National Geographic : 1954 Jul
94 National Geographic Photographer Willard R. Culver From This Command Post a Television Director Fires Orders at Machine-gun Speed A director of a television program commands an army of actors, musicians, and prop men. Here director Jim Silman (with headphones) rehearses the Allan Jefferys show from above the stage at CBS's Broadcast House in Washington, D. C . When the clock ticks around to showtime, Silman swings into a frenzy of mental and vocal activity. To his cameramen, connected by telephone, he emits a steady stream of directions: "Swing around... sneak in...left... right... get on the piano... pan the keyboard." At his voice, prop men pour rain, make thunder; engineers adjust mike booms, rearrange spotlights; actors don hats, speed speeches, sit or stand. This flood of commands is reflected on the three monitor screens immediately before Silman, one for each camera. The director selects the best picture and orders the switcher (left) to put it on the air; end screens reproduce this picture. Screens on the shelf above hold special picture effects and advertising. Technician (right) controls the sound. An announcer sits in the soundproof booth.