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What makes a good segment for SUNUP or Oklahoma Gardening

What makes a good SUNUP segment

You’re sitting around on a Saturday morning, drinking coffee and watching your two favorite OETA shows, SUNUP and Oklahoma Gardening. After the credits roll, you think you might have a good idea for a SUNUP story or an Oklahoma Gardening segment, but you aren’t sure whether the idea is good.

Well, you’re in luck. I’m going to draw the curtains back a tiny bit so you can get a peek at what goes into producing these segments. Before we wander off into the weeds, I want to briefly explain the work flow for the shows.

Deadlines: SUNUP airs weekly and our deadline for the broadcast is Thursday. Ideally, if you want to get a segment on the show for that week’s broadcast or if it’s time sensitive, we want to have everything recorded on Monday or Tuesday. Again, this is not always possible, so Wednesdays are an option, but we’d like to have it complete before then.

Planning: It always helps our team out when we know a week or two in advance about what story or segment we are going to produce. Obviously, in the world of Extension, this isn’t always possible.

Events: We’re always happy to promote various events going on in DASNR. If there’s an event someone wishes to promote, airing a segment or story the week before is the best way to go. What helps in the promotion is finding an interesting way to convey the importance of the event, such as doing a feature about someone who has worked this event for 30 years or highlighting an educational element that’s not directly related to the activity, but allows us to mention the event as part of the segment.

Features: These are the stories I routinely produce. What makes a good feature is something in that story that can draw out an emotion. Anything that can make the viewer feel something. Thankfully, with all the great work Extension is involved in, there’s never a shortage of these stories. Do you know a 4-H’er who started a Veteran’s Day program at a school? Has your Extension educator had a positive impact on you or people you know? Is there someone who has benefited from some of the scientific research Extension has done? Here is an example of the types of features we put on the air: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB0_gjxQ3tw

Segments: SUNUP is an agricultural educational news program. A good segment checks off those three boxes. Is it agricultural (related)? Is it educational? Is it new? Granted, not every story will check those boxes, and if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean the segment won’t be good, but if you want to pitch a story, thinking about that checklist will impact the quality of the segment. Why should producers care? What is the impact? Here’s an example of a good segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2R6abCbrsA&t=1s

Video/B-Roll: Whether it’s a regular segment or a feature, video enhances the story. If we’re doing a segment over a microscopic wheat disease and getting video of that is near impossible, shooting a researcher looking through a microscope may be better than 3 minutes of video of the researcher talking to the camera about it.

Length: SUNUP’s full broadcast is 27 minutes and 45 seconds, so length of the segments is important.

SUNUP links

For segment ideas: sunup@okstate.edu


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Kurtis Hair
Video Editor - SUNUP
Agricultural Communications Services

Working with Oklahoma Gardening

Planning for the OKG season takes place over the winter months but throughout the year we make adjustments due to plants, locations or weather, and to be responsive to specific horticultural needs that arise in Oklahoma. The county offices are vital to keeping us informed on what is happening throughout the state.

Ways that county educators and state specialists can help:

  • Let us know if there is a spike in questions regarding a particular topic area like diseases or pests.
  • Communicate any interesting horticultural projects that are happening in your area or that Master Gardener groups are involved with.
  • Forward any events that you would like to promote to our social media student worker at sociallyokg@okstate.edu

Connect with us on social media.

We always try to make contact if we are going to be in your area. When we are in your area for a shoot we love for you to join us if you have the time, and if you want to contact any local media we will work to accommodate any needs that they might have.

The normal procedure for our shoots is to meet the subject(s) and visit briefly, then take a tour of what we are there to see as we continue to visit and find out more about what they are doing, their background, etc. After the tour, host Casey and director Kevin will get together and come up with a plan on how and where to shoot the actual interview(s). It’s usually only then the equipment is brought out and the actual video shoot begins. After the interview additional shooting is needed to capture all of the footage that illustrates what is discussed in the interview; this can sometimes take two hours or more. We understand that you may not have the time to stick around and do not mind if you need to take off.

Another way we can use your help is when we are in your area for one of our regional tours. When we select a region to cover we will usually contact several educators in that area for help locating interesting places to visit. We love to cover a mix of unique or beautiful home landscapes, horticultural businesses, community projects and especially 4-H and Master Gardener projects.

A question that we get every time we shoot is, “when will it air?” We don’t always know exactly; if we do, we will let you know then but if we don’t then we will send you an email when we do. We will also try our best to let you know if your segment is postponed for some reason.

After a segment in your area airs it will be available on our YouTube channel and we hope you will share through all of your social media outlets.

Oklahoma Gardening contact information and links

For segment ideas and other horticultural issues: casey.hentges@okstate.edu

For event promotion and other social mediasociallyokg@okstate.edu

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Kevin Gragg
Senior TV Producer/Director - Oklahoma Gardening
Agricultural Communications Services