Better Than It Should Be

For twenty-five years, until retirement, I worked in television. Much of that quarter century I mixed location sound while shooting source material for television programs. It was a fun and satisfactory job and I did it well. Picture and sound from those location shoots are the ‘raw material’ that post-production and editorial staff turn into a finished program.

We worked on tight budgets and short deadlines. There never was excess, or sometimes even adequate, money or time. Big re-shoots, dialogue replacement, and other such expensive or time-consuming wants and needs had to be foregone and compromise was a fact of life.

One director, who always did his own picture post-production, could be difficult to work with on location. He took no shortcuts during production. He shot the full scene from each angle. It made for long days, bitchy talent, gripping craftspeople, and we used a lot of tape.

However, this director always produced a finished program better than what we’d shot. Despite lack of budget and time, he had enough material to cut the picture he wanted. His finished programs were better than they should’ve been.

When you read and, hopefully, enjoy our stories, realize that most of the magic happens after the first draft. When I write a new story, there are pages of redundancies and digressions. Claire, my editor, spends some amount of time cutting blocks of this stuff, sometimes with a scalpel, but often a hatchet is more appropriate. Fortunately, it is only the stories and not me that have been the target of these virtual blades. If you enjoy even one of the Stories from Potomac County, know that it is certainly better than it should be.



2 thoughts on “Better Than It Should Be

  1. I like that you mentioned MCD without mentioning MCD…and you hit the nail on the head about his process. Which proves the theory that there is always someone willing to make it “better than it should be.” Which is also a godsend.


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