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Telly masters

education Updated: Feb 22, 2012 09:35 IST

Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
Being a TV producer is about being in situations that are far from ideal, test your patience and call upon you to work with diverse people. No two days are the same, no show is the same and everything is fluid. It can give you tremendous highs and lows that truly test you. TV production implies operations – from putting together teams, making budgets, tracking execution and costs. Typically, you start as a production assistant and work yourself up to positions of a production controller and production head. If one arm of TV is creative, the other is production. Each needs the other and the two must work together in total sync. If you like to go deep, then you tend to focus on a single show. A head of production oversees many shows

Clockwork
10am: If the show is studio-based, your day involves setting up the call time for the crew to reach the studio
Noon: Keep track of time, make sure all that’s needed for a smooth shoot is on location. Allow time for meals and refreshments
1pm: Break
2pm: Make sure actors and crew are on time, the set is ready, the art direction and costumes are spot on and each shift delivers what it’s supposed to
3pm: Start shooting
7pm: Review the shoot and take stock of other logistics

The payoff
TV production is one of the most important areas when it comes to generating entertainment content. As a TV producer, you can earn in lakhs, depending on the success of the show. The salary is variable, depending on how good you are, how many years you’ve put in in the field, which production house you are with and what your peers think

Skills/TRAITS
* You need to be cool under pressure, have a personality that’s as comfortable dealing with spot boys as with Bollywood actors, treating both sets of people with equal courtesy and respect, while keeping an eye on the clock
* “You have to be closely connected with other departments such as the creative team, directors, set and costume designers, and actors,” says Rajan Shahi, whose production house Director’s Kut has produced shows for channels such as Sony and Star Plus

Getting there
A degree or diploma that teaches you the nuances of film and TV production will come in handy

Institutes and URLs
* Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi; www.iimc.nic.in
* Film and Television Institute of India; www.ftiindia.com

Pros and cons
* No fixed hours, 24 hours on call, high stress, tremendous ups and downs
* It definitely gives you an adrenaline rush and is very exciting

A TV producer is a ringmaster of sorts who sometimes wears a creative hat and deals with finances and even HR issues Niret Alva, co-founder, Miditech Pvt Ltd, New Delhi