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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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

When a tease is not a tease

I see something all the time that drives me nuts. It's when a story is teased-- big buildup, blah, blah, blah-- only to have the video in the tease give it away.

For example:

"...We'll tell you which company is going to start testing its toys..."

(I'm guessing it's Disney since I'm seeing video with tons of Disney toys.)

"One airline is upping its fares. We'll tell you which one, coming up."

(Hmm, judging from all the Southwest planes I'm seeing, maybe it's... Southwest?)

How does this happen? Are producers not looking at their video? In the age of desktop video systems-- not cool!!! Takes two seconds to check! Or do editors not have a script? Maybe they have one without instructions so they just cut whatever? Take a script back for every tease and don't assume editors know what to cut. They probably have a million things to cut and may just zone out. That's no excuses-- and worth a follow-up conversation-- but it also helps if you put some instructions on the script, especially when you want something special. Like big red letters that say-- don't show Disney toys!!! Don't show closeups of Southwest planes!!

With the Disney tease, instead of using Disney products, you could use file of the other products where lead was found and say something like "Lots of parents are worried about the lead being found on some toys from China. Hear how one company plans to make your kids toys safer..." With the Southwest story, you could just use file of the airport for the tease.

Don't be afraid to use a completely different video source for the tease, video that never makes the actually story.

Which brings me to another pet peeve-- editors who use the first three shots of the story for the tease. If you see this, bring it up to the editor immediately after the show!

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