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Television is such a broad field with many exciting jobs. The lure of television is that you are assured that no two days are the same and that you never know what can happen. However, to help you understand who the "different players" are in television, we have compiled a list of who does what in television.

 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:

The E.P. and News Director (in local TV news stations) are the big kahunas who call the shots. They are the guiding force of their shows both editorially and creatively. The Executive Producer or News Director makes the day to day decisions on the show and dictates what stories to cover. He or she is responsible for shaping the content, image,reputation, and the focus of the program.


SENIOR PRODUCER:

The Senior Producer or Associate News Director (in local TV news stations) are the second in charge or the "right hand men." They function much like the Executive Producer or News Director but may be more hands on in terms of shaping the content. Whereas the Executive Producer and News Director may be involved more in the final decisions and approval of a story, the Senior Producer or Assistant News Director may be more involved in giving guidance to producers on how to make a story more compelling, creative, and sharp.


PRODUCER:

The Producer is the person who is in charge of individual episodes, segments of a show, or a story. The Producer's job is to make sure the segment or show that he/she is responsible for gets completed. The Producer is involved in all facets of the show or segment. The job is all emcompassing and involves a multitude of tasks ranging from story conceptualization, supervising camera crews in filming, interviewing people in news stories, conducting research, prepping the talent, and supervising the editing process. The Producer does it all.


TALENT:

Talent refers to practically everyone you see on-air. They can be anchors, correspondents, actors, actresses, talk-show hosts, VJ's, etc. They are the faces of the show and are largely responsible for the image and respectability of the show and company they represent. When it comes to news, many of the on-air personalities are also largely responsible for the crafting, or telling of the story, as well as the reporting. Most network news talent are seasoned journalists who have worked in smaller markets for many years before "getting their break" into the network levels. In some instances, news personalities started off in other phases of television, like production, and then moved into being in front of the camera.


ASSOCIATE PRODUCER OR PRODUCTION ASSOCIATE:

AP's and PA's are seasoned professionals in the industry. They assist producers and work with producers very closely and collaborate with them in all facets of the story or show. AP's and PA's often perform the same duties and Producers and often take on some of the responsibilites of the Producer and take the place of the Producer when the Producer is unavailable. Producers rely heavily on AP's and PA's to help collaborate on the crafting of the show and development of visual elements. This can also include gathering video, pictures, etc.


DIRECTOR:

The Director of a show is the visual wizard and is largely responsible for the stylistic look and direction of the show. The Director in a sitcom is in charge of the film crews and decides what to shoot and how to shoot it as creatively as possible. Directors in news programs or live programs also direct the camera crews in a studio from a control room setting. The control room is where the show or program is put together, and the Director is the king of the control room castle. Pieces or segments of video are rolled in and cues are relayed to the talent in the studio. The Director determines which shots or camera angles to use and when to cut to them to create the final, polished product.


EDITOR:

The editor is the craftsman that puts all the elements together. You can think of him as the chef, that makes a masterpiece out of many different ingredients. They are the ones who cut or edit the show or segment for broadcast. The editor views, chooses the best, and most visually interesting shots from all the many hours of footage into one tight, compelling, and creatively interesting piece. The editor works with the footage and adds elements such as music and graphics to hold the viewers attention. Editors are highly trained, and the creative forces that mesh visuals with various effects and movie to advance the telling of a story. They have the talent and trained eye in finding the perfect shot. A good editor understands and recognizes how to advance a story in an interesting and visually compelling way that will enhance the telling of the story.


CAMERA:

The cameraman or woman can make or break a story or show. If you don't have good pictures, you ain't got nothing. The cameraperson is vital to the storytelling process. They have a keen eye for the pretty picture and are constantly on the lookout for "the money shot." They are the artists that can add pizazz to a piece and help tell your story in a visually interesting way. They can provide an emotional feeling with their camera work, as well as set a mood by shooting video in certain lighting situations. Camera people are not only creative but they have a certain amount of run and gun attitude. They are relentless in chasing down the shot they need and relentless in trying to capture a shot in a different and telling way.

These descriptions are general descriptions that are not meant to be all encompassing. There are many different jobs in television that we have not listed but are just as crucial to a program's broadcast. However, these job descriptions are a framework of the most asked about jobs, and are meant to give an overall feel of what each job entails on a day to day basis.