Amit Rawat, Producer, Bloomberg Quint
Imagine, you are working in an atmosphere where every second counts and every mistake committed is visible to the rest of the world. A single error can devalue the quality and output of a working media professional. That's how responsible yet intriguing the work of a broadcast professional especially in Production can be.
Broadcast Production is a vast field to be discussed all at once but one of its main departments is the Production Control Room, commonly known as the PCR which is its nucleus. It collectively consists of large multi-view monitors for various video sources, high-end equipment for successful synchronization of audio and video, and media professionals to execute everything within the given time period.
In the last few years, broadcast media has grown manifolds reaching almost every corner of the globe. With such increased power and responsibility has come the need for multitasking, especially in PCR.
Emphasis on multitasking is of great substance as it embarks on individual's professional growth in an optimistic manner. Earlier, PCR employees were entitled only to perform their sole designated responsibilities but now, as we all know, the trend is changing. Every other media group is becoming more rapid and hence this creates the need for multitasking employees. Generally, PCR consists of a studio director, vision mixer, sound recordist, graphics operator, and a person who manages the video server. There were times when an individual used to implement his specialty on a single function only but now media houses want their employees to perform at the next level and, therefore, require them to start multitasking on different machines or operations.
All of us grew up watching television. Earlier, there were just few channels, then came cable networks, then satellite television which eventually turned HD and now with the growing optimization of IPTV portals, viewing augmentation is inevitable. It means working professionals also must change.
For an instance, let us all assume you are working as a studio director for a leading media group and you have 5 minutes to go on-air. Suddenly, there is a call that your vision mixer will not be able to turn up due to some personal problem. What will you do?
You cannot drop your show nor can you wait for another colleague to come. Now, in this case, if you are well versed with the function of vision, it will be very easy for you to act. Remember, trouble shooting is the key. Now, when we know why we need employees who can do everything, the next relative question which pops up is the in-depth knowledge.
The answer is yes. We need to have in-depth knowledge of all the equipment. Working PCR professionals confine themselves to a part where they can be productive operationally but at the moment of crisis, they fail and hence, all the hard work and repo does not yield good results.
Production control room is a place which I believe is a semi-technical job. You are not just operating machines nor are you totally concentrating on the content. Rather a balance must be maintained between these two modules. To do that, all you need to do is keep your eyes open and your ears on an alert mode.
To get extra skills under your belt is never a wrong choice to make. There are five to six important functions in a production control room and if you get a hang of at least four of them, it will boost your chances to become a good broadcast professional. To add on, it increases your chances of getting a good salary jump and a better job opportunity.
Nowadays, when every sector is looking for professionals who can be extra productive, it is time for PCR employees to enhance this skill of multitasking as many leading media houses of India and abroad are religiously following this practice. So, if you want to work with these organizations, then you must look different from peers, and multitasking will surely prove beneficial.