DMA320-TV-Industry-Personnel - TV INDUSTRY PERSONNEL by Dr....

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TV INDUSTRY PERSONNEL by Dr. George Vinovich ABOVE-THE-LINE vs BELOW-THE-LINE TV production personnel are usually categorized as either above-the-line or below-the-line. Creative personnel such as producers, writers, directors, and actors are classified as above-the-line, while technical personnel such as camera, audio, TD, VTR, grip, and gaffer are classified as below-the-line. Although it may appear as if this is a delineation between “creative” and “technical” jobs, it is actually done merely for accounting purposes on a TV show’s budget. Below-the- line personnel are usually paid a fixed salary or set wage based on their union’s contract, while above-the-line personnel usually work on negotiable salaries that are much higher than their union’s minimum wage. Just about any camera operator or audio technician is going to cost about the same rate, whereas the salary for a particular actor or director can vary significantly depending on the salary a particular actor or director can command. As such, a TV production’s below-the-line costs can be figured out fairly easily based on the mere number of technical personnel needed for the production, where as the same show’s above-the-line costs can vary astronomically depending on the particular individual actors, directors, and writers hired for the program. Marlon Brando would command a much higher salary to star in a program than Henry Winkler. Judith Krantz would command a much higher salary to write a TV mini-series than the writers on MeIrose Place . Likewise, Steven Spielberg would command a much higher salary to direct than the guy who directed the “ Maxercise Creme” commercial. ABOVE-THE-LINE PERSONNEL 1. Executive Producer - the owner of the TV program and as such, the ultimate authority for the project. Sometimes the executive producer is merely the money or the “bank” behind the project and has very little creative input or interest in the project. The main interest is managerial concern for a financially profitable project. Executive producers usually hire a team of qualified producers, directors, and writers to take care of the creative aspects of the TV program. If you were having a house built for you, you would be considered the executive producer since you would have the ultimate authority over whom you hire as your architect, general contractor, and subcontractors, and you are also responsible for paying all of the wages for the workers as well as all the bills for all of the materials to build the house. Executive producers do not belong to any unions or professional guilds because they are management. (Try to name the executive producers of some of your favorite TV shows). 2.
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DMA320-TV-Industry-Personnel - TV INDUSTRY PERSONNEL by Dr....

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