Shelter In Place Production
If you need to produce a television show, a studio is the right place to be, with its variety of lighting tools to make the talent look good, a teleprompter so they (appear) to know their lines. Multiple cameras, green screens, and wireless mics are just some of the tools we use, and the resulting production is seamless. Or maybe you want to tape on location. No problem, just pack up the truck and meet your crew at the site. Everyone is in one place and again, production is easy.
But what happens when there’s a ‘shelter in place’ order? How do you produce a show when your talent and your crew must stay home? In the old days, and by old I mean just a few years ago, that would have meant a whole lot of reruns.
That was the case when we needed to record a new episode of Su Vida, hosted by JR Cardenas and Vanessa Ramirez. Fortunately, high speed internet, wifi connections, high definition phone and webcams have made getting together without getting together possible. While it’s not anyone’s first choice, it works and it beats what could possibly be months of reruns.
Weston Watson, of Cox Creative Studios, was able to cobble together a work around. The talent was emailed their scripts and Skype brought everyone together. JR and Vanessa connected from their homes. Producer Karyn Robinson, also working from home, gave notes and direction. Editor Eduardo Acosta, happily collaborating from his living room, recorded each segment. With the talent segments ‘in the can,’ Eduardo could now add the graphics, music, and stories that will appear in the show.
Is it the way we want to produce a show? Of course not, but it gives us the opportunity to connect with our viewers and pass along the information and entertainment they need at this challenging time, because after all, the show must go on.