Lighting Console Operator

Technical Dpt
Mid-level

Lighting console operators cue and control the lighting on a TV programme.

What does a lighting console operator do?

Lighting console operators cue and control the lighting on a TV programme. They normally work on big studio shows that use lots of different lights and are in charge of selecting which lights are used and when. It’s down to them to make sure the presenters and on-screen contributors are well-lit and the set is brought to life with the right levels of colour, shade and texture. They also cue any special lighting effects and might be responsible for controlling extra lighting such as LED screens or haze machines to create smoke effects.  

Lighting console operators follow the instructions of the lighting director to implement their plan for the lighting. They help to set up and de-rig the set with lighting equipment, fixtures and cables and are also responsible for the console equipment. They need to troubleshoot any issues as efficiently as possible to make sure the shoot isn’t disrupted.

Lighting console operators work on live and pre-recorded shows and tend to be employed in-house.

What’s a lighting console operator good at?

  • Taking direction: communicate well with other crew members and be able to produce the required effects
  • Work well under pressure: be able to concentrate in a live environment, be precise and exact with the cueing of all lighting
  • Knowledge of equipment: understand how to operate, clean and repair the relevant equipment and be able to troubleshoot any issues
  • Understanding of the industry: have a strong understanding of how an unscripted TV programme is made
  • Health and safety: be knowledgeable about and able to abide by relevant health and safety laws when using electrical equipment

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