Friday, January 14, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Aaron

Good Morning! TGIF! Hope you've enjoyed learning about members of the News 3 This Morning team! If you have any questions for us, you can always type those in the comments section, or contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing

Behind the Scenes with Aaron
Aaron handles the graphics you see on News 3 This Morning
  • Tell us about your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
My job, day to day, is dictated by the number and depth of the graphics requests that I receive. On most days, it's either feast or famine, meaning there's either a lot of graphics to make or barely any at all. When it comes to making the final image that you see on the newscast, it all begins in Photoshop. Depending on the story, I gather the appropriate pictures and edit the image together. From there, I enter another program called Lyric, where I can import the image I made in Photoshop and assemble it together with the appropriate text needed to tell the story. After all that, I assign each image a specific number. Using that number, I can call it up at the right time during the show.The final result is called an FSCG, or Full-Screen Computer Graphic... hence the title CG Operator.
  • What's the most stressful part about your job?
I love my job. I work on Photoshop all the time at home for fun, and I've gotten pretty efficient at it, so the stress for me is pretty low. Every now and then, however, I'll get a request for a graphic very close to the beginning of the show or even during it, meaning I have to balance creating the new image while running the graphics for the show at the same time and make sure that the new one is done by the time it's needed.

Aaron spends his morning in the control room, designing all kinds of graphics.

  • What's the most fun?
Did I mention that I love my job? Like I said before, I work with Photoshop all the time at home. But the key difference between my work at the station and at home is that at home I do digital painting, utilizing a pressure-sensitive pen tablet, which lets me create dynamic brush strokes and "paint" on a digital canvas. This allows me to be very fast and free with my actions, not caring if I mess up or decide to take the painting in a different direction... just hit undo. I basically just taught myself by looking at what I liked and experimenting. This experience I've gained at home has definitely carried over to my position on the Morning Show, and it's still fun making stuff for the news because creating images, whether it's a painting or an informational graphic, is a pleasure for me, not so much a job. I've been very blessed in this regard.
  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
I think that pretty much anyone who is a regular viewer knows that the anchors get along very well on camera, but that also goes for the off-screen crew as well, before, during and after the show. Most of us have been working together for almost three years now... some longer than that. So we've definitely cultivated a chemistry that I doubt most work environments have the privilege of enjoying. We're all really like a family here... a very diverse and unique family... to say the least.
  • When did you first become interested in TV News?
During my Junior year of High School, I was very privileged to join a television broadcasting class, which was surprising for a school as small as mine (Anna-Jonesboro). We had several nice Canon cameras and computer workstations with a non-linear editing program included. We were tasked in creating anything from mock commercials, music videos, short films and eventually a school-wide newscast. I had a blast in the class.

My senior year, I was one of only six students from TV 1 that was included in the first year of TV 2, where we were given more advanced projects. This became so fun for me, that I'd show up to school an hour early just to work or experiment. On top of that, I'd spend my regular class, lunch hour, study hall and sometimes, an hour or two after school, working in the lab. I'd often finish projects early and ask the teacher for new ones. He usually turned me down and made me wait on everyone else. I just wanted to learn. From there, I decided that I wanted to take the post production skills that I had gained to college to nurture them and eventually use them as a livelihood.

In May of 2007, when I was nearing the end of my Bachelor's Degree in Cinema and Photography, I was hired on at News 3 as an Associate Producer, editing video and running cameras. It wasn't until late 2010, however that I went full-on graphics, after someone noticed some of my digital paintings. Though I truly love films more than television, News 3 has been a great outlet thus far at sharpening my editing and graphics skills.

Thanks to Aaron for telling us all about his work at WSIL!
There are more "Behind the Scenes" blogs to come!
Don't forget- we're on the air at 5:30 a.m. in High Definition!



  2. CG Operator actually stands for Character Generator operator.