4 Simple Ways to Make Your Show Better

by - August 25, 2015

It's something every producer struggles with - adding depth to your show without overdoing it.

As a producer, it's easy to fall into the trap of using something special to set every story apart. But if you overuse your special elements, they lose their uniqueness and soon the thing you were relying on to catch your audience's attention goes unnoticed. One double box is cool and unique; a double box for every live element you have is overkill.

So how do you add depth to your show without desensitizing your audience? Don't worry - there are a few simple things you can do to keep your show interesting and visually appealing.

Tip #1 - Have a visual for every story.
This is one rule I live by. Whether it's a full screen graphic, over-the-shoulder graphic or monitor image, every story in my show has some sort of visual. Not only do these visuals add depth to your shows, but they also provide visual support for your viewers. For example, if you're rattling off a bunch of statistics, chances are your viewers can't follow along very well, but if you put up a reveal full screen graphic that pulls up the stats as your talent is reading them, you've given your viewers a better shot at understanding what they're hearing.

Tip #2 - Use Nat Sound
There's nothing worse in my opinion than an anchor reading over a piece of video that has no sound. If you're doing a story about traffic, the actual sounds of cars in traffic add to the story. If your video is of fireworks, being able to hear the booms helps turn the story into an experience for your viewers. As a producer it is within your rights to ask reporters to leave the nats turned up in their videos. And if your director has a habit of turning the nats down, tell them not to. There's also no rule that says you can't use nat pops in your teases!

Tip #3 - Leave Room for Talent Interaction
In the producer workshop I went to for my station, the instructor talked a lot about what he called 'memorable moments', or more specifically interaction between the talent. Whether it's between your anchors or an anchor and meteorologist or even an anchor and reporter, viewers like to see those interactions. Those moments help viewers connect with a story and remember it once the show is done.

Tip #4 - Change Up Your Reporter Intros & Tags
This one can be a little tricky, especially if your reporters are one-man bands that run their own live shots, but it's not impossible. At the producer workshop I attended, the instructor talked a lot about having the talent start the live shot in one place and end it in another. At my station our reporters use TVUs to go live most of the time, making the whole switch-up thing difficult. Making the tosses to and from look different falls to the producer. The easiest way to make your tosses look different is to include an element in one that isn't in the other. For instance, if you have stingers/animations you could use one of those in the intro and double box back. Or if you use boxes in the first toss, don't use anything for the toss back.

Hopefully these tips will help you take your shows to a new level!

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