Getting Started

There is a lot of work that goes into the production of a program. The more planning you do beforehand, the smoother the whole process will run. Think carefully about what you want the final production to look like, and write it down.

If you need ideas, watch other television shows while you’re planning. Pay special attention to details; placement of people, background music, transitions, locations, props. How is the show introduced? How does it close? Get a feel for how a typical show is organized. It will help you gear up for writing your own.

Create a Storyboard

A storyboard is used to plot out the sights and sounds of a program. It is the outline the producer and director will use to create the show, so details are important. Break down each segment of your show. Write down what visuals you want to see (use graphics if it is easier) and the script or audio that goes along with it.

Questions to Consider

Every show has similar elements that need consideration. Be thorough in your planning! Below are a few generic questions that can help you get started.

The Basics

  • What is the show about?
  • Will the HCTV audience be interested in it?
  • Will it benefit the community?
  • How long will it be?
  • Do I have enough content material to fill that program length? Even a half-hour program (approx 28:30 minutes) is a VERY long time in TV minutes!
  • Will the show be broadcast live or taped? (HCTV has limitations on live broadcasts – please call the office for details.)
  • Is this a series of shows or a one-time program? How often do you plan to produce it? Once a week? Once a year? Will you be able to produce enough material to fill that number of shows?
  • Do you have the time to produce it?


Starting Out:

  • Will you have sponsors? Do they have special requirements you need to consider?
  • Where will the show take place? Do you have access to it, or will you need permission to use it? Or will the show take place in different locations for each segment?
  • Who will be on it? Do you have a host? Will there be special guests? Who are they? What insight will they bring to the subject?
  • Does the show have a written script,or will it be conversational?
  • Will there be a live audience?
  • What equipment will I need?


Technical Details:

  • What music should I use? Music helps set the mood of the program, but copyright issues must be taken into consideration. HCTV has a library of royalty free music that you can browse.
  • What graphics should I have? Do I need animations? How about slides to emphasize key points?
  • Will there be other video to insert into the program?
  • Will I need special effects, like chroma-key backgrounds?


Visual Details:

  • What is the setting? Outside? In a studio? Someone’s home?
  • What props do I need to accent my subject?
  • What visuals can I use to help explain my subject?
  • How many people will be on the set at one time? How will they be positioned? Sitting? Standing? Moving around? The answers to these questions will help the director know how to instruct the camera operators.
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