Television performance techniques module 6

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taken from
"Television Production handbook"
Fourth Edition
Herbert Zettl

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Television performance techniques module 6

  1. 1. TelevisionPerformanceTechniques { Ronie M. Protacio Executive Director Center for the Arts & Sciences
  2. 2. PerformingTechniques {   Speak directly to the camera, with other performers or the studio audience Be aware of the television audience watching at home ( a small intimate group)  There is no reason to scream at the “millions of people out there…”  Talk quietly and intimately to the family who were gracious enough to let you come into their home
  3. 3. PerformingTechniques {   The camera is your audience Adopt your performance techniques to the characteristics of the performance and other production elements, such as audio and timing
  4. 4. Camera Lens {  Look directly into the lens whenever you intend to establish eye contact with your viewer  Stare into the lens and keep eye contact much more than you would with an actual person.  Glancing away from the camera would break the intensity of communication between you and the audience – thus breaking the “magic”  Look at the lens casually and in a relaxed manner
  5. 5. Camera Switching {   Know which camera is “hot” by following the floor director’s cue or by looking at the tally lights Switch eye contact with the camera quickly but smoothly  Do not jerk your head from one camera to the other  If you suddenly discover that you have been talking to the wrong camera, look down as if to collect your thoughts and then casually glance into the “hot” camera and continue talking in that direction until you are cued to the other camera.
  6. 6. Camera Switching {  Ask the director or the floor manager if there will be camera changes during the program, and approximately when the changes will happen.  Mark all camera changes in your script  When demonstrating something, keep looking at the medium shot (MS) during the whole demonstration not the camera on CU of the object you are demonstrating.
  7. 7. Close-up Techniques {   The tighter the shot, the harder it is for the camera to follow fast movement. Restrict your motions severely and move with care.  As director if he/she plans to do close-up’s and approximately when  Stand as still as possible; do not wiggle your head.  Hold objects being demonstrated steadily.  Don’t pick-up objects arranged on a table  Take a quick look at the studio monitor will tell you how you should hold the object
  8. 8. Performer & Camera {   The camera sees everything you do and do not do It faithfully records your behavior in all pleasant and unpleasant details.  Control your actions without ever letting the audience know that you are conscious of doing so.
  9. 9. Warning Cues {   During on-the-air performance, give the director and studio crew visual and audible warning of your unrehearsed actions. When you want to get up, shift your weight first, and get your legs and arms into the right position, focusing on the middle part of your body, and your head may hit the boom mic.  Use audio cues like: “Let’s go over to the children and ask them… “ or “If you will follow me over the lab area, you can actually see…”  Be specific when you cue unrehearsed visual materials. Ex. “we now go to the next slide…”  Don’t try to convey the obvious. The director, not the talent runs the show.  Avoid walking toward the camera to demonstrate the object.
  10. 10. Performer & Audio {   Speak clearly & effectively besides looking natural & relaxed. A super bass voice and affected pronunciation are NOT the only requisites for a good performance  What you have to say must be important  You need to say it with conviction and sincerity  Get needed training
  11. 11. MicrophoneTechniques { Lavaliere Microphone  Once it is properly fastened, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.  If you have to move from one set area to another on cam, make sure that the mic doesn’t get tangled up in the set or set props.  Gently pull the cable behind you to keep the tension off the mic itself.
  12. 12. MicrophoneTechniques { Hand held Microphone  Make sure that you have enough cable for your planned actions  Treat it gently  Speak across it, not into it.  Hold the microphone near you when you are talking.  Point it toward the person as he/she responds to your questions.
  13. 13. MicrophoneTechniques { Boom Microphone  Be aware of the boom movements without letting the audience know  Give the boom operator enough warning so that he/she can anticipate movements.  Move slowly enough that the boom can follow. Don’t make fast turns because they will involve a great amount of boom movement.  If you have to turn fast, try not to speak.  Don’t walk close to the boom.
  14. 14. MicrophoneTechniques { Desk Mic  Try not to move the desk mic once it has been placed by the audio engineer.  Sometimes the mic may be pointing away from you toward another performer, but this may have been done purposely to achieve better audio balance.
  15. 15. Audio Level { A good audio engineer will take your audio level before you go on air. Many performers have the bad habit of mumbling or speaking softly while the level is being taken, and then, when thry go on air, blasting their opening remarks. If the level is taken, speak as loudly as you will actually do in your opening remarks. Thus the audio engineer will know where to turn the pot for an optimun level.
  16. 16. Opening Cue { At the beginning of a show, all microphones are dead until the director gives the cue for the audio. You must therefore, wait until you receive the opening cue from the floor manager or through the IFB (interrupted feedback system). If you speak beforehand, you will not be heard. Do not take your opening cue from the red tally lights on the cameras unless instructed.
