wednesday six - (some) tv terms explained


Since I talk about tv so much and this sort of thing fascinates me I thought it would be advantageous to provide a brief outline of some abbreviations and terms I am likely to use.
Sweeps week
Have ever wondered why all your favourite characters seem to have a lot going on in November? You can blame sweeps weeks for the cliffhangers, break ups and hooks ups that seem to populate our screens at this time of year. Sweeps week actually occurs four times a year (November, February, May and July). During sweeps week the ratings, audience numbers, and demographics are collected for the purposes of market analysis and advertising research. The reason for all the exciting plot lines is that the networks will be doing everything they can to boost their ratings. It must be said that the numbers collected seem to be becoming less relevant as twitter ratings and social interaction appear to be having more of an impact than traditional viewership. If you want the in depth version, you can be wiki smart or you can check out this article from Slate.
Simply explained this is the time crews and actors take off between production usually around December-January and April-July for Fall shows. It also refers to the time between seasons when a show is not airing.
There are three parts to production, they are as follows,
Pre-production: For television this is when the writing, logistics and planning occurs for shooting the respective episode.
Production: production refers to the actual physical act of shooting the film for the show.
Post-production comprises of many different parts. In television it includes video and sound editing, addition of special effects, colour grading and adding music or a film score.
Executive Producer (EP)
Although it will vary from network to network within television the role of the Executive Producer (or Executive Producer's in most cases) is to oversee the production of the show on behalf of the network, taking not elf budget, schedules and storylines. Depending on the show the EP's may be directly involved with the storyline of the season and may even write for the show.
This is fairly self explanatory, but the director will be the one to direct the production episode, this usually entails technical direction of actors and the crew, and artistic direction which can refer to lighting, hair and make up etc. The majority of TV shows do not have the same director who each episode instead having a variety of directors who are all able to bring their own experience, vision and individual taste to an episode.
Production Assistant (PA)
I feel like it might get some messages from friends if I don't talk about this one. I have also worked as a PA before, so I may be a bit bias. (shout out to my hardworking PA friends!). I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a good PA is one of the hardest working members of a crew. A PA's job will differentiate depending on the production and if they're working on set or in an office. However, their job often entails running (for things, like cables, people or coffee) and assisting the producers. They are a hard working groups of people that deserves far more recognition than they get.

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