I went to college and got my degree in marketing. No one bothered to tell me that I wouldn’t know exactly what I wanted to do once I graduated. I had a job selling copiers and fax machines, for goodness sakes.
Well, I hated it and quickly quit, just to realize that I really didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do. So, I went back to school to get my MBA. When I finished, I moved to Los Angeles. I met a girl, Stephanie, who had a talk show on local cable access. She suggested I get one as well. I wasn’t sure I had much to say.
The more I thought about it, I knew there were so many people who did have a lot to say. Once I started, I knew I was meant to have a talk show, and I had finally found my passion and what I wanted to do.
So, if you are interested in having a talk show. Here are some things I suggest you do. Keep in mind, it’s going to take a lot of work, and it’s not as easy as it may seem. First find out what you want the talk show to be about. Do you want to focus on your comic skills, talking to celebrities, or giving health advice? What is the format going to be? Are you going to interview people or get another host?
Do some research to see if the largest close city to where you live has a local cable access network. Contact this network and ask them what the requirements are for having a talk show. Some cities have strict requirements, like you have to actually live in that city, while others are more lenient.
Another option, and what I’ve been doing for years now, if to have your own talk show online. Now, this requires some work and skills if you want it to be good. I got a degree in broadcast journalism, which helps with my filming and editing.
You have to find your own guests, so you need to know where to look. Asking friends or family will only last so long. You can put a posting on craigslist or at your church. You have to know who you are looking for, because you may get all kinds of requests for people to be on your show. You have to be willing to say, “No” to those that don’t fit your requirements. When you have done a few shows, you will realize you can become a little pickier on whom you want as guests.
You need to figure out where you will be filming. You can call a community center or library. I’ve found many people like shooting out of their office or in a conference room. There are plenty of places you can find that won’t cost anything.
If you are doing a video talk show, you will need cameras and editing equipment. Lighting is good but not a necessary when starting off, because you can always shoot somewhere that has good lighting. You can also improve the lighting with your editing software.
Three cameras are needed when filming. You don’t need a camera crew, although it would make for a better show. You can set one camera on you, another on the guest, and the third on the “master” of both of you in one shot. You will need to get microphones, so you can better hear the conversation. Having only the mic that is attached to the camera will pick up other sounds that may interfere with the conversation. It’s amazing the sounds the mic can pick up. It would be better if you can get an audio person… someone who can wear headphones during the show to listen to any feedback or interference. If there is feedback, the person can give you a sign to adjust your microphone.
Another thing to keep in mind, don’t film outside. There are too many things you can’t control there, whether it’s the sound of cars, trains, animals, or other people. It may sound okay to you, but it will sound completely different once you’re trying to hear the show over those sounds.
When you edit the show, you will need to watch it through once. You need to decide which shots are best on you, the guest, or a master shot. The best shot may be a reaction shot, as opposed to the shot of the person talking. Knowing all of this comes with practice. You also need to make sure the audio is consistent. You can use the audio from the same camera, as long as the audio is not louder with one person than another.