KDTV: A Peek Behind the Curtain
A note from Kathleen: Annie Hartman Bakken is the associate producer of Knitting Daily TV and my good friend. A new season of KDTV is about to air on public television so I've invited her here to tell you about the ins and outs of making this fabulous program. Here she is!
How We Make a Television Show
What seems just like a long and narrow brown building in an industrial park in Beachwood, Ohio, turns into fiber heaven for four days as designers and the Knitting Daily TV crew converge. Series 800 of Knitting Daily TV includes thirteen episodes, each with four segments. So, how do we tape fifty-two segments in four days? Here's an inside look at the taping of Knitting Daily TV, and how we make the TV show happen.
Planning is essential!
Each segment of the show is planned prior to the taping. As soon as we wrap the taping of one series, we begin the six-month planning process for the next. Host and experts that appear on the show are a huge help—not just pretty faces: Eunny Jang actually does plan and knit the step-by-step examples for the Getting Started and Quick Tip segments.
Once our sponsors' content and talent are decided, we begin to lay out the show on a large grid, which becomes the guide for the assigning sponsor segments to a particular show. We also use this info to name each show. With the themes, or names, of each show decided, the remaining content is planned.
Prior to catching flights into the Cleveland airport, each segment's content has to be ready to go. That means all the step-outs are knitted or crocheted, the final pieces packed, display garments chosen, and even the host's wardrobe decided.
Once we arrive at the Beachwood Studio, each segment's step-outs, display garments, and notions are laid on a large metal tray. This tray lives in the Green Room at the studio and is carried into the taping area when it's time to tape that particular segment. (It helps if you've had any waiter or waitress experience to carry these large trays; thank goodness fiber is typically not heavy!)
A Typical Day at Beachwood Studio
The cast and crew of Knitting Daily TV carpools from the hotel to the studio every morning as early as 6:45 a.m. for makeup calls. By 8 a.m. the first two people are out of makeup, the crew has the cameras set up, and we can begin taping. We tape one segment after another, typically spending thirty minutes on each segment. Surprising to some, we tape the show out of order. Eunny will tape four or five Getting Started and Quick Tip knitting segments (where she shares interesting knitting techniques) in a row. Each designer that flies in to join the show will tape his or her segments one after another, as well. We, usually end taping around 6 p.m.
With the fast and furious taping schedule, we do manage to have a fabulous time. We usually do at least one large dinner together; this year we went to a Lebanese restaurant and shared many small plates of great food, from grape leaves and hummus to French fries. Diets go out the window during our TV taping!
Shay Pendray makes cowboy cookies for every show, which the cast and crew devour over the course of taping. We pretend we need the fuel and sugar to keep rolling each day, but the truth is Shay's cookies are just so darn good! It's completely acceptable to eat cookies for breakfast at Beachwood Studio, despite the camera "adding ten pounds."
Editing, Editing, Editing
After we leave the studio, the editing begins. We typically spend the next month or so viewing the show, making sure the content makes sense and suggesting small edits. The actual editing is done by the producers and folks at Beachwood Studio.
Once all the shows are viewed and edited, the final DVDs can be made. We design the DVD cover and send the final 4-disc DVD set to the replicator for mass production. At this time, Beachwood Studios will also send the show out to Public Television stations nationwide to upload to their broadcasts.
We have so much fun producing the show and we hope you'll enjoy the new series! Knitting Daily TV Series 800 will begin airing on Public Television stations this coming January. Check your local listings to see if it's available in your area. Or, if you can't wait, pre-order the 4-DVD set online at the Knitting Daily Shop!
P.S. Previous DVDs of Knitting Daily TV are now on sale! Take advantage of the 3 for $99 sale going on now and fill your video library with great how-to television.