Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes with Matt

Good Morning! Thanks for stopping by our blog, as we launch our "Behind the Scenes" series! Each member of the morning show team is sharing little-known facts about their job. Not only will these blogs introduce you to those on the News 3 This Morning crew (both on-air and off), but it may change the way you watch the news... knowing exactly what it takes to pull off our daily 90-minute show!

Behind the Scenes with Matt
News 3 This Morning Director Matt Howell has spent 5 years at WSIL

  • Describe your daily routine as part of the morning show crew...
Show up to work at 3:30 AM and get the Kayak Technical Directing Board ready with my settings along with the Audio board, and the OTS graphics. Then by 4:00 AM I start marking my scripts for the show. At 5:30 AM we start our first show and go till 7:00 AM when we have our morning meeting. Then I rush to mark the scripts and get the ready for the fisrt cut in at 7:25:28. After that I am able to take a break and then mark the rest of the cut ins for the day. After the last cut in I either go out on a story and get video or go with a reporter and do a packaged story. If nothing is needed I change the lights in the studio, and archive past video.
  • What's the most stressful part of your job?
Directing is very stressful. Prep work may not be that bad (marking scripts with camera shots, video and graphic channels, special instructions, etc.) but during the show, that all changes. I have to be on my toes during the whole hour and a half of show. If I relax and slack off then I miss something important. It's a double check system for everyone here. The producers check to see that what I got up is right, I check the floor crews camera shots and CG operators work to make sure it's the right thing and they me. Anchors check everyone to see where we are at and what the skinny is of our work.

Matt spends the morning show in the control room.
  • What's the most fun?
While I would not say it's fun, I would say it's satisfying to have a difficult show and come out of it with a perfect, good looking product.
  • What's something viewers might be surprised to learn about the morning show?
I think they would be impressed to learn what all goes into a newscast. The anchors of the morning show do more then just write and read scripts. They are responsible for web chats and dealing out scripts for editors. Our producer has to work for hours to scrounge up enough news to put on a 90 minute show. Associate Producers work fast and well to edit lots of different pieces of video. (Sometimes even when the show is in progress). Also they are reponsible for running floor cameras and running our video playout system. I think some people would be surprised that I have a ton of buttons to push in a short amount of time. Also that I have to pay attention to more than whats going on in the now, but also what will go on in the next two or three minutes and even next show. The graphics maker has a hard time sometimes due to last minute stories coming down the line and having to make a visual fullscreen graphic at the last minute, but the artistry of such a thing is truly astounding.
  • Why did you first become interested in TV news?
I switched my major from Forensic science to television because I like being able to create something that would last.

Thanks to Matt for taking us "Behind the Scenes"... Look for more blogs from the rest of the News 3 This Morning crew in the coming days!
And don't forget to tune in to the morning show weekdays on WSIL from 5:30 to 7:00...
the only local morning news in high definition!

1 comment:

  1. Matt is a great director. He undersold himself here. He is dedicated to the product and really cares about putting on a good show. Glad he joined us over the summer. He's a welcomed addition to the morning crew!