A Day in the Life


Collect rushes from video transfer, of yesterdays shoot. They are now on VHS – eager to see them – editing the film tomorrow, but first must clear up paperwork, thank the contributors, organise payment for the location (had not time in advance of the shoot!) and set the ball rolling for shoot later in the week 10:30
Impromptu meeting in the office talking about the new presenter and their strengths and weaknesses, how to get the best performance, items out of them. 11:00
Go to supervise the dub of last weeks shoot – to be inserted into this weeks programme. Grab and copy scripts, call dubbing theatre - check they have some of the spot effects I’ll need - and rush down there. Dubbing time is expensive and I hate to keep people waiting and waste money! 12:00
Dub went well chat to presenter about next shoot. I’ll suggest a structure and use of archive footage, they’ll add more of the script. They only have this evening to do it - so they'll want my ideas this pm.. Ahh, there goes my afternoon’s viewing! 13:00
Before prepping/researching script, remember I need to chase the music library for favourite few tracks for tomorrow’s edit. One track is not available – have to go and buy it. Grab a sandwich on the hoof. 14:00
Get on the phone to set up locations and research next shoot. 15:00
Start sketching out a script structure, try and avoid interruptions… 16:00
Chat to programme producer about the line I’ll follow – they have a good idea – which will mean a load more work. What are the priorities now. Script, locations, tomorrows edit, music, Don’t want to let the presenter down. Call them - they can help with the Producers idea – phew! Fax the working ‘script’ – over to them 17:00
Fax over location confirmations and chase some more research while people are still in offices. 18:00
See those rushes – still waiting on my desk. Rush over to graphics as I’m hoping they can do a quick image for insertion into the edit. They thank me for lots of notice NOT! 18:30
Office gets a bit quieter. Start viewing 2 hrs of rushes and making notes, picking shots, takes, doing a paper edit, 21:30
Go home. Take the CD’s listen in the car and then at home. Feeling happy now that the edit will go well

What you do: The range of the job?

The Director takes overall responsibility for the creative realisation of the programme, selecting images, sounds, music and performance. Often takes on producing role also. Sets up and manages the shoot, getting all the necessary shots to edit a film. Writes a final script, selects music or briefs composers, and works with the editor to make the final film. In studios will lead and inspire a large team and keep the day highly productive. Lots of troubleshooting, sweet-talking and stress! David Wheeler Freelance TV Director

Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?

Creativity, good communication skills, sensitivity to people and situations, problem-solving, lateral thinking, ability to work swiftly and safely under considerable pressure, and the ability to keep calm and think straight is essential. Reliability, tenacity, common sense, and a caring about your film. Important to have an understanding of, and respect for other people's roles in the making of a programme.

Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?

Various. Often from research, also from cameras and editing. May continue to direct or go on to Producing, Series Directing etc. May move on to direct drama, or corporate films and commercials.

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