Friday, July 17, 2009

Back in the saddle again

A few months ago, my boss informed me that I would have to produce a new business program. At first, I was quite hesitant to do a business program again as I haven't done one in a long time and I have lost touch of the business world. Plus the fact that I would have preferred to do a lifestyle program. In fact, business programs are very specialized and only those with an interest in it would go into broadcasting specifically to just do business and financial programs. As this was a directive from my company, I had to do it.

So a few months down the road, it has been a few episodes into the season already. Things have almost stabilized. The hardest part about any program is getting things started. The hardest part is actually planning the editorial direction of the program and meeting up with the sponsors. Everyone has high expectations and it's important to explain to them early on what are the limitations.

Then there's the creative direction. Meeting the designers to build the set, program montage and the logo. Sometimes too many cooks spoils the soup and that's what happens every time when it comes to a creative progress. In the end, I had to push things through to get things done.

Preparing a team is also hard. The hardest is finding a good host. A few names were tossed around in the early part and all of the candidates have their pros and cons. In the end, I was lucky enough to convince my current host to take up the challenge to do it. It's important to have good chemistry with the host, especially during a live program. A host has to think in the same wavelength as the producer in terms of what questions to ask a guest.

The good thing about this program is that at least I'm now producing a program on my own again. It's like getting to captain your own ship again. Since I'm a Star Trek fan, I always see each program as a star ship and this program won't be a huge galaxy class ship like the Enterprise (that would be Buletin Utama, the main news program). My program would probably be equivalent to... a shuttle craft? hehehe. Hey, at least they call me producer again!

I've also been talking to the business community again. It's always nice to get the news straight from the source and to see uncensored version of the news. When I was doing a woman's talk show, I used to talk to NGO's and politicians and they used to tell me the challenges they faced. Most of it couldn't be aired. It's the same with the business community, they love to talk, but not officially on the record.

Maybe it's just the Malaysian culture. Everyone's afraid to stick their neck out to say something event though everyone else is thinking of it. Its just too risky.

Since my program is on Sunday night, my day offs are Monday and Tuesday now. At first I was thinking there goes my weekend but I find that working on a weekend is works out fine for me. On Mondays and Tuesdays I get to go out do my errands while everyone else is at work. It helps that I can go to the bank during banking hours.

The down side is I don't get to attend any social events on Sunday. Although I only start work at 4PM on Sunday, I prefer to sleep in on Sunday morning because I have to work until very late in the evening.

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