Behind The Scenes: How Does a TV Program Get Made?

tv shooting

To the average television viewer, the process of making a program all looks so simple. Often, people assume that all that’s needed are a few lights, a camera and some people to make the actin. But that’s not the case. In fact, it’s often the case that work is carried out behind the scenes for months and months before a program can be filmed and shown.

From researchers who ensure that those on screen have the info they need, to the crews who make sure that stages, lights and more are all set up in the proper way, there are lots of jobs out there that ensure that TV shows can be produced as technically well as possible. This article will look at just a handful of the most important jobs in the TV industry and will explain why they are so important to the wider running of each show.



Behind every television program, there is a fleet of people who are responsible for making sure that it happens. Take the example of a quiz game show. In order for the questions to be developed, someone has to come up with the questions themselves and decide on a topic area. Someone else then has to fact-check them – and someone else will need to ensure that they are not worded in an ambiguous manner.

Even for programs that don’t have obvious fact-based roles, there’s still an element of research required. A program that brings together long lost relatives, for example, will need someone to research the history and background of all participants in order for the show to work and for people to come together. A documentary requires people who can explore the context and ensure that the presenter doesn’t say anything wrong. In short, there’s always a job out there that needs to be done when it comes to a well-researched program.



Perhaps the most unsung of all the television backend heroes, however, are the editors. Once a program has been shot, it then needs to be moved into a format that is visually appealing and that makes sense. This job is complex and fiddly and requires editors to concentrate hard on what they’re doing and be ready to move pieces of audio and video around.

Finding a good video production jobs directory is wise if you want to go down this road, and it will be full of TV editing jobs and, indeed, film jobs. If you can develop your skills in this regard, then you’re likely to quickly find yourself in demand: good editors are like gold dust, and hence you could develop an excellent career for yourself.



People who have design skills are also quite popular on TV – and it’s easy to see why. Set design is just one example of why this is so in demand: being skilled in everything from understanding how the bright studio lights interact with certain colors to show the layout of furniture on a set can definitely be included in narrow camera shots is necessary. Costume design is another: while some TV hosts may appear as though they are just wearing the same casual clothes as the average Joe, this isn’t usually the case. Their clothes will have been selected based on everything from skin tone to the strength of the lights under which they’ll be sitting, and a lot of design skill is hence required.

Then there’s all the ancillary design work necessary once the show is ready. Jingles that promote adverts come from audio designers, for example, while visual idents that identify channels and programs also require the work of designers.

In short, TV is a design hothouse, and there are all kinds of opportunities for those with a creative mindset to play their own small role in ensuring that the backend of a TV show operates as smoothly as possible.

Working in TV is an eye-opener: it just goes to show the extent to which the programs that are viewed and enjoyed by everyone every single day are not simple operations, but are in fact the result of the hard work of many people with lots of different skills. From editors to researchers and everyone in between, TV programs are a collective effort – and for those who can hone their skills in a particular area of TV production, the rewards can be immense.

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