The disparity between how easy it is to watch a television program and how difficult it is to make one is truly staggering.
Outdoor shoots are often rushed, always difficult and dependent on a number of factors completely outside of any Human control (principally: the weather). Managing a live broadcast outdoors is a difficult job that only highly trained professionals are properly equipped to deal with.
Mistakes can cost huge sums of money and even jobs to be lost in an instant. As a result, it is of absolutely paramount importance that an outdoor shoot runs as smoothly as possible. It is not possible to control all the variables in this equation, therefore the factors that are controllable need to be handled with a great deal of care and attention.
Before we even get to the problems presented by demanding talent, caffeine-addled directors, technical hiccups (and anything else you’ve heard discussed in exasperating terms on a variety of DVD commentaries), producers need to consider the health and safety of all participants. Keeping so many varied lines of communication open requires a technology that is proven, reliable, affordable and easy to use. As a result, two-way radios are a mainstay of the broadcast industries.
Two-way radios help to keep a shoot or set running smoothly and efficiently, whilst at the same time ensuring that the production team, guests and everybody else involved are safe and secure. Without an instant method of communication, a large amount of today’s TV programming would simply cease to exist (of course, some may say that isn’t too bad a thing!).
Live broadcasting is like catching lightening in a bottle; all conditions need to be as close to perfect as Humanly possible. Two-way radios help to make such a demanding task achievable.
For directors, producers and assistants, the ability to speak directly to the assembled professionals is completely indispensable.
Ultimately, co-ordination of talent, equipment and staff coupled with effective time management and supreme professionalism on all fronts makes broadcasting what it is. However, two-way radios make it all a lot easier and create many more opportunities for better work to be done.