Intern Behind-the-Scenes

Behind the Scenes with a Teen Kids News Intern


My name's Max and I've come over from London to intern at Teen Kids News for a few weeks to see exactly how the show gets put together! 


Being an intern on Teen Kids News was a really fun experience. I got to see the show being filmed and people being interviewed up close, everything that everyone else gets to see on TV just a little earlier!

However, there's plenty more to working for Teen Kids New besides simply filming the program and there's a lot of work to make sure that the show that eventually makes its way to your living room runs without any hiccups. 

For example sometimes an interview can't be done in a single take. We can be left with two interviews which are essentially the same (first and second takes) that have to be assessed for their strengths and weaknesses. Between the two takes its likely that parts of both will be used to create an enhanced version. The starting point to this is to transcribe (type up) an interview giving the production team a clear and visible comparison on paper. This task can be arduous but if it's not done an interview might creep into the show that doesn't make sense or wanders off on a wild and irrelevant tangent.

Another task I was allocated with was the responsibility of the TelePrompTer, the display device used on a camera to scroll down a speech or announcement. Its helpful for people looking into the camera needing to appear to have memorized a speech.

You see when we're in the studio filming a segment or a voice over for a segment it's good  for the presenters to have what their saying written in front of them so they're not burdened with speeches to learn by heart. Running the TelePrompTer was an acquired talent that required me to gage the natural reading speed of each presenter. Otherwise I might be slowing the reporter down to a grinding halt or ensuring that they chaotically stumble over their words.

Besides the TV show there's also a website to take care of. One of the most enjoyable tasks I had was helping to expand the quiz database to challenge the memories and minds of some of the more treacherous teens to opt to tune into other shows apart from TKN. 

You may be surprised to learn that putting a quiz together despite being a creative process is also quite the challenge. Creating a good red herring to bamboozle is a talent within its own right. I'll leave you to decide if; a) I triumphantly succeeded in leading you astray, b) failed in my attempts to run rings around you or c) led you straight to the answer which is either (a), (b) or (c).

I'll leave you to decide.

All the best, Max

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Shoot 3 at Teen Kids News and we're filming a Skype interview with a girl in Holland, Europe.

Here I learnt a lot about how to actually put a segment of TKN together and what's required in order to ensure that the footage is of a high enough standard to go on air.

The interview took quite a few takes because the Internet connection was slightly unpredictable for a few seconds here and there and in order to air it on the television there must be continuity. For instance, the girl in Holland had to move rooms at the beginning of the interview because there was better reception and light in another room in her house. We had to restart the interview otherwise it looks a bit weird to an audience.

Luckily, though it took a while to get everything right, when it was, the interview took only one take, which meant everyone got to go home earlier!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Shoot 2 working at Teen Kids News and I found myself at a slightly more formal yet glamorous location for filming.

We were at Teen Vogue to shoot two items, one on make up and one on fashion. Imagine the Devil Wears Prada but a whole lot friendlier!

There were new lessons to be learnt here beyond merely not obstructing a shot. Whilst the shoot involving Milo the dog the previous day had been at a family home, Teen Vogue is a gigantic office space with plenty of background noise to watch out for.

Luckily there was a spare room that we were able to use to avoid the, in my opinion, real danger of accidentally getting in the way of all sorts of fashionistas and divas!

Still in the room we were filming we had to be careful to unplug the phone line so it didn’t go off. The last thing you want is for half way through a ten minute interview with a fashion or make up expert to have to start again because a phone rang, wasting everyone’s precious time.

Another problem that we faced was in order to get the right tones for the shot we had to use our own lights to brighten up the room. The only problem is they’re very hot and it can get pretty steamy in there! Ugh!

However, all in all despite the blistering heat another thoroughly enjoyable day working for Teen Kids News!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



My name's Max and I've come over from London to work at Teen Kids News for a few weeks to see exactly how the show gets put together! It's amazing to think that the show that you and I actually get to watch starts with an idea and a bit of research. Day 1 at TKN and I'm thrown right into the deep end in Uptown Manhattan. The story we were reporting on was the brand new phenomenon called "Dog Vacay". The idea behind the name is that every dog needs looking after but sometimes people might be to busy to look after their high maintenance canine. Rather than leaving it at a dog kennel, where it might not get enough attention, a better idea is to find someone who has volunteered to take care of the pooch offering a consistent lifestyle while the owners are away.

We were visiting Milo, a particularly pampered and rather adorable little dog while he stayed with foster parent Patty and her children Gabriella, Ethan and Brandon. Whilst there Cameraman Sean was able to get some great shots of Gabriella, Ethan and Brandon playing around with the dog, rewarding tricks with treats and taking him for much needed walks get get rid of all that energy!

We discussed with the family how it might be a really good way of kids being given more responsibility without the slightly heaver commitment of actually getting a puppy in permanently. It really is an unique opportunity to work out whether one is capable of looking after a pet.

I was able to pick up some really helpful skills about being around a camera and I learnt a lot about what's needed in order to put together a news item. For instance you have to be really careful about reflections in mirrors and picture frames when filming. If you don't watch out you might end up seeing your reflection in the shot while filming and so check out if I'm in shot standing idly in the background of the news story on Milo the Dog coming soon!

(Photo of Project Manager, Marilou and Director, Alan going over the shooting script)

Last modified onMonday, 10 June 2013 11:12
More in this category: « FAQs About Teen Kids News »