Floor managers are the directors’ men on the ground. They ensure presenters and guest meet their cues and the programme runs smoothly.
Television floor managers also help prepare and plan productions, supervise the live rehearsals and make sure everyone knows what they should be doing and when. They deal with any technical hitches and ensure the production floor meets health and safety regulations.
- check that equipment, e.g. microphones and earpieces, are working before the show
- seat the audience (if in attendance)
- refer to floor plans
- assist guests on the show
- relay instructions from the control room to the studio floor using a talkback system
- keep the director and producer informed of action off-camera
- assist in the planning and preparation of productions
- oversee the work of other departments, such as sound, lighting and props
- rehearse live shows
- give cues and time counts to presenters, actors or guests
- organize runners to make the best use of studio time
- look ahead in the programme schedule to anticipate any changes to the set, or to see what props are required later in the show
- brief and look after those involved in the programme
- manage the audience, e.g. explaining safety requirements, show timings and what will happen during filming and when the programme will be aired
- deal with any technical problems
- control the studio and halt production if necessary
- liaise with public relations staff to agree who will be interviewed, for example at sports matches
- pass information and progress reports from live events to studio presenters
- adhere to health and safety regulations, e.g. keeping ‘safe areas’ and fire exits clear of equipment.
This profession is open to those both with and without degrees. Those with degrees come from all degree disciplines, but some take courses in areas such as media studies, film and television, or drama/theatre studies to give them an edge.
Entry without a degree or a diploma is common and many floor managers have worked their way up to this position from a more junior or related role.
- the ability to foresee, solve and avoid problems under pressure
- a friendly disposition and an air of calm authority
- excellent communication skills to receive, interpret and convey information accurately and concisely
- interpersonal skills, in order to quickly judge how to get the best out of different people
- good organizational skills and the ability to multitask.