Matthew Kramer is a special projects engineer in WPT’s engineering department. Matthew’s days involve defining and reviewing production workflows, coordinating with producers, directors and other WPT staff to keep track of each show’s many moving pieces, and maintaining WPT’s technology and hardware — from studio cameras to routers and intercom systems.
For the May issue of our member program guide, Airwaves, we caught up with Matthew to learn more about his top public television picks.
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Can you tell me a little about what your work is like on a daily basis?
My position is special projects engineer and I work with the engineering team at Wisconsin Public Television. A lot of my time is spent defining and reviewing workflows. Each production and show we do has a unique set of technical requirements and staff to manage the execution. Part of my role involves interacting with producers, directors and production and engineering staff to document and keep track of all the moving pieces from one show to the next.
I also work on maintaining, installing and decommissioning technology and hardware. This requires a working knowledge of our existing infrastructure like studio cameras, audio equipment, routers, video servers, intercom systems, media and file-based workflows, etc. Technology is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up with what’s coming — to forecast how the tools we use today will change and how that will affect what we do in the future. And as change happens, what is needed to maintain the quality and standards of our past and present.
What is your favorite part of your job at WPT?
I’m a proud Wisconsinite and technology related to media production has always fascinated me. I feel very fortunate to have a job that helps to showcase the people, places and history of our state while using really interesting tools to create pictures and sound to tell a story. Also, there’s a very talented group of people who work here and it’s really satisfying to interact with our staff every day.
If you had to pick, what are your favorite PBS shows – and why?
I’ve been a fan of FRONTLINE for a long time. I loved the first two seasons of Sherlock. And Austin City Limits is great.
And what are your must-watch WPT shows?
It’s in my job description that I must watch a lot of our shows… but I enjoy that. I really like the care and detail used to create Wisconsin Hometown Stories and Tribal Histories.
I also love working on and watching 30-Minute Music Hour.
Finally, what’s your favorite thing about public television?
My favorite thing about public television is the content and the driven people who produce it.