There are different approaches to television production. Take shooting scenes, for example. Some directors rely on the skill and initiative of their camera team to discover the best shots. Other directors, however, prefer a more involved role. These directors work out the details and position of each scene beforehand before relating those details to the talent and camera. Even though the approach of producers may vary, there are three major stages involved in television production. These are:

  • The TV Production ProcessThe planning and preparation stage: Most of the preliminary work and organization is done at this stage. The production discusses and irons out the details of production before the actual shooting begins.
  • Production stage: At this stage, the shooting of the production begins.
  • Postproduction stage: Involves the editing of the production prior to its release.

The exact detail of each production is affected by the story and the direction that the producers choose to take. Scripts that involve a more serialized storyline are easier to organize and edit. Directors use different visual cues and techniques to tell the direct story—as well as the story’s subtext.

Shots are built around carefully designed sets, with the background providing added support and gravitas to each scene. The success of a production and the direction that it follows is determined by the director’s appreciation of the story, and the methods he chooses to employ.

The Importance of Planning

Some may question intensive planning. For them the process of planning is an unnecessary obstacle that prevents them from jumping to the more appealing aspects of directing their production. However, as tempting as that option may be, taking the time to plan the details behind a movie’s production has many important merits. Producers will need to secure permits for location shoots, iron out different shooting schedules, and work out logistics needed for cost-effective production.

The Idea

Sometimes the process of production is linear, other times it is not. The concept for a TV production may originate from a director, production assistant or a scriptwriter. It may even begin from a selection of music. Regardless of how the production process is handled, it inevitably starts from the most cognitive of origins—an idea.

The idea may be triggered by anything: story that you read, or a comment someone made. A picture or a reference in another story might launch it. Once you get the idea, it slowly begins its journey to something larger and far more substantial: a story.

Goals and Objectives

Developing a story is not just about making it interesting; it’s also ensuring that the audience understands the message that is being conveyed. You’ll need to ask yourself the right questions: do you want the program to be entertaining, sobering, inspiring, or educational?

The development process tends to be easier when it is combined with goals and objectives. Goals are broad concepts highlighting what you hope to accomplish. Objectives on the other hand are measurable goals. Together, goals and objective serve as a reliable yardstick that you can use in outlining the direction of your production.

The Target Audience

Another important aspect of production is identifying the target audience. Determining who the target audience is will help you tailor the production more effectively. Some of the important details should be considered include:

  • Who is the viewing demographic—is it for teenagers, children, or senior citizens?
  • How advanced will the content be—simple or advanced?
  • Does the audience require any special language?
  • What kind of production styles would the audience prefer?
  • What medium will the audience use to view the finished product?

The Budget

A key part of preproduction is working out what the budget. Having a budget will help in keeping the expenses under control. Each aspect of production should be listed and the cost taken into consideration. This way, the exact cost of production will be accounted for at every stage.

Limitations

There are certain inflexible factors that are likely to affect the pace of production. Factors such as the weather conditions, budget, the availability of a shooting location, the type of equipment available and the work schedule of the talent may limit the speed of production.