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Training on Idle Trucks

9 replies [Last post]
Jarrett Baker
User offline. Last seen 6 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2009

I'll be training on an idle truck for the first time next week. I'm planning to work through the basics - such as mapping crosspoints, learning eMems and familiarizing myself with menus - but I'd like to hear your suggestions for what I should work through.

The switcher will either be a 3000 or Kalypso. For the time being, I will be working mostly on my own, but that should change sometime this summer. I'm a visual learner and can't wait to actually browse menus instead of reading a manual.

Since this is my first post, a little about me:
I started in TV when I was in middle school. My best friend and I ran the school's morning news production, and his dad owned a low power station. I spent four years working for his dad - gripping, running audio and operating cameras. I never got the chance to TD at the station, but I switched on a four channel Videonics board in middle and high school.

I gained an interest in photojournalism while in high school, and decided to pursue that at the University of Florida. I kept my hand in television, working as a utility and camera operator several times a year in auto racing. Halfway through college, newspapers decided to take a nose-dive. I decided to finish my degree and then pursue work as TV freelancer full time.

Now I'm trying to become a TD. I'm reading every manual I can get my hands on, I've done some sports TD shadowing and I'm hoping to do more. Once I get my feet settled, I hope to work my way up the pecking order.

Curt
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
[quote="Jarrett Baker"]....... I'm assuming the TD's needs are typically similar (each M/E program/preset, DDR playback, DVE fill/key, font, FoxBox - anything else?) but each producer and director will have varying needs. I'd really like to see some used monitor wall sheets to see how things vary from show to show. I've also learned that I should save the documentation from each of my shows, so that I can reference them in the future.[/quote] Hello, If I am feeding monitors on set, I like to see the outbound feeds. This way if there is an issue, I can quickly look up and see if there is something feeding the monitors. This makes troubleshooting easier. I also like to see camera returns on the wall if space allows, once again..to make it easier to see what is going out. dir/prod etc would probably want to see the transmission lines going out also...but I would as well, especially if I am controlling the rotuer feeding the tx lines. As for how to learn...if you can get yourself into a place that allows cross training ( ex..you are a camera op, and can learn to TD on your down time etc) that works. You are getting paid for your camera skills ( helps pay the bills) and you get to learn Tding. This woudln't work in a sports enviroment since they are often one day events, but would work in a studio enviroment. This would get you the experience on the board, combined with your other training/shadowing/learning, could get you a smaller gig, which turns into more experience, more gigs..etc..etc..potentially. How far you progress is up to you. Just like anything, the amount of time you put into learning most likely means you will do better at your job/task at hand. good luck Curt
Jarrett Baker
User offline. Last seen 6 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Apr 2009
I'll be on an idle truck in the shop. The last thing I'd want to do is mess with someone else's show-day setup. I've read through the manual for the Lance and FFV Omega, but I haven't been able to find any reference information for SpotBox. I hope to learn SpotBox through hands-on, unless I can find something online. I understand the concept of a TD Rip and setting my in and out points, I just haven't done it yet. I've also browsed the DVEous manual, but it seems like something that I will understand better if I can read and transform video at the same time. I've spent the last year or so really trying to learn the nuts and bolts of the whole operation. I feel like I still have a lot to learn, but I am on the right track. I hadn't thought about learning the router; what would be the best way to do that? As for the monitor wall, I've learned the TD fills in their side, then has the Director and Producer fill in their designated space, and then takes the sheet to the EIC, eventually faxing for accuracy. I'm assuming the TD's needs are typically similar (each M/E program/preset, DDR playback, DVE fill/key, font, FoxBox - anything else?) but each producer and director will have varying needs. I'd really like to see some used monitor wall sheets to see how things vary from show to show. I've also learned that I should save the documentation from each of my shows, so that I can reference them in the future. The forums are a great source of information. I don't know why it took me so long to find them, but I have read most of the topics. The one thing I want to avoid doing is this: On a Steadicam forum, I read a post from a guy my age, who claimed he was going to buy a rig, move to Hollywood and break onto the scene without having to pay his dues or put too much time into