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

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last night's showtape

I think you should try to record your show each day. Here's why:

If someone calls you out of the blue, or you see your dream job on tvjobs.com, you can send a letter and resume tape THAT day. I used to do this when I was show producer. It was great to be able to shoot off a cover letter that says, "Oh yeah, and uh, here's last night's show tape." Meaning, I don't have a good show and hold onto it for four months, I do consistently good work every single night.

So what happens if your show is a debacle? I am not advocating this is every case, but an anchor in Cincinnati once encouraged me to go ahead and send the show anyway. Her point? Any monkey can produce a show when things go according to plan. Great show producers can make a show look smooth even when things are falling a part. Just make sure to include notes explaining what you did and why-- and how you, producer of all producers, were able to save the day.

Example: "I wasn't meaning to lead with the Congo Line live shot, but the lead crashed right before we went to it. I went with my backup plan. You'll note that the anchor didn't miss a beat. That's because just before our show, I always tell my anchor and crew what we'll do if our lead were to go belly up."

Even if you don't send out your "nightly" tape, keep one. That way the first thing you can do when you get to work is watch last night's show with fresh eyes. I know this is painful. I HATED watching my shows because I would see a million things I could have done better. But also, occasionally, you'll think, "Eh, not too bad."

Finally, just knowing that you are recording your show and might possibly send it to someone gives renewed enthusiasm for doing your absolute best on every show.

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