If you’ve ever watched a live break during one of on-air fundraisers and wondered how the folks extoling the virtues of our programming know when to stop talking and let someone else pick up the verbal baton, the answer is simple – the floor manager. A floor manager is someone who helps coordinate and inform on-air talent with visual clues – essentially, the intermediate between the director in the control room and the people on camera. Occasionally, floor managers communicate via hand signals, often it’s signs that are either pre-printed or written on the fly.
Here’s a collection of signs used by floor managers during a recent fundraiser. I found them after the fact on a table in our main studio.
Getting ready to go on air for a guest spot on NC SPIN or to pitch to viewers during a live On-Air Fundraiser? Then you might want to touch up that shiny forehead!
What you see here is our meager make-up station. Unlike some channels and studios that might have a full-time make-up person on staff, UNC-TV relies on volunteers and self-administered applications to ensure talent looks good on your screens. And right here is where the magic happens.
If you tuned in to our Neighbor By Neighbor fundraiser earlier in the month, you may have caught sight of North Carolina’s own Malpass Brothers. On Thursday, June 7, UNC-TV debuted the documentary THE MAPLASS BROTHERS: HEADING HOME. This was followed up by the musical siblings live in the UNC-TV studios. To accommodate the duo, our William C. Friday Green Room was turned into a sort of prep area for the Malpasses (Malpi?). Here’s a sign that adorned the door in advance of their arrival.
Kind of self-explanatory this week – a small sign mounted outside one our editing suites. I think you may recognize some of our productions that have audiences far outside the Tar Heel State.
I saw this in our storage area and just liked the concept. “What happens if an unexpected guest shows up for Front Row?” “Get the extra chair.” I’m sure there’s more to it than that but there can’t be much more.
Quick shot this week of a couple of boom microphones in our equipment storage area. If you want more technical info than that, I’m not your guy (forgive me but I’m decades away from any field production experience). My guess is these were used on some remote shoots or other off-site productions. It’s entirely possible the audio you hear on a North Carolina Weekend feature or an Almanac Gardener segment was recorded using one of these mics.
North Carolina People with William Friday was a long-running interview show UNC-TV produced starting in the early 1970s. Politicians, authors, actors, musicians, athletes – names big and small and all imminent and impressive Tar Heels in one way or another – would sit down with UNC president Bill Friday for a nice chat and a half hour of simple conversation. It was a broadcast mainstay for decades until Friday’s failing health and eventual passing in 2012 ended the series. I believe there was talk of continuing the show with another host (don’t hold me to that – if talks occurred, even on a casual level, I was never involved personally) however that never transpired. Good thing, too, as Friday’s soft-spoken approach to interviewing seemed impossible to duplicate and who would want to try to fill those shoes anyway?
This glass paperweight was made in celebration of the show’s 35th anniversary circa 2005. It’s a fantastic memento of UNC-TV history and a lovely reminder of a show we proudly broadcast for over 40 seasons. I was lucky enough to work on the show as a student (mostly running camera) and I’m happy to have been a part of this wonderful program.