Behind the scenes of a live show
The magic of live Television has brought us so many great shows over the years such as ‘I’m a Celebrity’, ‘The X Factor ‘and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Live Television shows often seem just as flawless as pre-recorded shows, but behind the scenes of these shows, there are teams of people working hard in high-pressure environments to bring the shows to life. When you think about what is required on the day to make a live show, you may be surprised... There’s an audio team, there’s a camera team, a lighting team, stage crew, gallery workers, producers, directors etc, all working very hard.
With Live TV there is no room for error, the team only have one chance to get it right; to keep everything running smoothly they need to be working in sync with each other, aware of what’s going on and having the ability to help if someone makes a mistake. If someone makes even one mistake it can have quite the impact, who remembers when the X Factor had no sound one week? The voting that day had to be postponed due to the audio issues they had.
In order to prevent mistakes like this from happening, the teams working on the show spend a lot of time planning, preparing and rehearsing for the day. The types of planning that the crew can do vary from show to show. If you think about ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and compare it to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ they are very different shows, but they are both live shows.
Where one has a live audience and a stage to set up around, the other has bushtucker trials and a camp, they both have the same teams doing the same jobs, just in different ways. For instance, take the lighting team, both shows have a lighting team but they do their jobs in different ways. ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is full of lights and colour in sync with the music, whereas ‘I’m a Celebrity' is more natural lighting and use of generators.
In a recent interview with AV magazine, the audio team behind ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ opened up about how they operate and how they make the show work. During this interview they explain who works on the audio, the process they go through and what equipment they use.
With the show being broadcast to a live audience and 11 million people at home, they have to keep an eye on the sound for the judges, the presenters, the contestants, the audience, the band and the sound effects. It may seem a little daunting, so how do they work through the pressure on the night? Well, the audio team said that “teamwork, planning and rehearsals are key to making the show work. “
They then continued to say that preparation for this year’s series started in July! And by August they had already started rigging the kit. Then preparing for the artistes to perform started several weeks before the show, consisting of weekly meetings amongst the audio team to make sure they had the equipment that would be required for each episode. Once the show is starting they have studio rehearsals with the band and the couples every Friday and Saturday.
So as you can see, live TV requires a lot of time, practice, hard work and skill from everyone involved to get it right on the night. Putting on a live show, which the Take One team have often been involved with through private satellite transmission for business television and live events for clients, is always an interesting experience. Often location filming for video content requires as much planning and preparation as a live show, just with a different set of skills and challenges for the team on the day. We’ve certainly found our live production skills invaluable in the pre-recorded arena.
We hope that you enjoyed this blog and that it has helped to give some insight into the work that goes into bringing you the shows you love.