Paul Wieland

The use of seven cameras to cover the impeachment hearings is a classic case of overproduction.

It’s tempting as an old tv producer and director to endorse this “more the merrier’ approach. But it subverts the real storytelling. Instead of paying attention to the witness and the interrogator, the producer gets a chance to constantly cut for “reaction” shots.

In themselves reaction shots are not verboten, but the more cameras there are, the more are used by directors and producers (see much network sports coverage.)

The telecast becomes a show about the hearing instead of a report about the hearing.

Case in point: The Super Bowl is covered by 49 or more cameras, a typical home Buffalo Sabres by 19 cameras. Yet, they are merely a football game and a hockey game, each covered easily by five or six cameras if truth be told.

The story is the hearing, not the telecast.

Paul Wieland is a longtime journalist who teaches in the Jandoli School of Communication.

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