Director in demand

Instructor Harb Singh has been a creative leader in Canadian broadcasting for 20 years

Part-time Mohawk College instructor Harb Singh is an in-demand TV director with a long demo reel in the business covering sports, game shows, lifestyle, live events and reality TV.

Singh’s fall schedule includes three days shooting four episodes daily of Family Feud Canada and two days on a new show called Cross Country Cake Off that will air on CTV this winter. He’s recently finished the latest season of Canada’s Got Talent.

“It’s really busy right now because of post-COVID and the time of year. But I love what I do. Yes, I work a lot but it’s not work to me. I love getting to the studio every day.” Singh has worked as a part-time professor at Mohawk for six years. He is an instructor teaching videography in the Photography – Still and Motion program.

“I love my students. There are so many keeners and hard workers and they have great ideas.”

He’s director for many productions including Family Feud Canada, Dragon’s Den, Canada’s Got Talent, Canada’s Ultimate Challenge, Cross Country Bake Off, Entertainment Tonight Canada, E-Talk, The Social, Wall of Chefs and CBC’s Olympics Games coverage in Pyeongchang, Tokyo and Beijing.

“Olympics are exhausting and intense but such a great experience,” he says. “On live TV, you can’t make a mistake. Mistakes are evident. Preparation is so key. There is no re-doing it or editing it. But it’s a team effort and if you have a good crew—producers, camera operators and the tech team—you win as a team.”

He says the director has to manage both the big picture but also the details, while managing a behind-the-scenes team of about 25 to 30 people on any given production.

Singh say his success comes down to hard work, dedication, never giving up and always being eager to learn.

His students soak up his real-world stories of the business. “I show them my shooting schedule and tell them that sometimes I only sleep a couple of hours between two productions. This is not a Monday to Friday, nine to five type of job. There are a lot of weekends and nights and you have to be ready for that,” he says.

“But I’m lucky to have all these opportunities. I take it as a blessing every day.”