Thursday, November 3, 2016

Too Much Informatiom

On a soap, you needed to know where-both in space and in content--a scene began and where it ended. You needed to know what was happening in the story today, and what would happen in the set of episodes being pre-produced, and what the viewers were seeing on air. It was a lot to know, and sometimes more than you could possibly keep track of--unless you were one of a handful of producers and directors with whom I worked over the years who could actually keep it all straight. I'll admit, there were days when I just wanted to shut it all off and focus just on the scenes of the day. But doing so might render those scenes disconnected from the episodes they went into. So focusing just on the day was never really a possibility.

In news, where I have worked the last few years, there is a similar explosion of information--at every moment, new events that ask you to connect them with the old, speeches and celebrations and disasters that all have to be connected to what you already know and what has yet to happen. Because of working in news, I have become more aware of world events and places. Because of working in news, I read more editorials and am comfortable discussing more topics. But sometimes, the flow of information is too much. Sometimes, I don't want to hear every speech and know every detail. Sometimes, I just want to focus on the scene in front of me, rather than knowing how it fits into the big picture. But, as in soaps, that is not always my choice. The story goes on, and the pieces all affect each other. And if you skip some of the information, it is likely the rest of the information won't make sense. It makes for a great deal of sensory overload. You can't stop the flow of information, because you need it. And you can't really succeed at today without knowing where it fits into yesterday and tomorrow. So for now, I must deal with too much information--it appears to be a factor, no matter what genre I'm part of. On soaps, in news, and in life, "too much information" is simply the way stories are being told. 

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