Questions about Max Reality

Why doesn’t my weather team use Max Reality more often?

Max Reality is complicated and it takes time to create scenes that look real. Frankly, most broadcast meteorologists don’t have a lot of extra time. &nbsp But there are some tricks to creating scenes quickly. Max Reality training with HellerWeather includes the construction of a set of “starter scenes” that can be used to build additional scenes later.

Can I just hire you to train my weather team on how to use Max Reality?

Yes. But if you want your weather team to actually use the software afterwards, they need comprehensive training that includes every other service offered by HellerWeather. &nbsp For example, Max Reality scenes are created based on the forecast and the story your meteorologists are trying to tell and the on-camera execution will be different if it’s live on-air vs recorded for digital platforms. &nbsp That’s why most proposals for Max Reality training will include the option for a full-service market exclusive annual agreement with multiple on-site visits, advanced training webinars and on-going phone support.

How does your Max Reality training differ from The Weather Company?

The Weather Company has some excellent field trainers. Their training is more technical. They will show your weather team where to click on the software to access different features. &nbsp HellerWeather works from concept to content: how to take an idea and turn it into a real scene. We start with the weather story. We sketch out the different ways to tell that story and then we sit down in front of the computer and construct the scene. Finally, we work in the studio to fine-tune the visual and choreograph the execution of the scene on-air. &nbsp Basic training takes at least 1-2 days per person and follow-up training throughout the year is encouraged as the skills of your weather team develop.

Questions about Tim Heller

Are you a consultant or a meteorologist?

Both. As far as I know, I am the only consultant who worked as an on-air meteorlogist. I’ve worked in small, medium and major markets covering both morning and evening newscasts. I estimate that over 35 years, I’ve produced at least 25,000 weathercasts, probably just as many teases, and countless hours of continuous coverage of snowstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Questions about Weather Consulting

What is a weather consultant?

First of all, HellerWeather won’t tell you if it’s going to rain this week. That’s not the type of consulting we do. &nbsp HellerWeather will help your weather team tell other people whether or not it’s going to rain and tell them in ways that are effective and engaging. Depending on your goals and objectives, we offer training on forecasting techniques, storytelling and computer graphic design. We offer coaching on the best practices for severe weather coverage. And we offer guidance on developing content for digital platforms and strategies for posting on social media. &nbsp Think of us as a weather “communications” consultant.

I already have enough consultants. Why do I need another one?

Nothing against traditional news consultants. After all, I work with some of them. &nbsp When a typical news consultant visits a TV station, they might spend an hour with each member of the weather team. HellerWeather spends at least a half-day with each meteorologist. We look at the content they are producing on-air, on-line and on-social. We discuss the issues they experience and work together to find solutions. &nbsp Most news consultants have no experience in creating weather content. They don’t understand the crazy workflow and many of them have no interest in the science of meteorology. With 35 years on-air experience, Tim Heller is uniquely qualified to partner with your weather team.

How are on-site visits structured?

The schedule for on-site visits is determined by the goals and objectives discussed during the initial discovery meeting conference call and agreed upon before any trips are booked. We always work around the on-air schedule but ideally we’d like to have at least one or two team training sessions, especially if we’re discussing best practices for severe weather coverage. Since many of the coverage decisions are made by the Chief Meteorologist, they must be available for a full day, usually the second day of a 3-day onsite visit. Note: In the event that a major weather event is forecast to develop, the on-site visit will be rescheduled.

How soon we will see improvements in the weather segment?

That depends on the agreed-upon goals and objectives for the on-site visit. 
 
If we’re working on developing new Max Reality content, that will take a few days. If we’re working on storytelling and/or the on-camera skills of the weather talent, I’m confident you’ll see a change immediately. 

Questions about Weather Graphic Design