12 May 2021
A day in the life of… Kanal Hayat
Have you ever wondered what life is like in a real life TV studio? Now is your chance. Join us as we spend a day under the bright lights of the Kanal Hayat studio. Find out how the Kanal Hayat team works tirelessly to produce around the clock evangelistic content, speaking hope into people’s lives across Turkey and West Asia, and continues to broadcast amidst the challenges of the pandemic.
Tune into God
A typical morning in the production team begins with a morning devotion and prayer.
Devotion and prayer help us ‘tune’ into his guidance and inspiration for the ministry. We believe all things are possible with and through him, and believe in tuning our hearts and minds into listening to him through prayer and devotion.
Like many countries around the world, the next thing is to take care of the family and get the children ready for school. In this region, this has meant Zoom attendance eight hours a day across various classes, and a curfew for children during large parts of the pandemic with social distancing, forbidden access outside their homes, except two hours per week, and limited social interactions for almost a full year. Once the children are in (virtual) school, it is off to work in the studio.
Let the testing begin
Everything is atypical in a pandemic. Therefore, on route to the studio a short stop is necessary: the Covid-19 quick test centre. Here a mandatory quick test is performed as is required for everyone participating in production in order to protect and shield everyone – this is usually accompanied by aching noses, impatient waiting, and almost always a quiet prayer: “God, not today, please!”. If the test comes back negative, production can continue.
Setting the stage
Preparing a studio for production requires detailed planning and preparation. On the day of production everything is planned, prepared, and only last-minute touches are needed. These include; yet another sound check, final adjusting of lights, checking all the cameras still work, checking the backup functions, and – equally important – checking that the backup of the backup also works. At the final stages of production, it is all about check, recheck, more rechecking ensuring every element of production is in place.
At the same time, the in-front-of-camera people arrive. While grabbing a Turkish tea together, and as makeup is applied, the programme is talked through one final time - Has anything changed? Any last-minute adjustments to content? If not, the producer ensures the microphones are working, nerves calmed, and looks at the clock - in this region, production is planned around the ever-present prayer calls of the mosques.
If production is on schedule, and production ready to begin, the production leader gathers everyone for a final prayer asking God to bless the production and the presenter, and for him to make the Gospel presentation a vessel for him to reach more people with Christ. This is the most important, and last step, before the producer can clap the production into starting.
Keeping the pace
When producing teaching-style or two-participant debate programmes, the producer is responsible for producing up to five productions daily. The first two are often back-to-back productions. After this there is a lunch break, where the production leader ensures energy levels are replenished, programmes talked through, and that the presenters are comfortable enough to return to production – balancing efficiency without jeopardising quality. The cycle of production-rest-production is repeated until five or six productions are completed. Usually 15 episodes are produced over three days.
Once production is complete, the producer packs down the studio equipment and ensure backups are safely stored, before returning home to dinner with the family. After dinner the normality of family life during the pandemic sets in - homework. It is normal for young students to have one to two hours of homework.
With Covid-19 restrictions, there is not much to do in the evenings. And after completing 15 programs over the course of three days, nor is it a want. For after production comes editing with the team. Each programme can require up to three days of editing.
Alongside broadcasting, the Kanal Hayat team also run follow-up with all those who respond to their programmes. They provide prayer support and introduce people to local churches and Christians. This is especially important in a context where 97% of the population are Muslim and may well have little support when stepping out in faith.
*please note some faces have been blurred to protect those involved in Kanal Hayat’s ministry