  17. 17. Performer & Timing { Television operates on a split-second timing. Although the director is directly responsible for getting the show on and off on time, the performer has a great deal to do with such timing.  Careful pacing throughout the show is important  Learn how much program material you can cover after you have received a time cue.  Look comfortable and relaxed although you have to cram a lot of important program material into the last minute.  Be prepared to fill an extra 30-second without appearing to be grasping for words and things to do.  Practice is needed.
  18. 18. Performer &Post-production {  Make sure that you look exactly the same in all videotaping sessions.  Maintain the same energy level throughout the taping sessions.  On repeat takes, try to maintain identical energy levels.
  19. 19. Floor Manager’s Cue { The floor manager, who is the link between the director and you, the performer, can communicate with you nonverbally while you are on the air. He or she can tell you whether you are too slow or too fast in your delivery, how much time you have left, and whether you speak loudly enough or hold an object correctly for camera close-up.
  20. 20. 3 Types of VisualCues { 1. 2. Time cues Directional cues 3. Audio cues
  21. 21. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Extends arm above head Show about to start & points with the other hand to camera that will go on air. Show goes on the air Points to performer or live cameraTime Cues
  22. 22. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Go ahead as planned Touches nose with forefinger Speed Up Rotates hand clockwise Accelerate what you are with extended forefinger. doing. You are going so Urgency of speeding up is slow. indicated by fast and slow rotation.Time Cues
  23. 23. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Stretch. Stretches imaginary Slow down. Too much rubber band between time left. Fill until hands. emergency is over. Wind up. Similar motion to speed up, Finish up what you are but with extended arm above doing. Come to an end. the head. Sometimes expressed with raised fist, or with a good-bye wave, by hands rolling over each other as if wrapping an imaginary package.Time Cues
  24. 24. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Cut. Pulls index finger in Stop speech or action knifelike motion across immediately. the throat. Holds up five (four, three, 5 (4,3,2,1) minute(s) left two, one) finger(s) or until the end of the show. small card with number painted on it.Time Cues
  25. 25. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL ½ minute Forms a cross with two 30 seconds left in show index fingers or extended hands. Or holds card with a number. 15 seconds left in show Shows fist (which can also mean wind up). Or holds card with number.Time Cues
  26. 26. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Roll VTR Holds extended left hand (and countdown) in front of face, moves Projector is rolling. Film right hand in cranking is coming up. motion. Extends five, four, three, Leader numbers as they two one finger(s), or flash by on the preview simply clenches fist or monitor, or VTR beeper gives cut signal. countdown.Time Cues
  27. 27. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Closer Moves both hands Performer must come towards self, palms in. closer or bring object closer to camera. Back. Uses both hands in Performer must step back pushing motion, palms or move object away from out. camera.Directional Cues
  28. 28. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Walk. Makes walking motion The performer must move with index and middle to next performing area. fingers in direction of movement. Stop right here. Do not Extends both hands in move anymore. front of body, palms out.Directional Cues
  29. 29. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Ok. Forms an “O” with Very well done. Stay thumb and fore fingers right there. Do what you extended, motioning are doing. towards talent.Directional Cues
  30. 30. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Speak Up. Cups both hands behind Performer is talking too ears, or moves right hand softly for present upwards, palms up. conditions. Moves both hands toward Tone Down. studio floor, palms down, Performer is too loud or or puts extended too enthusiastic for the forefinger over mouth in occasion. shhhh-like motion.Audio Cues
  31. 31. CUE MEANING HANDSIGNAL Closer to mic. Moves right hand Performer is too far away towards face. from mic. Extends thumb and fore Keep on talking until finger horizontally, further cues. moving them like the beak of a bird.Audio Cues
  32. 32. Understanding theFloor Manager’s Cue {  Ask the floor manager to go over the cues before you go on air  React to all cues immediately, even if you think one of them is not appropriate at that particular time.  React quickly and smoothly.  Do not look nervously for the floor manager if you think you should have received a cue  Do not acknowledge a cue in any way
  33. 33. Prompting Devices {  Prompting device must be totally reliable  Performer must be able to read the prompting copy without appearing to loose eye contact with the viewer.
  34. 34. Cue Cards {   The size of the cards and the lettering depends on how well the performer can see and how far the camera is. Hold the cards as close to the lens as possible  The hands should not cover any part of the copyand he/she follows the performer’s lines.  Learn to glance at the cards without loosing eye contact with the lens for more than one moment.  Make sure that the copy is in correct order.  Snap fingers in case the person holding forgets to turn page.  In case of emergency, you can do adlibs  Know the topic long before the show begins
  35. 35. Studio Teleprompter {  Make sure that the text doesn’t appear as a mirror image onto the glass plate.  The newscaster can control the speed with which the copy appears  Practice reading while off the air
  36. 36. TelevisionProductionHandbook { Fourth Edition Herbert Zettl

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