Q It Up: Handling Holiday Production

Q It Up: Handling Holiday Production: We’re in the peak of the holiday season. Does your workload change this time of year, or have technology and online workflow systems eliminated the holiday headaches? If not, what are your biggest challenges and how do you deal with them? What advice would you give a first year Production Director to fast track this person to be ready for his/her first holiday production season? And what would you like Santa to put under the tree for your studio?

Please enter your comments below. Not registered? Sign up here.

Comments (7)

  1. Ty Ford

No to part A.

Yes to part B. One of these.

With FCP X and Logic Pro X

Regards,

Ty Ford

  Attachments
 
  1. Jerry Vigil    Ty Ford

That's sweet enough to make me switch to Mac!

  Attachments
 
  1. Jim Yelton

Things really slow down production-wise the week before Christmas. So, it's easy for me to handle any last minute orders that pop up. The biggest thing is just making sure anything holiday-themed is ready to switch out for the 26th and that whichever part-timer is working Christmas night knows how to load new spots or content into Audio Vault properly to avoid getting a late night phone call about missing spots.

I would love to wake up Christmas Day and find out our station adopted a new online production order system like vCreative offers. Things would be so much smoother for everyone in our building if we could go paperless!

  Attachments
 
  1. Howard Hoffman

The holiday workload definitely tapers off when you’re a freelancer. PDs/market managers skip town and leave most of the work to their staffers. But obviously, it was a much different story when I was full time, so I did set my favorite annual (but bendable) rule.

SET A DEADLINE - Make it clear that you can serve sales and programming better if they get their work requests in a couple of days before the holiday getaway. Also make it clear you need to superserve the entire cluster before the one-to-two weeks of the holiday. This gives you not only a cushion to get the work done, but also gives you leeway for “last minute rushes” which will invariably happen. At least with that cushion, you can react with a simple raised eyebrow and a “Really?” smile instead of angry panic.

Still, be prepared to stay late the last workday before the holiday. Don’t bother booking airline reservations for that night. You’ll never make it.

ASIDE TO SANTA: Leave us all $39.99 a month ISDN. With no...

The holiday workload definitely tapers off when you’re a freelancer. PDs/market managers skip town and leave most of the work to their staffers. But obviously, it was a much different story when I was full time, so I did set my favorite annual (but bendable) rule.

SET A DEADLINE - Make it clear that you can serve sales and programming better if they get their work requests in a couple of days before the holiday getaway. Also make it clear you need to superserve the entire cluster before the one-to-two weeks of the holiday. This gives you not only a cushion to get the work done, but also gives you leeway for “last minute rushes” which will invariably happen. At least with that cushion, you can react with a simple raised eyebrow and a “Really?” smile instead of angry panic.

Still, be prepared to stay late the last workday before the holiday. Don’t bother booking airline reservations for that night. You’ll never make it.

ASIDE TO SANTA: Leave us all $39.99 a month ISDN. With no startup fees.

Howard

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. Jerry Vigil

This response from: Alan Peterson, National Production Director, Radio America Network Washington DC:

When other jocks in-house typically voice local spots, things get snug when they all burn through their last-minute vacation time in December and can't be found. Dedicated and sensible talents will bring a laptop and USB mic with them, knowing from past experience that they may be asked for a 'special' while they're on vacation, and happily comply. Those are the folks who get Christmas cards from me.

If I know which talents won't be around, I ask the sales force for advance copy so jocks can lay down tracks before they leave. If that isn't practical, oh well, they get who they get.

I also insist that Traffic/Continuity be extra vigilant on spots with "TFN" (til further notice) as their flight dates. If a sale at Blogney's Shoe Store ends on New Year's Eve, you sure don't want the spot playing on Jan 1. Keep the channel between you and the continuity/traffic manager wide open,...

This response from: Alan Peterson, National Production Director, Radio America Network Washington DC:

When other jocks in-house typically voice local spots, things get snug when they all burn through their last-minute vacation time in December and can't be found. Dedicated and sensible talents will bring a laptop and USB mic with them, knowing from past experience that they may be asked for a 'special' while they're on vacation, and happily comply. Those are the folks who get Christmas cards from me.

If I know which talents won't be around, I ask the sales force for advance copy so jocks can lay down tracks before they leave. If that isn't practical, oh well, they get who they get.

I also insist that Traffic/Continuity be extra vigilant on spots with "TFN" (til further notice) as their flight dates. If a sale at Blogney's Shoe Store ends on New Year's Eve, you sure don't want the spot playing on Jan 1. Keep the channel between you and the continuity/traffic manager wide open, because you'll be talking a lot.

What would I ask the new man or woman who got the Prod Director job? "Did you lose a bet?" For actual advice, I'd have to let them know that not every project can get the two-hour Velvet Glove treatment during this time of year. They may be proud of the elaborate and sparkly productions that landed them the job, but a lot of pieces will need to be music bed + best-take quickie reads. It puckers me to say that, but there are only so many numbers printed on the clock and not everything has to be Clio material.

As for what I want under the tree: a working T.A.R.D.I.S. So I can add numbers to that clock.

Read More
  Attachments
 
  1. Andrew Frame

I'll echo Howard's comment. December is one of my two lowest billing months, and when I do my best to get caught up on paperwork, billing, etc., that's been backlogging since August. It's unsettling, too. If I don't have an overflowing inbox, a few jobs running late, and one coming in for each completed, I'll start to have a low grade panic. After 20 years I'm still not used to the cyclic nature of freelancing.

  Attachments
 
  1. Michael Shishido

I'm commenting on Friday Dec 15. Our most intense production period was probably a month ago as advertisers were gearing up for Black Friday. That seems to be more of a benchmark for Christmastime advertising. The last two weeks (the first two weeks of December) have been moderate. That's good news to me in a sense. As a marketer/radio PD/Production person, I cringe a little when advertisers start advertising in December. If you're only thinking about advertising now, you're way behind. All your marketing effort should come in long before that.

Best advice for new production people at radio: Stay ahead of the production load. If there's a moment to produce something that's not due for a few days, do it anyway. Because you never know what's lurking on some Salesperson's list. If you're always ahead of the curve, you're more than likely to be ready for surprises.

What I want under my tree: a buyout version of Adobe Audition. We have it here at Ohana Broadcast in Honolulu as part of...

I'm commenting on Friday Dec 15. Our most intense production period was probably a month ago as advertisers were gearing up for Black Friday. That seems to be more of a benchmark for Christmastime advertising. The last two weeks (the first two weeks of December) have been moderate. That's good news to me in a sense. As a marketer/radio PD/Production person, I cringe a little when advertisers start advertising in December. If you're only thinking about advertising now, you're way behind. All your marketing effort should come in long before that.

Best advice for new production people at radio: Stay ahead of the production load. If there's a moment to produce something that's not due for a few days, do it anyway. Because you never know what's lurking on some Salesperson's list. If you're always ahead of the curve, you're more than likely to be ready for surprises.

What I want under my tree: a buyout version of Adobe Audition. We have it here at Ohana Broadcast in Honolulu as part of our Adobe Creative Cloud license. But for me at home, paying $200 for Audition every year hurts. In fact, I just switched my home production software to Magix Acid and Sound Forge. Buy it once, upgrade as necessary.

Aloha & Merry Christmas!

Read More
  Attachments
 
There are no comments posted here yet