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

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Getting the full impact from full screens

A word about full screen graphics. They can be a great tool for your show as long as they are done properly. Sadly, it's not that difficult to find newscasts that contain wordy and confusing full screens.

For starters, words on the screen must match your copy. No exceptions. Change your copy if you have to. When the words don't match the screen, it's really annoying. You keep trying to read but then you are listening to something totally different. Why make things any harder for your viewer?

For all full screens, keep the words on each page to a minimum. For long quotes, break them up! Make several panels. It's not great tv, but if you have to use a quote, try to make it as user friendly as possible. Nothing is worse than seeing a full screen panel with microscopic print that sits up there thirty or forty seconds.

For bullet points, keep each bullet to three or four words tops.Have them add on so there is some visual change. Again, words must match copy exactly.

Who should request full screen graphics? I think it should only be producers so that you will have a consistent look throughout the show. Never let a reporter request something without you at least looking at it. Even though it is in their pkg, you want it to fit in with the rest of your show.

Also, if you can, look at your full screens prior to the show. Chyron operators make mistakes. So do show producers. If you check the finished product prior to air, you avoid unpleasant suprises.

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