The working practices of below the line television operators is an area of television studies that continues to be under-researched. Despite notable recent efforts, this lack of academic engagement is perhaps at its most pronounced in regards to the sub group of television operators who record, mix, and edit the soundtrack of British television. However, hands on methodologies continue to gain traction in the area of film and television research and, in doing so, create new opportunities to engage with below the line practices and bring into focus the hidden work of production personnel. This article, aims to explore these new methodologies and assess how they can bring new affordances to researchers engaging with communities who’s practices are often seen as routine and unremarkable. Focusing specifically on the work of television sound operators this article hopes to add to the growing body of work that sheds light on the practices of sound operators and the skills, codes, and identities that shape their work. By doing so through using hands on methods, it hopes to show the benefits of such approaches to wider television and film research.

sound, television, hands on history, media archaeology, sound practice, production studies
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
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VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 8, No 15 (2019): Material Histories of Television; 5-21

Heath, Tim. (2019). Television Sound Operators: Who Were They and What Exactly Did They Do?. VIEW Journal, 8(15), 5–21. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2019.jethc161