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PBS Producer Rob Tranchin Visits CTV Class

Senior Producer, Writer and Director of Documentaries and Outreach Specials for KERA Discusses the Industry

On January 27 Rob Tranchin visited with Pamela Elder’s Cinema-Television class, “Documentary and Reality Production,” to discuss the joys and dangers involved in being a documentary producer. Tranchin is a senior producer, writer and director of documentaries and outreach specials for KERA, the North Texas PBS affiliate, where he also serves as executive producer for content.

During Tranchin’s visit, students learned how to pitch to a network and producers, and had the invaluable opportunity to ask questions of someone currently active in the business. Tranchin taught the class about programming and writing proposals, and advised the students not to view the job as a forum for personal crusades. He explained that all ideas must be paid for and seeking funding is a challenging but inevitable part of being a documentary producer. “If you want to be a professional, then professionals get paid,” explained Tranchin.

He encouraged the students to send him some of their own work, and shared a short piece with the class about a tree in Highland Park. Professor Elder said that the brief documentary was “a great way for the students to see such a moving piece done with strong visuals, simple music and evocative narration.”

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