26-year-old Amanda Loqo shares what her role as YO-TV’s insert producer and camera operator entails.
1.Tell us briefly what, in your childhood, sparked your interest in broadcasting?
From a very young age I was always curious on how television was done. I was fascinated by the people I watched on TV and often asked how they got there.. At the same time, I wanted to be on TV like them. When I got to high school I started doing my research and the rest is history
- Journey us into how you got to be a field producer for YOTV and what does it entail?
In 2015, I took a leap of faith, said goodbye to Cape Town and moved to JHB with nothing but dreams and hopes of making it. I even lied to my mother and told her I got a job. When I arrived in JHB I started visiting many production companies with no luck. I was quickly running out of money so I started doing promotional work. Sometimes I would stand at the robots handing out pamphlets, and on good days, I would be inside a store telling customers about a product.
In February 2016, I finally landed my first job as a YOTV Live insert producer. My work involves researching events taking place in and around Johannesburg. Together with our dedicated insert team in Cape Town and Durban, we all get to focus on our respective cities.
3.What skill does one need to excel as a television producer?
The ability to thrive under pressure is essential, as well as good multi-tasking skills. It helps to be an excellent creative writer and to be knowledgeable about what’s happening in pop-culture and current affairs. No plan can come together if you cannot lead the teams you work in, and good planning will always take your creativity one step further. Production is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are passionate about it, then anything is possible.
- Describe your typical day
An average day on the job requires me to hunt down event organisers, and send them a request to cover the event for YOTV. When the day of the event arrives, I brief my presenter about the event and what the outcome of the insert should be. For this, I am usually out of the office.
What also makes me stand out is that I am a camera operator, which means that my shoots always have an extra camera angle. Whether it’s directing or filming the presenter, it helps being a Jack of all trades.
When the shoot is over, and I’m back in the office the next day, I take all the footage to edit and final mix. When that is done, I make sure that the insert is approved by my bosses. Thereafter, I either research more events or, I am out with the presenter filming an insert. When the shoot is over and I’ve returned to the office, I brief the editor and make sure we share the same vision on the look and feel of the insert. When the insert is edited and mixed, I follow through with the process and make sure that the final product is ready for broadcast.
- What are the challenges and highlights of your job?
Highlights: I get to meet different people every day, and travel a lot. I think that my love for travelling must have something to do with me being from a coastal town!
I also love getting to watch my work on TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV because I am always working, but when I do get the chance I watch YOTV. It’s such a great feeling to know that the inserts I put together are good enough to be on national TV and of course seeing my name on credits is an added bonus J
Challenges: The long hours. Most events are always at night and on weekends, meaning that this is not an average 8-5, Monday – Friday Job. In spite of this, I love my job and because I get to go cool events. It doesn’t feel like work. Now and then with the long hours its only human nature to drop the ball sometimes, but being consistent and delivering good quality inserts keeps me on my A-game all the time.
6.What best career advice were you given that you still apply today?
Never stop learning. Work on improving your skills every day.
7.Apart from your role as a field producer are there other projects you are venturing into?
Not yet, but I want to venture into the business side of the Television industry. I’d love to own a production company and produce my own TV shows. I have already started taking the necessary steps to register my production company
My acting dream is still alive and kicking and it’s one of the many reasons for moving to JHB and I believe that I can do both acting and producing. I mean look at the Fergusons.
8.If there was a show dedicated to young people that you were approached to produce what would it be about and why?
We have so many TV shows dedicated to women empowerment and issues that affect young girls, but we have nothing for boys or young males. Now we have 20 boys from Parktown boys who were sexually abused by one teacher, and none of them said anything. How do these boys come forward to say they are raped? Do parents sit down with their boys and talk to them about the possibility of being raped in the same way that parents talk to their daughters?
We need to give attention to issues that affect boys. Maybe that will also help decrease the rate of crime, and produce better fathers and leaders.
9.What is your advice to aspiring field producers or those who want to have a career in broadcasting?
Not everyone has the privilege of going to university, however you will need some sort of training and there are many institutions that offer training in the television industry. The industry allows you to build yourself up, and if you get a chance to be an assistant or intern grab it! With a bit of hard work, it could take you just 2 years to build yourself up to be a producer. The TV industry cares more about what you are capable of than what the extent of your qualifications are.