Best Tips for Directing Live Video

Whether you’re shooting a news story or a sports segment, directing live broadcasts is no easy task. As with many industries, it takes significant trial and error before you really find your footing. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the process, but we’re here to help you find that footing more efficiently. These are some of the best tips for directing live video, so you can understand the most effective ways to oversee a professional broadcast.

Always Maintain Clear Communication

Even if all of your crew members are great at their job, they still require your direction. It’s your vision and attention to detail as a director that makes you the guiding light of the whole production.

Make sure your crew members all have access to reliable communication devices. More importantly, make sure the crew has access to communications with you specifically. That way, if there’s a problem, someone can let you know as soon as possible. Additionally, all of your camera operators should have headsets so that you can communicate directions to them in real-time.

Consistent Technical Terminology

An important part of maintaining clear communication is using consistent technical terminology. For instance, using vocabulary such as zoom-in, pull-out, and tighten up should remain the same on set at all times. Not all sets use the same terminology but as long as you communicate directions consistently, your crew will remain efficient and ready to follow those directions at all times. Using different wording for the same action will result in unnecessary confusion.

Study and Understand All of Your Equipment

No matter what you’re shooting, there will be a lot of equipment involved. To properly maintain a professional broadcast, you have to become as familiar with the equipment as the operators are. In fact, you should strive to become the on-set expert on the subject.

Read the manuals and go through hands-on training; discover all the functions of each device and every button, switch, or knob on it. That way, you can use every attribute of the technology you have to your advantage.

Always Have a Backup Plan

You should always have a backup plan when it comes to technology. Broadcast video equipment is quite expensive, so you’re certainly not expected to have a backup of every device.

However, there are other ways you can account for technical difficulties. For instance, if it’s a power supply issue, having extra batteries or nearby extension cords can come in handy. Additionally, if you’re using a teleprompter and the monitor breaks down, you can use an iPad as a teleprompter with only a few quick steps.

These are some of the best tips for directing live video with precision and professionalism. Any number of issues can occur while you’re broadcasting your program; however, if you stay vigilant with clear communication and a wide knowledge of your equipment, you can direct and problem-solve with ease.

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Written by Logan Voss

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