The producer is in my opinion the most important and influential role in the making of television because the producer has to deal with an essential part of making a television programme, which is money. It is the producers’ job to fund or find funding for locations, artists, and the crew. Another job is to market the film to directors, artist, television channels and whoever is going to apply the funding for the programme. If the production is given a certain budget for a programme then it is the producers’ role to keep it within that budget.
The producers’ job does not stop at just the funding of the film because they also have to overlook the entire production from start to finish. The producer is essentially the team leader and is supported by other people such as production assistants, coordinators and other managers. A producer will sometimes also have another job such as a director, so it is important that he/she has some directing skills as well. More jobs for the producer is to research and looking at ideas for scripts, hiring writers or securing the rights to use novels/books. Throughout these jobs a producer will make contacts them self and also allow other people to connect.
A director is the liaison between the producers and members of a production team. It is the directors’ job to project the ideas of the producers onto screen and add their own creative input. It is their decisions that affect the overall outcome of a production because they decide which shots to use and they interact with the artists so that they can give to the audience what the director requires. The director also interacts with the other production staff so he can get a required look and feel. E.g. he will work with the lighting team to get a better look in a scene or work closely with the camera operator to achieve a similar objective.
The director’s job differs depending on the different type of television he may be doing, e.g. if it’s a live event such as a football game or a live entertainment programme. As well as the different types of shots the director also decides on the placement of microphones, lighting and props. They decide where everything that will be seen and even items that won’t be seen are placed. After the production (if it isn’t a live production) the director will work closely with the director and choose which shots to use and if needed they will remove certain shots also.
The role of a studio floor manager is a very important role because the floor manager is the link between the director and every other person on the studio floor. It is the floor managers job to ensure that all equipment is safe and ready to use by checking with the people in different departments. The floor manager must also make sure that the audience and guests are being seen to and are seated prior to filming. Also as part of health and safety it is the floor managers job to ensure that the audience is aware of safety measures, show timings and to make them aware of when the programme will be aired.
The floor manager is also the link between any presenters/anchors during a show. They need to make sure that the presenters are comfortable and also to brief them on how everything has been planned. Also to pass on cues to presenters to ensure that everything is done according to its time and that everything is being filmed smoothly and efficiently. The floor manager could be classed also as the directors’ assistant because they are a direct link between the director (in the gallery) and staff other than the camera operators as they also have links with the director.
During the shoot a floor manager would pass on instructions from the director using a talkback system to other production staff. It is the floor managers duty to report back to the director any off camera action that may be going on. They also organise runners to make sure every second is saved and put into filming time. If any technical issues are occur then it is the floor managers role to see that they are being dealt with and at the same time to report back to the director any information or loss of time. If so then it is in their hands to stop proceedings and also keep the audience entertained if need be.
In other occasions e.g. outside of the studio the job roles of the floor manager is changed slightly. If there is an interview then the floor manager must speak with public relations staff to agree on who will be interviewed during a sports match. Also if there is a live event happening and the floor manager is not in the studio, then they will feed information from what they are witnessing to a television presenter. When away from the studio it is still the floor managers job to ensure that there is a safe working environment.
I believe that the first and major quality a floor manager would need to be successful is to be able to work in a team. While they need to be able to work in a team they also need to be able to give instructions clearly to other production staff so that everything is done to satisfy the directors needs. On occasions a floor manager will play a roll of an interviewee for a presenter/reporter. They must also be good at time keeping so that they can plan a schedule to ensure everything is done smoothly and nothing is left out. People skills are also essential because as well as working within a team the floor manager also communicates with the audience to make sure they are being looked after well before, during and after filming. Time keeping is also a must have quality as it is their role to ensure that everything is on time and nothing is left out of the show.
The floor manager must keep everything on schedule and when something does happen that halts proceedings then it their job to make sure the issue if resolved quickly so that filming can resume again. Another useful skill is for the floor manager to be able to watch over all other departments and staff because everyone is involved in filming and if one person isn’t doing their job properly then it would be a problem for the whole production. Another reason for them to be watchful is for health and safety reasons. The floor manager needs to stay vigilant at all times of possible risks that may occur during the shoot.
I believe so far I have some skills that are equal to that of a professional floor manager such as, coordinating the production team, directing other members of the team, dealing with problems that occur when filming and speeding up a production if needed. I have been a floor manager a few times now and when I am floor manager I’m very comfortable and I like to work closely with the director and other members of the team. I think I can be an important link in a production and make my voice heard so that people understand what is happening at all times and there is no confusion.
Although I am confident in being a floor manager I don’t think I have enough confidence if I was needed to manage an actual production, which was being shot live on television. I think I would not be able to go straight into a production team as a floor manager because I would probably need to shadow a floor manager because I know what I have been doing isn’t anywhere near as big as a scale as what it is really like. Shadowing a floor manager would help me understand the works of a production team, e.g. the positioning of the cameras, microphones and track/dolly.
I would also need to be able to work calmly under stress, which at this point I don’t think I would be able to do, as I don’t have enough experience to do so. Something else that I would need is a good sense of timing and being able to work towards a floor plan because once something changes I would need to be able to work around it and make sure it doesn’t change the initial plan.
For me to become a floor manager I would first need to complete my education and get good grades as it always helps to have something positive on your CV. While I’m in college/university I want to be the floor manager on as many productions as possible to gain more experience. The way forward for me will be to work on different productions as well as just in university. I would like to concentrate on a different role first, such as, camera operator or vision mixer before moving on to floor manager because these roles will help me get a wider range of understanding on what is required. I believe there is a lot more to being a floor manager then what I have already experienced so I should really pay attention to better my self.