Take One: Television Directors on Directing

Take One: Television Directors on Directing

Take One: Television Directors on Directing

Take One: Television Directors on Directing


"Take One is quite remarkable, unique among books about broadcasting. It's the best--and most practical--of the texts on production I've seen. But it's much more: valuable not only for student and teacher, but also for the professional already in TV who wants to raise his sights and sharpen his skills, and it's fascinating reading for anyone who just wants to go behind the scenes and meet closeup the creative forces behind the medium's greatest programs." Richard Pack, Editor Television Quarterly "Kuney has put all his experience and insight to work in this fascinating book. . . . No one who has any interest in learning about television should miss reading this wise and very readable book." Lawrence K. Grossman Gannett Center for Media Studies Columbia University


An aura of mystery surrounds the television director as he enters his personal domain--the control room. the room is slightly darkened, filled with electronic state-of-the-art equipment--dimmed so that multiple monitors carrying pictures from studios, newsrooms, auditoriums, stages and playing fields of varying sizes and shapes can convey their images from several different angles, piercing the blackness with clarity and conviction, allowing the director dominion over all he sees.

Dressed informally, concentrating intensely, the director goes about his work in this half-light, signaling to a technician alongside him which monitor he wants to bring on line. Some do it by a nod of the head, some by snapping fingers aggressively, others by a pencil tap on the script. Some, in situations of less magnitude, accomplish their task by pushing buttons on the control panel--the switcher--themselves.

What the director is doing as he selects his shots is determining what millions of viewers will be seeing on tv sets in their homes. in the case of the nightly news, a sporting event, an occasional special happening, a rare concert or opera, the director's decision affects viewers instantly; in the case of most other programming, he is circumscribing what will be videotaped, preparing program content for shows that are stockpiled and broadcast at a later date.

Average television viewers are totally unaware of this directorial thrust and have little or no interest in what goes on behind the camera, unless it has to do with the personalities that people their television screen. Even when something goes terribly wrong with their picture, viewers are more likely to blame the manufacturer of . . .

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