Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Keeping the Pace

I watched a single anchor show the other day. Poor girl. After the first package, there was nothing but vo's in the first block. She hardly had a chance to breathe, and, in my humble opinion, the first ten minutes were pretty dull.

When you're stacking your show, of course you want to pay attention to content, but it also helps to pay attention to form. Change it up a little bit. Putting a soundbite here or there or a little nats full can help. Maybe write a little mini-pkg. At KTVK, an independent station in Phoenix whereI used to work, I was introduced to the concept of a "speedo." It was basically a tracked minute long pkg with animations, music and slick editing. Some stations intro them- I would just roll right into into them from another story. I also like hitting them coming right out of a break.

In general, I think it's a good idea to change things up every few seconds. So if you're on a two shot, go to single shot or an OTS after the first graph if you have a long intro. If it's a vo, have a graph on cam, a couple graphs under video and then maybe back on cam. Or for a vosot, graph on cam, couple graphs of vo (and by that I mean two) then a quick sound bite. Unless somebody's bawling :20 is too long. The :05-15 range is better.

Also, if your reporter has a lot of stuff, don't be afraid to break an element out of his story. Do it going in, or have it as a vo coming out. It can make the story look larger and also help with pacing so that you're not stuck with some gigantic pkg that brings the show to a grinding halt.

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