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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

We'll Do It Live!

Your broadcast is live. It's not pre-taped, post-produced, any of it.

But it is produced in a studio--a controlled environment built for television.

So how do you bring the viewer to the action? We'd all love to consider ourselves masterful storytellers and be able to say our phenomenal prose and exquisite visuals make our voiceovers really come to life. 

But we're not really there. And there's no substitute for boots on the ground at the scene of the action. 

Luckily, in today's society, the technology exists to take the audience LIVE to the action. You heard that right: LIVE.

(Full disclosure: people in TV love that word.)

And in the words of one-esteemed ATVN staff member, the super high-tech device that opens up this possibility "is basically a few 4G phones smooshed together."

Sounds exciting, right?

But the technology (although difficult to master) is only a small fraction of what goes into the shot.

There's one primary concern with doing a live shot: Why am I doing a live shot?

You've got to consider your story. Why is this piece conducive to doing a live shot? Don't do one just because you can. Do it because it adds to the story. Do it because it brings a special, necessary element to the piece.

Now, let's say you've got your piece picked out and you've assembled your team (operator and reporter). Well, you're far from done.

The most important part of a live shot once you've committed to doing it is communication. Everyone needs to be in the loop: the studio crew, the anchors, the control room and the remote team doing the live shot.

With communication, you can be ready for any eventuality. Without it, everything that could go wrong will go wrong.

So have a backup plan. Make sure everyone knows what it is. If it goes smoothly, that's great! But if it doesn't (and many times it won't), then you'll be ready and handle it like a seasoned pro.

Now get out there and get after it! We'll do it live!

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