For both set ups we had 5 cameras and that made it fun. My trial by fire when learning to direct TV was on Big Brother and Hell’s Kitchen. Both of those shows have dozens of cameras to keep track of and follow action on and you could kind of tell if you were watching my line cut.
I got feedback from the higher ups that I was directing the show like a Jerry Springer episode. When people cried, I would slowly push in to highlight the drama and intercut our host’s sincere reactions.
It was too much for our producers, so pulled back on the cutting and pushing. Things went real smooth after that. It was my first time back with live cameras in several years having been wrapped up in Story Producing and post production since BB and HK.
One thing that surprised me getting back into The Chair is how miniaturized and modular everything has become. Even compared to HK, whose control room was stored in flight cases and could be shipped anywhere, these shows had very little equipment and many functions had been reduced to software emulations.
No longer did I have several, large monitors and massive server racks feeding all the video. All the cameras ran through one or two boxes a little bigger than a deck of cards and into a laptop. Gone were my large, rackmounted switchers with hundreds of buttons, replaced by a single Stream Deck and my keyboard.
With this, I directed and streamed the show to audiences all over the world as our live audience watched.