The shows I produced were usually 30min to 1hr long. This demo shows some of the tactics and tools that I used in my newscasts: including natsound in the opens; adding a live reporter on location in the opens to give the feeling of “happening now”; using creativity and props to explain dull subjects and show the “backstage” -such as a reporter getting ready when the pictures of a story are not sexy enough for a tease.

These are usually 30min shows dedicated to one specific topic. The demo below is a compilation of the following special programs that I have produced: “America Latina, Democracia a Prueba”; “Juan Pablo II, Legado en America Latina”; “Pinochet, el Plan Condor”.

I also got a chance to be on the other side of the production line, working with reporters to find compelling stories, perfect guests and the best video available (this sometimes requires buying it from affiliates, or doing thorough library searches). I organised the shoot and supervised the editing process. 

When covering an event as a field producer the pre-production involves logistic arrangements (hotels, plane tickets, ground transportation, sort out technical needs in the field, etc); set up interviews and come up with a schedule for the reporter and the cameraman in order to cover all the highlights of the event. When in the field, the production involves making sure the schedule is met, adjusting the schedule to fit editing needs, feeding the material back to Atlanta in order to make it available to air ASAP; package production (wrap piece of the day); liveshot production; and finally chasing additional guests -unavailable in the pre-production process.

An example of my work in the field is the 2008 Oil Conference in Madrid. I had to coordinate two camera crews: I assigned the first cameraman to the liveshot position, in order to meet hourly show requests; I assigned the second cameraman with shooting b-rolls, interviews, editing and feeding the material to Atlanta to meet programming needs.

There were two key guests ignoring our interview requests, the Iranian Energy Minister and the Saudi Arabia’s Oil Ministers. Through my contacts on the ground, I found out what workshops they were going to attend -and ambushed them right before the event. In this way, I guaranteed CNN exclusive and rare interviews with the top two players of the conference. As this interviews were taking place, I was emailing the planning team to start promoting the interviews on air, while we run to the edit position and got them fed them.

CNN’s Charles Hodson’s interview with Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali Naim, during the Oil Conference, Madrid 2008.

Liveshot by reporter Charles Hodson, in Madrid, during the Oil Conference. The elements used in this liveshot had just been shot and fed for the show.

There was also time for some fun. The 2009 World’s Freerun Championship took place in London. I produced this piece for Zain Verjee.




News Producer  ::  Special Shows  ::  Package Producer  ::  Live Events  ::  Field Producer