24 Hours In The Life And Learning Curve Of A New Producer

Friday, 8:43pm…

I’m at my desk, notes in hand, going over my shot list, making sure I have everything I need – or at least a way to find it – for tomorrow.

It’s been some time since I joined the crew on SA Teen Scene.  It started simply enough, with managing the correspondent auditions.  It was a job I’d done before, and having learned from Nikki and Chadd, I’d like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Once our cast was in place, I quickly took on the position of Production Manager. Again, it’s a job I first began to learn at PDP (you could argue I’ve been learning it since my first PA credit on Dating Danielle), and in so many ways I’m still learning it.

The needs of production in general are constantly evolving, and each specific project is its own unique entity with its own unique requirements.  So I’ve made an effort to evolve as well, to prepare for what I can anticipate and adapt to what I don’t.  True, that’s an ongoing process, as learning always is, but if you settle for no more than you already know you can do, what’s the point?

Which brings us to a few weeks ago, when a production meeting led to another evolution for SA Teen Scene, and for me.  My mission, should I choose to accept it: Become a Segment Producer, and take on the responsibility of guiding complete packages for the show from pitching to posting.

Which brings us to tomorrow.  I’ve been working on three different segments for our upcoming episodes, and the first – a visit to San Antonio’s Earth Day celebration – happens tomorrow.  As a producer, I’ve worked to secure the location and talent, prepare the list of the things we need to cover and the people we need to talk to, print out any and all forms we may need, and just try to make sure everyone (including me) is ready to go.

This is where I get to apply everything I’ve learned in the last six years, and where I see what more I can yet learn.  But what I get out of it is much less important to me than what the show gets out of it.  I just want to make sure everything goes smoothly, and we get the material we need, and we get a good segment from it.

Wish me luck…

Saturday, 8:43pm…

And the day is done.

It started fairly early as I made my way out to Woodlawn Park.  Having accepted that mission to put together our Earth Day segment,  I spent Monday evening working out a plan of action (with much-appreciated help from Nikki and Jamye) to bring our talent and our subjects onboard.

It was a busy week for us, as we had shoots scheduled for four of the next six days.  Our teens would be all over the Fiesta scene, and it was up to us the crew to make it all work.  I’d no doubt that we could pull it off – we are talking about the likes of Erik Armenta, Jamye Cox, Luisa Leal (our other new Segment Producer), and Nikki Young.  But of course, there’d be work to do to get there.

Not long after I got to the lake, our correspondent arrived, and soon after that we were joined by Erik and Jamye (fresh from SA Teen Scene‘s first shoot of the day).  And Aaron Kenigsberg proved a real trouper, who very quickly picked up on what we needed, and delivered.  It was great watching him come alive on camera.

And for the new guy behind the camera?

I hope I did well.  It certainly helps, a lot, to have so many great people in my corner.  But in the end, practice will tell.  I knew what I had to do, did my best to do it, and I think we got some great material out of that.  Now, I want to keep doing it, over and over, until the muscle memory kicks in for those little grey cells.

I love this job.  I love watching my colleagues make things happen (I’m really excited to see the Reed Deming interview Jamye put together, and the Fiesta FIERCE story Luisa produced, and the Chips N Salsa package I helped Erik shoot last night).  I love being in there trying to make things happen.  And I want to get great at it.

Only one way for that to happen.

So, keep your eyes out.  SA Teen Scene is on the scene.  And if you look closely, you might find me there, always learning…

Thanks as always for following along and being a part of that experience.

Until the next time, “be seeing you…”

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