monday, and I have concerns...

Today our TV Studio task was to work with the Performance Students to produce a programme they had planned.

All of the following can just be taken as a student having a bad session on a Monday. Things go wrong, life happens, but I do have a larger concern. 
I understand we are getting marked on these sessions. I don't understand how we will be marked on a session like today
I also feel someone should have stepped in at some tell us off, basically. If any of us went in to a proper professional shoot and behaved the way we did in this class we would be flayed alive.
I'm just not sure what I learned today, frankly.

I opted to be Floor Manager. Possibly one of the worst days of class I've had so far. 
Here's why:

  • Nobody seemed to understand that when you are given a role, that role is yours and you do not take over another role from someone else. No matter how bad they are at their job, it belongs to them. Equally, no one should be pushed out of their own role or just give up on it (although I have to admit I lost the will to live at one point and did just that.) 
  • The entire shoot was a mess because the Director and Vision Mixer were arguing about how the programme should look. The Director would tell us to do one thing and the Vision Mixer would say the opposite. Worse still, they did this in front of the Talent. This is terrible in my book for the following reasons:
  1. It makes the talent lose confidence in you
  2. It causes extra unnecessary stress to everyone
  3. It takes a lot of time which you could be using to shoot
  • There were too many run throughs. I know everyone says you can't practise enough but the Talent's energy goes out with each take. Luckily we had an amazing group from the Performance Department.

(Yes, and on that note, I would like to say I've never come across such a patient group of actors. They got given a million conflicting instructions, were constantly confused as to who was in charge (as were the rest of us) and they sat in that studio from 10.30 a.m till 3.30 p.m mostly waiting for something to happen. Never heard one negative word from any of them. Much respect....)

  • I was made redundant for pretty much the entire day because the Director or the Vision Mixer kept walking into the studio and taking over the Floor Managing.

Just to make sure my rant is sincere and valid I have decided to compare a Floor Manager's job description with what happened today:

Floor Manager's Job
Relaying information between the control room, floor staff and talent 
- Didn't get any information to relay from control room, when I did it was immediately contradicted by someone else
Providing cues, timing and other information to presenters and talent
 - Was not given cues in time more than once
Informing the director of any relevant off-camera action 
- Didn't know who the Director was, most of the time no one was listening anyway, the talk back in the control room was not working properly and no one bothered to make sure they were linked to the studio. 
In outside broadcasts; liasing with venue staff, organizing talent, etc 
- I tried to get to know the Talent as much as possible and make them feel comfortable but I don't think I made much difference because there are only so many times you can say 'We're just doing one more run through' and waiting another half an hour before we actually do run through