Stories from the studio: “What does he know?”

Someone who works in television sent in this true story – anonymously of course..

‘I think the problem with telly these days is the commissioning editors!  The new younger breed behave like exec’s but without any experience or knowledge of how a programme is made.

Last year, for instance, I had one turn up for a viewing on the last day of my offline edit. He watched it, made notes, said a couple of the laughs were a bit loud and wanted to lose some material.

Fair enough.

“Don’t worry too much about the laughs,” I said. “Adrian will probably change them all in the dub”.

“What’s a dub*?”

Hang on it gets better.

“We’re only 15 seconds over,” says I, “so if we lose all those bits we’re going to have to find something else to put in.”

“What time are you trying to get to?”

“28’30” I replied.

“Oh don’t worry about that, you can deliver it on any round minute, 27’30, 27’00 or 29’30” if you need to.”
My two Producers and I stared at each other in awe.

“Well just so long as you’re sure because I’ve got to get picture lock tonight, as it’s booked in for an on-line and dub tomorrow.”

“What’s picture lock?”

One week after delivery the Broadcaster rang up to complain that the show was 1 minute under.
“The commissioning editor said we could bring it in on any round minute,” we said.
And I swear to God this was their reply.

“What does he know?”

Well he must know something ’cause he earns a damn sight more than me!’

Thank you, Anonymous. Any more like that?

*Glossary for beginners and non-TV types:

Dub: the process of ‘polishing’ the final audio on the programme, adding voice-over if required, making music mixes, adding audio effects, laughter tracks and improving the quality of all the sound..

Picture lock: when all edit changes have been agreed and the programme is approved for the final on-line edit.  Making changes after picture lock is a pain!

In the edit


  • Greg Scott says:

    If this wasn’t so utterly hilarious, I’d cry.

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