Television technical directors are media professionals who oversee the technical aspects of a television production. They work on-set during television newscasts and other live or taped productions by directing, managing camera angles and graphics, and switching between video sources. These directors are usually the most senior technical staff members on a television production and are often leaders in ensuring that a production runs smoothly. They also serve as liaisons between departments of production and engineering.
Television technical directors must have strong verbal and written communication skills and be able to work well with a variety of staff members. They may be responsible for choosing video camera lenses, assigning duties to employees, and troubleshooting equipment, and they must be familiar with all of the latest multimedia computer and editing programs and equipment. Software such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro video-editing programs are used extensively by those in this position, and they must also be able to solve problems quickly and manage multiple pieces of equipment simultaneously. Public speaking skills are also beneficial.
Most television technical directors have an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism, media, print journalism, marketing, or a related field, and some have master's degrees. Most also have years of experience directing productions at college television stations and smaller television markets.
A television technical director's working environment is a television studio or news production room. The size of the studio depends on the scope and budget of the show, as national shows have larger studios and more amenities. Their hours vary greatly, as they must work the shift during which the production airs live, be it in the morning, afternoon, or middle of the night. Their co-workers generally consist of news anchors, production crew, and studio executives.
Television Technical Director Tasks
Ensure all technical features of a television production are in working order before filming begins.
Instruct staff on equipment safety precautions and protocol.
Coordinate communication between technical team and production team.
Oversee television production and recommend technical changes based on details such as lighting and composition.
Determine necessity and placement of technical features, such as lighting and sound equipment, prior to production.