What Is "live on tape”???

KOCT is unique for a number of reasons: We are one of the only non-profit community television stations in San Diego County, one of the most active PEG (Public Education Government Access) channels in the county and one of the best at "live on tape" television production.

What constitutes 'live on tape"? Our City Council and Tri-City Hospital board meetings are one example: the KOCT staff prepares the c.g.s. (character graphics--names, titles, and agenda summations) in advance so when the person or subject comes up we can 'bring up' the information without having to type it on the spot. Sports, parades and Journalist Roundtable are also examples of our 'live on tape' production technique. We input into our computer the pictures, power points, graphics and titles in advance and 'pull' up or show to the viewer the appropriate picture when the guest discusses that subject.

Most of our shows have a minimum of four cameras and our audio specialist and director are in constant headphone contact with them during the course of a show to bring you the right shot at the right moment. If you were a camera operator you would hear 'ready one' and 'tighten up' meaning the director is about to take to your camera and zoom in just a bit before you hear 'take 1' meaning your shot is live. At the same time you might hear the Director asking  Audio  to raise or lower the levels on the guests microphone, instruct another technician  to ready a graphic and  tell the floor director to signal the host that its only 1 minute to the first break. (And sometimes the Executive Producer is simultaneously on the phone to a guest who has not shown up for their segment with only 15 minutes to go!)

A live production is an exciting, stressful form of production usually reserved for programs that air 'live' and that have little time for editing prior to being shown on KOCT. It is cost effective to produce a program this way and if need be, mistakes can be corrected 'in post-production’. For example we can, in editing, add additional photos to illustrate an interview or add a cutaway to an out-of-focus shot. I am proud to say we seldom have to do so.

Our most recent production, the Independence Day Parade is particularly challenging because the pace of the parade is out of the control of KOCT, we might have to ask our Hosts to ‘vamp' because the parade is going too slow or for them to skip their written script because its going too fast and the next parade participant is about to go past all of our four cameras. I think our crew, engineer and IT specialist  did a great job setting up the four cameras, camera platforms, program set, lights, microphones and intercoms early that morning and airing the parade 'live' for residents who couldn't attend in person. Long after the last parade participant has stopped marching KOCT's industrious crew was still breaking down equipment, packing up the cameras and preparing the finished program for extensive replays--often only an hour after the parade has ended!

So that is 'live on tape' an exciting production style that KOCT has utilized since our formation 30 years ago!  Congratulations to the entire KOCT crew for excellent parade coverage! Thanks to the City of Oceanside staff for helping us with electricity, parking and internet issues.  A special thanks to our two volunteer parade hosts: Kristi Hawthorne and Tom Brault for their great performance and play by play announcing and congratulations to Director and KOCT Station Manager Jake Rush for being the Ring Master on our parade coverage and many KOCT 'live on tape' productions.

Tom ReeserComment