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Snag That Dream Job: I wanna be a...TV producer

Dean Lynes with Teen Talk show cast
Sure the spotlight is cool, but ever wonder about the magic that happens behind the scenes? We've got the dish on who, what, when and how television airs for your viewing pleasure.

I chatted with Dean Lynes, producer of documentaries, videos and teen shows that air on the educational Channel 77. You can check her out by heading to her site drlynes.com or www.bcps.k12.md.us.

GL: What does a producer do exactly?
Dean: As a producer, I take an idea, whether it’s mine or someone else’s and develop the concept to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Like hiring writers, researchers, directors, talent, crews, editors and overseeing the entire production, or sometimes performing all of those roles myself.
Teen Talk set

Who or what inspired you to get involved in the television industry?
I was initially a theater major, and wanted to produce plays that [could] educate, empower, inspire and entertain at the same time. When the opportunity to produce for television became available, I jumped on it because I knew I could reach more people.

How long does it take for a video clip or show to get on air?
The time it takes for a video to get on the air depends on the video and your deadline. If you’re producing for news, the turn around is the same day. You make calls, shoot, script and edit and it’s on the air. For documentaries, it can take 6 months or two years. So it really depends on the project.

Many of the shows you produce target teenagers. What made you want to reach out to a younger audience?
I’ve always enjoyed working with young people and giving them the opportunity to show their talents. As a young person, I felt empowered whenever I was able to show what I could do, whether it was acting, singing or producing. I still feel that way and believe that all young people should feel that way and have the opportunity to express their talents.
Switchboards and controls in the studio
How do you choose which topics to cover?
We believe that we can create or add to the culture of high expectations and positive reinforcement so that children know and believe that they can do anything they set their minds to. And we also want to counter all of the negative images and messages we are bombarded with in the media when it comes to our young people and schools. We believe that exposing the good will generate more good.

A lot of people say TV is bad for teenagers. What do you think about that?
I think too much TV is bad for teenagers. Especially what is available to them today. And with technology, not much time is given to reading and reading is what allows you to think, dream, imagine, develop your vocabulary and expose you to other people and cultures. It’s ok to relax and watch some television and be entertained, but I think it should be balanced.
Crew working backstage

The Snag That Dream Job section features people with cool careers. What makes your job cool to you?

What’s cool about my job is that I love what I do!

For young girls who want to get behind the camera, where would you suggest they start?
The best way to start is to get internships. Go to a TV station or a production company and introduce yourself to people in the business and ask if you can tag along, hang out, observe and hopefully be able to learn from them. Do some research to find out what’s happening in your community and then get involved. You can also just pick up a home video camera and start taping what matters to you and with today’s technology, there is software available that allows you to edit on your computer at home. Like the [Nike] commercial says, ‘Just Do It.’

BY LYNAE PINDELL ON 5/30/2010 7:00:00 AM


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