A Day in the Life

DV Director

A WEEK IN THE LIFE: Monday/Tuesday: Two day offline edit - enter the edit having viewed and logged my rushes well - so should be smooth running! Tuesday pm. Executive Producer views my film and makes a few nip and tuck changes. Nothing major though........ Wednesday: Have a lunch meeting with a new producer and presenters for my next project. Talk through new format and shooting schedules for the first five shows. Have to rush back to the office to finish script for the next two days - another shoot!...... Thursday: Arrive at location at 9am. Set up lights and camera and shoot "before shots" of the room before the makeover can start. Shoot opening pieces to camera outside of the house so runners can crack on clearing the room. Leave the second cameraperson in the house shooting "montage" shots. Spend the day filming with the family, general views of the locale and general work in progress. More of a preparation day today...... Friday: Arrive at location at 8.30 with all presenters and crew. No time for hanging about - so obligatory "hellos" and straight into filming. Have to re-jig script as fireplace varnish wasn't quick drying....can't film anything more on the fireplace - everything out of sequence!! Must think about continuity and work around it. Even though it'll be the first job tackled in the programme - we film it last thing on the second day! Presenter also gets a black eye playing football (in between the first and second day) so have to shoot around it so as not to affect continuity when cut between sequences in day one and two. Nothing is ever easy! Jobs progress nicely despite all and we are near "reveal time". At 7.30 we're all set to show the homeowners their new room. They're thrilled and it's beers all round! **Becky Pratt**

What you do: The range of the job?

As a director on makeover shows,especially BBCs Big Strong Boys, it is my job to get ideas off paper and on to the screen. This involves working closely with designers and researchers to divide jobs into informative chunks worthy of filming. These chunks are then interwoven with the story behind the shoot to write the script. On the shoot, it is my job to ensure the smooth running of the day, making sure work progress and filming are all running to time. Then, with some carefully selected music, it all comes together in the edit to make a comprehensive blend of narrative, informative pieces to camera and music sequences (hopefully!).

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

Creativity, a cool head under pressure, good communication skills, and most importantly the ability to think on your feet, because things rarely go according to plan!

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

I have a sociology degree and used to teach art and music in a prison. Then I came to the BBC on work experience and never left! Not everyone has been to Uni, though most people have to work for nothing to get a foot in the door. Common starting points are then either as a runner or production secretary which lead to research positions (which increasingly includes DV camerawork), which can then lead to a whole host of other jobs be they creative, technical, or organisational.

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