Technical director: Difference between revisions

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{{Infobox occupation
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| employment_field = [[softwareSoftware development]],Theatretheatre, Televisiontelevision
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A '''technical director''' ('''TD''') is usually a senior technical person<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=Technical Director {{!}} Film and TV Jobs in the Entertainment Industry {{!}}||access-date=2020-02-10 February 2020}}</ref> within e.g. a [[software]] company, [[engineering]] firm, [[film]] studio, [[Theatre|theatrical]]theatre company or [[television studio]]. This person usually possesseshas the highest level of [[skill]] within a specific technical field.
== Software ==
== Theatre ==
It is a technical director's job to make sure the technical equipment in the theater is functional, maintained and safe.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=Technical Director {{!}} AACT||access-date=2020-02-10 February 2020}}</ref> The technical director, along with the production manager, is responsible for the overall organization of the technical production process. Duties included are generating necessary working drawings for construction (in conjunction with a draftsperson, if there is one); budget estimations and maintaining of accounts; materials research and purchasing; scheduling and supervising build crews; coordinating load-ins; handling conflicts that arise between different departments; and organizing the strike and clean-up for the production. Often, the Technical Director can serve as the head of the scenic department, supervising the master carpenter, carpenters, charge artists and leading them in the realization of the scenic designer's vision.
"Technical director" can also refer to the in-house chief designer or master carpenter for a smaller theater company.
In venues that host touring productions, the TD may also be responsible for advancing the technical rider, hiring local crew, renting equipment and liaising between the tour manager and the local crew.
== Television ==<!-- This section is linked from [[Cut (film)|Cut]] -->
The technical director works in a [[production control room]] of a [[television studio]] and operates the [[Vision mixer|video switcher]] and associated devices as well as serving as the chief of the [[television crew]]. For a [[remote broadcast]] outside of the [[television studio|studio]], the TD will perform the same duties in a mobile [[production truck]]. It is the TD's job to ensure all positions are manned and all equipment and facilities are checked out and ready before the recording session or live broadcast begins. They typically will switch video sources, perform live digital effects and transitions, and insert pre-recorded material, graphics and titles as instructed by the [[Television director|director]]. In larger productions, the director does not actually operate the production equipment, allowing him/her to coordinate the production and make rapid decisions without worrying about how to mechanically execute the effect or camera move being called for. The technical director may provide training to more inexperienced members of the technical crew when needed. In consultation with the director, the TD may have more or less input into the creative side of the production, depending on the situation. He/she may provide the director with guidance on crew assignments, camera shots and the most efficient way to accomplish any given effect. The TD is usually responsible for the technical quality of the signal being recorded or broadcast and will use various measuring devices and displays to ensure quality control.
Technical directors commonly work on productions that are either broadcast live or recorded on [[video tape]] or [[video server]]s. Television productions shot on film generally do not use TDs, as the camera cuts and effects are realized in [[post production]] after the shooting is completed.
The terminology in the [[UK]] differs in some respects from the above description: The production control room is called a "gallery", a mobile production truck is called an "[[Outside broadcasting|OB van]]" or a "scanner" (a [[BBC]] term). In UK television practice, the technical director is the senior technical person in the gallery and supervises the technical team, but does not operate the "[[vision mixer]]". The TD is responsible for ensuring that the gallery is technically fit for purpose, the routing of internal and external sources, as well as liaison with other technical areas such as [[master control]] rooms and transmission suites. They may additionally perform vision control duties, matching the exposure and colour balance of the cameras ("racking").
==See also==