational video – Start thinking about what would be interesting to show. Do you have a friend who’s into martial arts, or maybe know someone who can demonstrate how to do card tricks or make yummy treats for a cooking show?
  • Dramatic Scenes – The best ones are original. Maybe you have a scene you’ve written or know the perfect person to play a role.
  • Final Project – Everyone pitches a final project. It can be almost anything: a comedic skit, a music performance video, a dramatic scene, a talk show, etc.

Plan ahead! Always think about a month ahead & about the next several assignments. You will typically be working on varying stages of several productions.

Pre-production elements (scripts, lighting plots, etc) must be done & completed before production. Talent needs time to rehearse & prepare. You don’t want someone playing a dramatic role reading lines off of a teleprompter. Give them time to memorize their lines and rehearse. The camera accurately portrays what it sees. GIGO. Make sure you have something worth watching in front of the camera.

Producers need to plan on bringing any needed props, edited music

Graphics & teleprompter scripts need to be prepared ahead of time so we don’t waste limited production time typing in scripts and creating graphics.

In class exercise (5 points) : Take out a sheet of paper. Write neatly and fill in the following:

  • Name
  • Year at IU
  • Areas of study/major
  • Personal interests/hobbies/skills
  • List one TV show you love & one you hate
  • What kind of project would you like to produce in this class?
  • Three things you want to learn in this course. Be specific (learn audio console, create portfolio piece, understand lighting, etc.)

Studio Overview

Studio & Control room.

Studio: Characteristics: Large size. Level, concrete floor. High ceilings for adequate lighting control, heat dissipation and to ensure that boom mics don't make it into the shot.

Control room: usually adjacent to a studio. Where the director, TD, audio engineer do their magic. Not always on same floor. Not always line-of-sight.

Doors: Heavy & soundproof. There should be big doors for moving sets, cars & large animals.

Acoustic treatment: double & triple pane windows, sound deadening wall coverings

Video monitors: preview monitors, line monitor (aka program monitor)
Intercom system: allows the technical people to communicate with each other.

Studio talkback: a P.A. loudspeaker system from the control room to the studio. Often done through headphones in an audio recording studio

Timing: contain digital clocks that count down & up

Master control: nerve center for production. Controls the program input, storage and retrieval for telecasts.

Studio Cameras:

  • It helps to have 2 people to get a camera out
  • Unlock wheels
  • Move by pulling on ring
  • Always unlock the head before trying to move the camera
  • Always lock before letting go – make this automatic
  • Review pan & tilt lock
  • Dolly in out, truck LR
  • Headphones
  • Attached to CCUs

What you should know about cameras:

As you read the text, be sure you understand the following terms and concepts:

  • CCD - Charge Coupled Device. These chips convert light to electrical energy.
  • CMOS - Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. Like CCDs, these chips also convert light into electrical energy.
  • Gain (boosts signal and adds noise)
  • Zoom lens
  • Zoom ratio: Often given in a ratio or two numbers (eg 12 x 10) The first number represents the minimum focal length in millimeters, and the second number the multiplier. A 12 X 10 zoom lens would have a minimum focal length of 12mm and a maximum focal length of 120mm.
  • F-stop (Should memorize standard f-stops) F-stops are inversely related to aperture or iris opening. (The smaller the f-stop, the larger the opening.)
  • Focal length: (Don't confuse with depth of field!) the distance from the optical center of the lens to the focal plane (CCD or target) of the camera). When focused at infinity, a 10 mm lens will be 10 mm from the film plate or CCD.
  • Angle of view. Telephoto lenses have narrow angles of view, while wide angle lenses have wide, or large angles of view.
  • Shutter
  • Compressing distance: telephoto lenses provde the effect of compressing distance
  • Changes in apparent speed: Telephoto lenses also have the effect of slowing down Z motion. (The Z vector is directly in-line with the lens- as opposed to up and down or let to right.)
  • Perspective changes - Wide angle lenses can cause distortion
  • What is normal” A normal lens won't cause visible distortion. To calculate the normal lens, measure diagonally from corner to corner. (eg a 50 mm lens would be "normal" for a 35 mm camera.
  • Lens speed - lenses which let lots of light in (have large apertures) are said to be "fast". Lenses which don't let much light in are said to be "slow".
  • Depth of field - the range of distance that objects will be in focus.
  • Relationship between depth of field and f-stop
  • Relationship between lenses (focal length) and depth of field
  • Selective focus
  • Follow focus
  • Rack focus
  • Macro focus
  • Auto focus (problems with)
  • ND filters
  • Pedestal
  • Truck
  • Dolly

Look at examples


Student introductions. Who can play music, dance, act, etc. Favorite TV shows? Production experience.

Studio tour:


  • Mic cabinet/ types of mics
  • booms
  • Cable winding drill

Pin rail system:

  • Use gloves
  • The battens should be balanced
  • Always make sure the cyc is cleared before going up or down

Flas & Props:

  • Flats go face to face and back to back
  • Clamps should have the handles pointing IN
  • Props & furniture MUST be put away


  • Types
  • Key/back/fill/set
  • Aces (Fresnel 1000)
  • Deuces (Fresnel 2000)
  • Ellipsoidals (Berkey Beam 750)
  • Scoops (750/1000)
  • Colortran floods (750)
  • Ladder/safety cable
  • Setting dimmers
  • Broken lights go on the back shelf
  • Positions & responsibilities

Next Class/Lab:

  • Be sure to do readings & review the studio exercise for next week
  • Remember the Critical Viewing Exercise. It's due by the beginnning of the week 3 lecture! Turn it in via Canvas.
  • Bring in an object you can show to the camera and share a story about.

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