Behind the scenes at FoxSportsNews

Contrary to popular belief, I actually do work for a living.  One of my main gigs over the past few years has been working as a director at FoxSportsNews.  Here’s a bit of a look behind the camera for you.

Firstly the studio itself which is set up to seat a maximum of three people on the desk.  We do two sports news bulletins over the shift (much like Sports Tonight) and a hybrid news/opinion show.  One thing to point out is that Fox runs a pretty tight ship on these shows so we don’t employ any camera people.  One of my jobs is to set up the four cameras (2 CU’s, 1 two  shot, 1 wide) and then lock them off.  This works fine on most occasions as the anchors know that they can’t move around too much but you do sometimes get a guest who is quite animated, moving in and out of shot which causes me to lose hair.

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Behind me you can see the set of one of the other talk shows.  I just wanted to show that the books aren’t REAL!!!

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There are three monitors inside the front desk which show program, and the rundown.  Auto cue is also controlled by the anchor by a scroll wheel beside them (not pictured).

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Harry, one of our audio guys in the audio booth.  The little blue box on the top of the mixer is a sound effects machine which comes in handy if your a little bored.

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This is the technical directors area.  I try not to touch anything in here!  I basically cry out to the technical director if something isn’t working and hope that he/she can get it fixed.

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This is the area where I mainly work in.  It’s not as scary as it seems although you will jump into hyperspace if you pull the mixing desk leaver towards you.  Thankfully I have yet to do that.  The monitor on the far right attached on the wall is designed to input the plasma content which will be looping on the front desk.  The system only has memory for thirty seconds of video (!) so you need to ingest the footage through and make sure it loops ok for each show.  You can also see that the vision mixer monitor shows all four cameras, what I’m sending out to line, and program out.  

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Lastly, it should be noted that the number of crew on the Melbourne end total the grand number of THREE people.  A director, an audio director and a technical director who also doubles as a lighting director.  The show itself is based in Sydney so all graphics, tapes and of course the producer of the shows are located over there which is great for me as all I have to worry about is cutting for the conversation and let Sydney do all the rest.  Awesome!

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