training. He was lambasted, and a few weeks later I had the opportunity to fly a "big rig" in my buddy's basement for about 15 minutes. I wasn't follow-focusing or zooming, I was just trying to keep a level horizon and steady framing. In that short time, I was exhausted and realized why this young guy was raked over the coals. I've been told there is a shortage of good TDs - not button pushers - and I know that I will have to put in plenty of time on idle trucks learning the ins and outs of each switcher. I've also had the opportunity to do some shadowing, and I'll be doing more in the coming months. Then, once I can build a show and run the peripheral devices without having to think too hard, I'll be able to do my first small show and build from there. Thanks for all of the help so far. I'll be in the truck on Wednesday.
EIC-Jeff
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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
There's a bit of pi$$ing match going on at New Yankee. They thought they could substantially raise the rates ($4,000 per day for park and power, $325 per day per position for triax cameras, etc) but as to be expected most of the other MLB stadiums are moving towards "retaliatory pricing" when the Yankees come to town. We'll see how long the pricing at New Yankee stays in place. Are you expecting to go into a truck laying over at an event? Normally on my trucks I wouldn't let that happen simply because you're going to bone the setup of the guy who's expecting to sit down, fax, and have a 3 hour lunch. The only time I let guys noodle on a non-working truck was when I had it in the shop and was doing general maintenance. "Is there anything else I should be doing on my first day in an idle truck?" Yes - learn not only the switcher but the peripherals too; DVEous, Lance, SpotBox, etc. I can usually get you through a switcher setup, but trying to write a timeline with a DVEous two box, replay move with fill and key from the SpotBox and under-dissolve to an EVS while dropping the bug and Duet isn't something I can just slap together. Of course, I don't expect you to know how to patch the truck either!! Understand the whole gig - not just setting up your switcher. YOU are responsible for the monitor wall to be correct (since I'm not sitting in front of the wall it's difficult for me to know when something's not right...I'm human, I make mistakes...), that the iso router is labeled and correct, that all the cameras have not only tally but can pan, tilt, zoom and focus, that returns are correct, that ALL the monitors on the outside of the truck have the correct signals, etc, etc. Glean though these forums and you can learn alot about the job.
Mike Cumbo
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Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Jarrett, normally that price includes use of house cables, internet access. Some stadiums provide radar gun data as well. At Yankee, I don't know if that is just the power fee. This is stolen from MTVG's web site, and the Atlanta Braves: [quote]HOOKUP & UTILITY FEES Broadcast Day (Per Unit / Per Day) Mobile Units / Audio Trailers / Production Trailers $1000 Uplink Trucks / Generators / SportVision Vans $500 Set-Up Day Mobile Units / Audio Trailers / Production Trailers $750 Dark Day Mobile Units / Audio Trailers / Production Trailers $500[/quote] So at least at Turner Field you would get changed for bringing a generator.
Jarrett Baker
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Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Lou, do the Yankee's charge $3,500 per day or per home stand? What would a generator rental cost in comparison? Greg, thanks for posting the link to tdhelp.com. It does cover the basics of setup in a short and sweet fashion, and I'll take the information with me this coming week. Is there anything else I should be doing on my first day in an idle truck?
Mike Cumbo
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Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Is that their going rate? Heard things are nasty there.
Lou Delgresiano
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Joined: 11 Sep 2005
Just don't try doing it with a truck parked at Yankee Stadium, they'll try dinging you $3500.00, for power ;-)
KurtASutton
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hey, I'm another TD just out of college trying to break into the industry, up in Indiana. I am bout to graduate from Ball State. I basically learned how to TD on a Kalypso and Zodiak. So now I'm trying to get my name out there. I'm really trying to pick up smaller gigs to build up my skills, while still working utility on bigger shows. I hadn't seen that link before, but having gone to it, i will definitely read it all. every bit of info helps. thanks for the link Greg. Its definitely a hard industry to try and get in and learn in. Its that endless cycle, you need the jobs to get experience, but you need the experience to get jobs. I am trying to get as much advice as i can from others in the industry. Ive tried to read as many posts here as i can, and they are all extremely helpful. Thanks alot to everyone who posts.
greg
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Joined: 22 Aug 2005
this link may help you a bit. http://www.tdhelp.com/ good luck