David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer
In the spirit of giving you more behind the scenes action, I wanted to share with you things that we say around the newsroom... Language we use, for things you watch.
So from time to time we'll bring you a new phrase in our TV vocabulary:
Here is today’s "TV Talk:"
So last I left you, we realized we were 'crashing a package...'
So what happens if we don’t have enough time to finish?
"Get ready for a hotroll!"
Playing a piece of edited material directly from the editing station
When there is no time to save the material you are editing as one item, it's time for plan B: To literally 'roll' the story 'hot'... in-real time. Not from tape, not from a computer file, but directly from the editing station where you are working.
In TV, this is a phrase you never want to use, and the phone call you never want to make.
The producer calls the control room to let them know the package is going to 'hotroll.'
The director can normally see all completed pieces of video on a screen in the control room, but not if the piece is incomplete – like our hotroll... the director now needs another way to see the story. The control room routes the signal from the edit bay. Now the director can see the piece, to make sure the colors look OK, the sound is good, etc...
At this point the director tells the edit bay when the hotroll will happen, to manually queue the editor to press 'play.'
This is always an awkward and difficult dance.
Think about it from the director's view: The director must take into account the anchor's introduction before the story, the satellite delay, and a whole series of other problems... before calling out 'play.'
Think about it from the editor's view: Imagine you are watching a CNN.com/video clip on your computer... and you were on the phone with the director, who is going to tell you the exact moment to hit play.
Even if you hit play at the precise moment needed, you aren't out of the woods yet:
If the computer playing the piece fails... or someone hits pause by accident... or if a piece of video is missing... it will show up on-air... and the control room must be ready at any moment to 'dump out' of the hotroll.
If you are lucky, the piece plays exactly when it needs to, and plays with no audio or visual problems...
The viewer at home won't even know there was a hotroll, and you can wipe the sweat off your brow, and vow never to go through that again.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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