Electronic field production

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see related article at Electronic journalism
also see Outside broadcasting

Electronic field production (EFP) is a television industry term referring to a video production which takes place in the field, outside of a formal television studio, in a practical location or special venue. Typical applications of electronic field production include awards shows, concerts, major newsmaker interviews, political conventions and sporting events.

EFP places the emphasis on high-quality, multiple-camera setup photography, advanced graphics and sound.


Sports television makes up the majority of EFP. Major television networks once owned their own production trucks for covering major events, but today, with the explosion in networks on cable and over-the-air, they rent television production trucks by the day or week from broadcast rental companies for more routine or remote broadcast productions.

A typical sports production truck includes:

  • A large video switcher with an external digital video effects (DVE) unit and several mix/effect busses, to allow the Television director flexibility in calling for certain visual effects in the broadcast.
  • Several tripod-mounted and handheld professional video cameras.
  • A variety of zoom lenses for the tripod-mounted "hard" cameras, typically at least 50× to 100× magnification, and a maximum focal length of at least 600mm. The extreme amount of magnification is necessary because the cameras can be located quite a distance from the action.
  • Several video recording and playback devices such as VCRs, hard disk recorders and video servers. Certain cameras or video feeds can be "isolated" to specific decks, and when something happens that the producer or director wants to see again, the deck can be rewound and shown on the air as an instant replay. Hard disk recorders typically allow some limited editing capabilities, allowing highlight reels to be edited together in the middle of a game.
  • Several character generators allowing scores and statistics to be shown on screen. The scoreboards used in most sports facilities can be linked to the truck to drive the television production's graphics as well as the arena scoreboards.
  • An audio mixing console booth and a variety of microphones to capture audio from the sportscasters and from the field of play.
  • Several miles of various types of cable.

Related techniques[edit]

  • Contrasted with the production values of EFP, in electronic journalism or electronic news-gathering (ENG), the emphasis is on quickness and agility in acquisition and rapidity in the process of editing, leading to final transmission to the audience is the goal. The two terms are often seen paired as EFP-ENG and vice versa.
  • Many episodic television shows, four-camera situation comedy, television drama, such as PBS' Masterpiece Theatre all draw upon forms of EFP.

See also[edit]