The set you see on the news looks larger on TV. The studio cameras are located at strategic points to use most of the set and get many different shots. There are TV's in every direction so the anchors can see what's going over the air no matter where they look- they even have TV's built right into the top of the news desk. TV requires strong lighting to deliver a good picture. Most of the lights are simply used to light the set, but some are used for modeling the anchors and accentuating specific areas of the set.
This is the Patch Panel. Each of the lights in the studio are assigned a number corresponding to a cord on this panel. It's just like plugging in a light at your house, only we have one very large outlet!
Normally, there is a floor crew of 3 during live programs. Their are two camera operators and a Floor Manager. The Floor Manager is responsible for telling the anchors what to do. It must be absolutely quiet in the studio during shows, because the microphones will pick up background sounds. So, the Floor Director uses our own version of sign language. He or she will point at the anchors when they're live, count them down with their hand to keep the anchors on time, show them when to speed up or slow down to keep pace with the show timing, show them which camera to look at, etc.
The meteorologists use the green screen for their forecast. The screen aids in producing a special effect called a chroma key. Here's how it works: the computer called a switcher is told to make everything the studio camera sees as green, disappear. Then, it's told to take the maps from the weather computer and insert them where the green was- abracadabra, the meteorologist is magically standing in front of the map. The combination of the meteorologist and the map only exists in a computer, in reality, the meteorologist is just pointing to a green screen as you see in the photo. They know where to point, because monitors hidden behind the two columns on either side of the board show both the meteorologist and the maps. This is why you'll never see a meteorologist wearing green while giving the forecast, if they did, they would disappear too!
When live on the air, the anchors and reporters have a stressful job. First, they have those bright lights in their eyes and have to read the teleprompter off the front of the cameras without squinting. They're watching the cues coming from the Floor Director. They also have to change their inflection depending upon the mood of the story. While all this is going on, they have an IFB, or Internal Feed Back in their ear. It looks like a hearing aid and is the same equipment used by the Secret Service when protecting the President. This allows the anchors to hear the program audio that you hear at home. Since it must be quiet in the studio, this is the only way for them to hear reporters, tapes and the natural sound of the newscast. What's it like? Picture this: you're outside in the bright sun trying to rehearse a speech from a paper about 2 feet away from you. This paper is held by a friend who is doing their best to turn the pages at your pace. At the same time, you get an important call. While on the phone and rehearsing at the same time, your neighbor is frantically pointing to your fence and you have to use your peripheral vision to figure out what your neighbor wants. Think you'd be able to keep your concentration and present a perfect speech?
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