Been working in the tv business for a little over 4 years. Got my B.S. in broadcasting a couple years ago. I was working with the univ. distance learning program while I was in college, after that I got a job at the local NBC affil. as the weekend audio op. It's a small station and these days I'm one of the 3 TD/Directors at the station. Our production supervisor is possibly leaving so my short term goal is to get that promotion ;)
And now a story about how much fun it is to work at a station with no budget and equipment from the early 80's!
Last weekend I was dubbing down a package in prod. control when all of a sudden my monitors went wonky. I looked over at the Program/Preview monitors and they were going nuts as if they'd lost signal. Well, after about 5 seconds I figured out that the primary power supply to the switcher was offline. OK, this happens fairly often. So I go ahead and reboot the entire system. No dice. All the LEDs are dark so I call up the engineer on-call. He shows up about 8:30pm (we have a 10:00pm show to put on). Turns out that a 15A fuse blew and we didn't have any on hand. He tried a different fuse and blew out the +5V battery! So now we won't have our switcher until tomorrow morning! But of course, we're used to jury-rigging everything so about half an hour later he rushes back in with a little Sony 6-input switcher. We spent the next hour rewiring production control into this tiny little switcher. Now, I was scheduled to floor direct that day but our weekend director is only 5 or 6 months out of training so she looks at me and goes "Do you know how to operate that thing?" with a look of worry....
As it turns out, I used to operate as a "one-man band" a few years back on a JVC 10-input that was almost identical to that thing! So we get everything set and routed about 17 mins to show and I was reassigned to TD. We pulled off a flawless weekend show with less than 1/4th of our typical video inputs! Sure, it wasn't as flashy without the DVE's or M/E busses, but for a while there we weren't even sure we'd have a show!
This kinda stuff happens about once every 2 or 3 months ;) I've also directed in the dark, dealt with 2 power-outs due to weather where the generator didn't kick-in, more equipment failures than I can count, and absent-minded talent! Can't say I don't love every moment of it though... If any of you wanna know what a day in the life of a small-market director is like, I'll be happy to share (hint: you do the jobs of at least 5 people).